Protect That Pup: Tips for Puppy-Proofing Your Home

Few events are as joyous as welcoming a playful, cuddly puppy into your home. These bundles of fur offer unconditional love and often have boundless energy, which sometimes leads to trouble when they first start to explore your home. As you plan for everything your new best friend will need, adding some puppy-proofing products to that list and taking advantage of the following tips can help you create a home environment that is both enriching and safe for your puppy.

Begin Before the Puppy's Arrival

Once your new puppy arrives, he will require a lot of attention, so you may want to consider starting the puppy-proofing process before he arrives home. You can start by going through each room and deciding which will be off-limits, as confining him to a limited area can assist you in teaching him potty training. A freestanding dog gate can make this simpler, as you can place it at any entranceway. Remember to consider your puppy's breed and how fast he will grow so you can take the time to select a dog gate that will grow with him. Another safety item you may want to buy ahead of time is a suitable training crate. Not only will this give your dog a place to go when he is tired or anxious, but it also allows you to crate your puppy when you need to be elsewhere in the house for a short time. A sturdy dog training kennel with room for a bed and some toys can keep him safe when you cannot supervise him and put him in the right path to crate training. Remember to take your pup's measurements so you buy a crate large enough for him to lie down and turn around in.

Put Electrical Cords Out of Reach

Your new puppy's favorite activity will probably be chewing, as most puppies teethe as they begin to lose their puppy teeth around eight or nine weeks of age. They are usually not particular about what they chew either, and this can be dangerous when your puppy finds electrical cords around the house and decide they make a fine chew toy. Not only does this ruin costly electrical appliances, but your puppy could receive a serious electrical burn or shock. While it can be difficult to move cords out of reach of your puppy, you can use concealers, hide them behind furniture and use zip ties to secure longer cords. You can also provide your puppy with more appropriate and safe chew toys, like a snail teether chew toy that massages his gums and eases the pain of teething.

Consider Breed Habits

As a responsible puppy owner, it is your duty to research dog breeds before you welcome the animal into your home so you can ensure he will be a good fit for your family and the environment. Researching breeds can also provide clues about certain behaviors that are common to each. For example, huskies are well-known escape artists and can climb fences, while beagles love to dig. The better you understand your dog's natural breed habits, the safer you can make your home for him. If you know your puppy might try to escape because it is in his breed's nature, then you can take steps to keep him safe by securely fencing your yard and supervising him while he is outside. You can also provide him with outdoor toys that amuse and teach at the same time, like a hovercraft disk fetch toy. This kind of play will also stimulate your puppy's mind and prevent the kind of boredom that usually causes puppies to engage in destructive behavior.

Move Houseplants

Houseplants and curious puppies usually do not mix, and the results can be serious when they do. Plants with flowers such as oleander and lily can cause serious digestive upset for a puppy or even poison him if he ingests enough of a plant. Put up new shelving or transfer plants to hanging baskets, where you can place them well out of your puppy's reach. You may also want to fortify the fence around your backyard garden to keep your puppy away from fruits and vegetables that are toxic to dogs. There are many different varieties that may cause him harm, including:

  • Avocadoes
  • Tomato stems and leaves
  • Grapes
  • Onions

You can prevent your puppy from invading your garden by confining him to an outdoor puppy playpen, where you can supervise him and keep him safe as he enjoys the outdoors. This playpen can also assist you with potty training your puppy, as it is simple to clean.

Share Your Pup's Perspectives

The troubles your puppy may find in and around your home may surprise you, but looking at each room from his perspective may help. Obtain a pup's eye view by getting to floor level and you might be amazed at what you find. That small toy or coin under the couch, the cleaning supplies in the unlocked cabinet, and the cat's litter box can present both a challenge and a danger for your puppy, so consider the unexpected when it comes to puppy-proofing your home. Puppy-proofing your home and considering household objects from a puppy's point of view can help you keep him safe until he matures and learns positive house manners. Remember to enjoy these times with your puppy, as these romping, rough-and-tumble days pass quickly. In the meantime, put safety first and give your pup a head start on a long, healthy life.

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