Puppy proofing your home is a way to make sure your puppy stays safe and to minimize the damage from a playing pup. Since every home and puppy is different, you may need to alter or add to our list. While you are getting ready to bring you new fur baby home, here are some basic guidelines to “puppy proofing” your home!
*Keep in mind this is all temporary!!! They will be an adult a lot longer than they will be a puppy!
*Anything within reach of a puppy may get chewed on, knocked over, or used for potty. If it is something of great value to you–put it away for now.
For The Kitchen
- Make sure your garbage can has a closing lid or is behind a cupboard door. While there are many human foods your puppy can eat, there are a vast number that can make them sick. The smells may be enticing to your puppy so make sure all garbage is secure.
- Keep all harmful foods also stored away where puppy can’t reach them. He might not be able to reach the countertops yet…but just wait!
- Keep all knives and sharp utensils safely stored
- Put child safety locks on the lower cupboard doors. A curious and smart pup will soon learn how to nudge those open.
- When cleaning your kitchen, be sure to block it off. The chemicals can be harmful to a puppy if they were to ingest them. Wait until everything is dry or wiped down before letting them back in.
For The Living Room
- Carpet=grass to a puppy. Be sure to roll up any valuable rugs or block them off! We have cheap ones we place down during the potty training–that way we can train them not to go on the rugs but we aren’t upset when they do go anthem. An outdoor rug is often recommend. They are more durable and can withstand the wear and tare of a puppy.
- To help deter them from wanting to go on your carpet or rugs for potty time, spray a mix of white vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon.
- Keep throw pillows and blankets in a closed bin or closet when not in use–a favorite chew toy for many puppies. They also love the extra challenge of jumping up on the couch to grab it!
- Tuck away blind cords
- Tuck away electrical cords and chargers. A great way to keep things plugged in that you need is to cover them with PVC pipe. You can also try blocking off an area, like around the TV so puppy can’t reach.
- Put plants and potted flowers up out of reach. Puppies love digging in the dirt! Not only is that messy to clean up but some can be poisonous to puppies! Be sure to read all warning labels of your greenery.
- Block off fireplaces. There should always be a screen over a fireplace to protect your puppy from getting burned. Never leave a puppy unattended with a fireplace, wood burning stove, or space heater.
- Clear off coffee tables of anything you don’t want them getting into–including remotes!
- Spray furniture corners with a bitter apple spray. This may help prevent your teething puppy from wanting to naw on your nice furniture.
For The Bedrooms
- Shoes are a favorite for puppies as well! Make sure you put shoes behind closed closet doors.
- Jewelry should always be stored up high to avoid choking. Some metals and chemicals that jewelry is made of is also toxic to dogs.
- Always shut drawers. Swallowed clothing can be a chocking hazard or block their intestines.
- Do laundry on a high surface or close off the room while you do it. We already have a hard enough time keeping track of all our socks!
For The Bathroom
- Always unplug and put cords away. Puppies can get burned from hair straighteners/curlers if they get ahold of them.
- Store medicine in a high or locked area. You don’t want puppy getting into those!!!
- Keep razors also up high or behind a locked area
- Your bathroom trash can also needs a lid or be behind a door
- Be sure to drain your sink and bathtub after use. Your puppy may be a natural swimmer but it is still a drowning hazard.
- Always keep your toilet lid down! This is one we sometimes forget about an I will hear a puppy plop in the water trying to get a drink!!
- A child lock on the cabinets can help you have a safe place to store things.
For The Outside
- It is best to have a fenced in play area for you puppy. This will help protect them from running out into the road.
- Always keep tools put away! Lock any sheds you may have as well.
- This is especially important for fishing gear!
- If you have a balcony or porch, be sure they are closed off to your puppy as you will be surprised at their ability to squirm through and jump off! They could fall or get stuck trying.
- Check your plants for any possible harm–poisonous, for lost tools, or escape holes.
- Be sure all paints, fertilizers and pesticides are stored away on a high shelf or locked away securely.
- Keep doors closed! The bedroom doors and office door stay closed when we are training puppies. Your don’t want your puppy having access to them when you’re not with them
- Block off stairs. Going down on stairs is bad for your puppy’s growing hips and could cause problems. We actually carry our puppy up and down stairs! (Going up isn’t as much a problem as the impact coming down).
- We also block off a little area that can be “puppy free.” We have a baby as well and want him to be able to crawl around without getting jumped on all the time by the puppy. It is also nice to have a place to set things down momentarily without the puppy running off them them.
- Invest in a nice “play pen.” When I don’t have the time to keep an eye on the little fur babies, I put them in the play pen with some toys and a dog bed. They can play and chill out while I’m making dinner or whatever. This is not a place for t the puppy to always be–but it’s great for the few minutes when I need it.
- Invest in appropriate chew toys and treats. When puppies are teething, they will chew on anything! Providing things for them will help protect the rest of your home and help you puppy get through this stage healthfully.
- Getting your puppy plenty of exercise is KEY! If you are having a difficult time with their behavior inside your home, get them running around outside. Experts say they need about 5min per month old they are a few times a day.
*A special thank you to my mother-in-law, Annie, for letting me use her beautiful home for my example pictures.