Shopping for toys and supplies is so much fun, but now it’s time to consider ways to puppy proof your home as well.
Your puppy is just a baby and will not make wise choices naturally. Puppies explore their worlds with their mouths and paws and can get themselves into trouble quickly with normal household items that seem harmless. Eventually, your puppy will mature and will learn his boundaries and the “house rules” from you, but this takes months of intentional training. For now, he needs you to help him be safe.
Here are some of the best ways to provide a safe home for your new puppy:
Get down on the floor and look at each room at your puppy’s eye level. See what he will see and decide if the area is safe.
Cover electric outlets and remove or enclose exposed cords safely. Cords are especially fun and especially dangerous for puppies to chew.
Do some research on each living plant you have in your home. Common plants like Aloe, Lilies, some Ferns, and all Mums are poisonous to dogs. Puppies are especially susceptible since they are teething and curious. If you leave dirt in a pot at floor level, a puppy will want to play in it.
Put away or at least move out of reach any special keepsakes or breakables like grandma’s quilt or your porcelain figurines. All reachable items are toys to a puppy’s mind.
Secure trash cans. This may mean moving them out of a puppy’s reach or purchasing cans that have tight-closing lids.
Relocate medications from your bedside table or any location where puppies could reach.
Keep toilet lids closed. Puppies consider the toilet a large drinking dish. Besides all of the germs, a puppy could also fall in and not be able to pull himself out.
Invest in paper towels, antibacterial cleaner, rug cleaner, etc. so you’re prepared to clean up any accidents that happen. They will happen during the training period even with your puppy’s best efforts, so it alleviates some of the stress to have your supplies ready and your expectations realistic. Keep cleaning supplies inaccessible to your puppy.
Consider purchasing an anti-chew spray made with all-natural ingredients. Your pup will quickly find his favorite table leg or couch corner to exercise his molars, and you’ll want to help deter him without damaging your furniture or causing him pain.
Invest in a variety of toys your puppy CAN enjoy. Consider your puppy’s mouth size and age and read toy packaging recommendations. Never leave your puppy alone with a stuffed toy as they can tear it open and ingest the stuffing which could cause digestive blockage. Of course, your puppy will want the joy of tearing something open! Just be there when it happens so you can pick up the stuffing quickly.
Plan to have an enclosed or gated play area where your puppy can play freely in a family area of your home but still be safe. Never leave your puppy to roam your home freely unattended.
Block access to stairs until you’ve had time to ensure your puppy is ready to safely navigate them by himself. Your puppy can be seriously injured by an accidental fall down the stairs.
Invest in a good crate where your puppy can sleep and be safe when you leave the home. Many families get two crates – one for their bedroom so that their puppy is safe overnight but is still with their human “pack”, and another one for the living area of their home so that their puppy can interact with, see, and hear their family members during the day but still be safe for naps or if someone comes to visit. We love Castle Crates and how they blend in with the furniture in our homes.
Talk through “house rules” with all your family members so that everyone is consistent in training your puppy. If your puppy is not allowed on your furniture, be sure that everyone knows the rule. Inconsistency is confusing for a puppy who is trying to learn how to please his family.
Puppy Shopping List
Many of the items mentioned to help puppy proof your home are available on our Puppy Shopping List. Remember your puppy is counting on you. Prioritizing their safety takes some work but is worth your time and investment!