Puppy Precautions: Tips for Puppy-Proofing Your Home and Yard
Welcoming a new puppy or dog into your family is an exciting time! But as many pet parents know, our new pals often waste no time keeping us on our toes. As your puppy grows comfortable in her new home and begins to explore, it’s essential to puppy-proof your home and yard to create a safe environment. Just like babies, your playful furball is too young to know where she should or shouldn’t go. This curiosity could land her in some trouble if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
Though your puppy will spend a decent amount of time inside your home, she’ll also spend plenty of time outside. We’ve pulled together some simple steps for puppy-proofing your home and yard so you’ll be able to keep your precious pup out of dangerous situations and focus on what’s really important – building the bond with your new furry family member!
How to Keep Your Home Safe for Your New Puppy
Search through the eyes of your puppy
Before you bring your puppy home, take a walk around your house or apartment and look for hazards as if you were a puppy. One of the most effective methods for identifying hazards is by crawling around your floor so you can see what your puppy would see or be able to access. If you have kids, this would be a great way for them to help prepare for the new addition to your family!
Hide electrical cords
Puppies love chewing on things. To them, electrical wires seem like the perfect chew toy. Try either hiding these wires or cords on a shelf your precious pup won’t be able to reach or taping them down so they aren’t as tempting. This includes putting appliances that aren’t in use out of reach.
Block off unsafe areas of the home
While your puppy is young, there may be areas of the home that aren’t safe for your canine friend to explore. Steep steps can be dangerous for your pup, especially if she is a toy or small breed. Consider installing temporary barriers, like a baby gate, to protect your pup from tumbles. Baby gates may also be a good idea for keeping your puppy out of specific rooms while you’re not home and help limit your pup to a specific safe area.
Keep your floors clear of human food
Everyone drops things from time to time, whether it be a crumb of food or a scrap of paper. However, your very curious pup will be quick to pick up whatever you drop. If you are eating or cooking, be mindful of dropped food. Your puppy’s tummy reacts differently to certain foods than yours, so it’s better to not take any chances.
Hide or protect your garbage cans
Puppies also love getting into garbage cans and when driven by an interesting scent, it won’t take long before your puppy gets into the trash. A few easy ways to prevent this include purchasing cans with locking lids or move your trash cans into a secure closet or cabinet. Don’t leave home without the lid closed!
Hide hazardous materials
Your pup’s curiosity has no limits. She’ll poke her precious nose into any kind of bag or easy to open cabinet / drawer. Look for the following items and either remove them from areas where your puppy will be or secure the places they will be with child-proofing locks. Here is a quick list but for more information take a look at this story about pet safety.
- Laundry detergent
- Chemical cleaners (both bathroom and kitchen)
- Medications (vitamins, supplements, other pills, etc.)
- Garage items (fertilizer, antifreeze, gasoline)
- Household plants
How to Puppy-Proof Your Yard
Train your pup to stay away from fire pits and grills
Fire pits and grills can pose very obvious fire safety threats to our pets. While your puppy is young, it’s a great time to train your furry friend that a fire pit isn’t an area of play, and that she should stay away from the grill while food is being cooked. Indoor or outdoor wood stoves and fireplaces are other areas to keep your puppy away from.
Check the height and durability of your fence
If something catches the attention of your young pup, she may try to dig underneath the fence to escape or jump over it. Consider proofing your fence by making sure there aren’t any holes or vulnerable areas for your puppy to discover. In addition, ensure that there is enough height so that your best friend can’t jump over it as she gets bigger.
Keep pools, ponds or hot tubs fenced off
If you have any outdoor water in your yard such as a pool, make sure your pool is fenced in and gated properly to avoid any dangerous situations. Your pup should never explore the water unsupervised.
Review the plants in your garden
Not all outdoor plants are safe for your best bud. There are several outdoor plants that can be harmful to your puppy, with some examples being:
- Morning Glories
- Lily of the Valley
- Oak Trees (and their acorns)
- Bulb Plants (like daffodils)
If you’re not sure how safe your landscaping is, the ASPCA has put together a handy list regarding plants that are toxic to dogs.
Get Your Paws on More Tips for Raising Your Puppy
It’s important to remember that no matter how puppy-proofed you think your home may be, your little bundle of fur may still manage to get into some sort of mischief. Be patient with young pups! They don’t know the rules until they are taught, so make sure to keep a watchful eye on them until they start picking up on your training. Keeping your home as safe as possible is the best place for a pet parent to start.
Ready to learn more ways to keep your new four-legged friend happy, healthy, and safe as he grows? Sign-up for the Bil-Jac Puppy Club to receive exclusive information on all you’ll need to raise your best friend.