Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Puppy-Proofing Your Home

April 10, 2010 by  
Filed under The Puppy Corner

It’s so exciting to bring home a new puppy, but in the midst of naming the dog, de-worming, and housebreaking, it’s easy to forget to check your home for puppy safety.  Just as you would baby-proof your house before bringing home a new infant, you must also puppy-proof your house in preparation for your new four-legged bundle of joy.  And given how puppies like to chew everything they see, puppy-proofing your home not only keeps your puppy safe, it may also help you keep your sanity!
Those Baby Teeth are Sharp!

For most of the first year of a puppy’s life, he or she will be teething.  To ease gum pain, the dog will do what comes naturally, which is to chew on everything in sight.  Although most of the time, this is merely a nuisance, it can become dangerous when those sharp teeth puncture the protective covering on an electric cord or go through a container that has something poisonous inside.

The best way to prevent this type of accident is to keep your puppy confined to a specific are of your home when he or she is not under your direct and constant supervision.  This can be accomplished by using a crate or by blocking off an un-carpeted area with baby gates or pens.

When you do allow your dog to run loose in the house, be sure to keep electrical cords out of reach.  It doesn’t take much for a puppy to bite through the insulating layer of the cord, right down to the energized metal wires.  although the normal household current of 120 volts may not seem like much, it is enough to give your puppy quite a jolt and can potentially be fatal.
Dog doing mischief

Household Poisons
All of your cleaning chemicals should be stored on a high shelf or behind locked doors when you have a curious puppy in your home.  Puppies have been known to scratch at cupboard doors until they pop open, allowing them to drag out whatever they find inside.  Any rags you use for cleaning should also be locked up to keep the puppy from licking the chemicals from the saturated cloth.
Don’t forget to clean up the garage while you are putting away chemicals.  Antifreeze is particularly enticing to dogs because it tastes sweet, but even small quantities can be deadly if swallowed.
Puppies are Short!
It may help you spot trouble areas in your home if you spend some time on your hands and knees.  Crawl around your home and look for hazards that may only be visible at a low level.
Check for hanging hazards such as the cords to window blinds or long telephone cords.  Look under the furniture for small toys your children lost years ago that could choke your puppy.
Look Out for the Garden
Many plants, both inside and outside of your home can be poisonous to dogs.  The ASPCA web site has a good list to help guide you in choosing safe, non-toxic plants.  Make sure your plants are high enough on the plant stand that your puppy can’t reach any leaves or flowers.
Your outdoor garden should be fenced to keep your puppy out.  Not only do you not want the fruits (and vegetables!) of your labor eaten by the dog, you also don’t want your dog to become ill from any pesticides or weed killers you may have used.
Mulch can also cause problems if your puppy eats it.  Cocoa mulch contains both theobromine and caffeine, the same ingredients that make chocolate bad for dogs.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
To keep your dog from chewing everything in your home, you will want to provide appropriate things for him or her to use to satisfy the natural urges caused by teething.  You should provide a wide variety of toys until you find out your puppy’s preferences.  When the puppy begins to chew on table legs or photograph albums, re-direct him or her to the acceptable toys.
As a special treat, you can soak an old washrag with water, then stick it in the freezer for a few hours.  Chewing on the frozen rag will soothe your puppy’s gums as he or she tries to bring in adult teeth.
Congratulations on your new puppy!  Remember:  one of your most important parenting tasks is to keep the animal safe by thoroughly puppy-proofing your home, both inside and out.  Read more about puppy proofing your home in our doggies den.


2 Responses to “Puppy-Proofing Your Home”
  1. The Straight Poop!!! Best name on the internet by far.

    I actually chose just two rooms that the dog would have access to. The kitchen and living room were the two we chose. All the other rooms were blocked off completely. That way we only had to prepare the two rooms. As she matured, we opened up the rest of the house slowly and under supervision. It worked out great.


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