Getting a new four-legged friend can be an exciting time for the whole family, especially your puppy. Your pooch will be very happy to be in their forever home and will want to explore their new surroundings.
Getting a new four-legged friend can be an exciting time for the whole family, especially your puppy. Your pooch will be very happy to be in their forever home and will want to explore their new surroundings. Whilst curiosity is always a good thing for a puppy so that they can learn about their environment and the world around them, it’s important to make sure that they are not in harm’s way whilst they go exploring. One of the key ways to ensure their safety is to puppy proof your home.
It’s not a hard task and can be very quickly and easily completed before your puppy gets to their new home. By ensuring that all rooms and areas that they access are safe, you will be sure to have an easier time allowing your puppy adjust to their new surroundings and they can focus on learning other important things such as toilet training.
1. Check your plants
One thing that many people forget is that puppies are naturally chewing on anything and everything. One thing that some puppies like to chew on are plants. While this might not be an issue, it can very well likely lead to serious harm if the plant they chew on is toxic.
Find out which plants are poisonous to dogs (azalea, jade and philodendron are a couple of common ones) and see if they’re in your garden.
Either move them to somewhere out of reach of your puppy or make a neighbour’s day by providing them with a gift of your plants.
Dogs can also be allergic to certain types of grass, weeds, flowers and pollens found in your backyard. According to the RSPCA, dermatitis is the eight most common pet condition, which can be caused by allergens found in your backyard.
2. Hide your cords
Again, puppies are going to look for things to chew and electrical cords are no exception . You will likely have quite a few cords around your television set, study and computers and maybe even in your kitchen. If you have cords laying around, tie them up. If possible, make it impossible for your puppy to get to them completely by closing off access. You can also tie the cords together to try and eliminate them from being able to be reached easier. Don’t forget cords on your blinds and curtains.
3. Get rid of trash
Rubbish, whether it be the normal household rubbish or bathroom waste, will always be found by your puppy. Ensure that any bins you have contain lids and if this isn’t possible, make sure the bins are out of reach of your puppy. Move the bins to a room where the puppy cannot access (such as a laundry or mudroom) to ensure your puppy doesn’t eat any rubbish that can be toxic to them.
4. Store cleaners
Any household cleaners such as bleach, laundry detergents, furniture polish and floor cleaners should all be stored away in cupboard and out of reach. Make sure they are stored and not able to be accessed. A cupboard in a room where the puppy cannot enter, such as a laundry or mudroom, is ideal.
5. Puppy safe zones
If there are cables or chemicals you cannot store or keep out of reach, maybe it will be a good idea to have safe zones in the home. These are just designated areas in the home where the puppy can freely roam without being in any kind of trouble. All the other areas are either gated off or have doors that can be locked or closed.
6. Crate training
Crate training is a great way to keep your puppy safe when you cannot be there to watch them all the time. It’s also a good place to keep them throughout the night. Crate training is also useful for toilet training them as they will naturally want to avoid soiling their safe space in the crate. When you let your puppy out of the crate and take them outdoors, use a phrase such as “do your business” to encourage them to learn to go outside to use the toilet. There’s a handy resource on dog training sites to save here.
7. Check your yard
Often people will assume the yard is a safe place for a puppy as there isn’t much there to cause them harm. However it’s important to think about what might be in the garden and beyond. As well as checking for plants that are poisonous to dogs, you may also want to check your fence and the perimeter for any small spaces your puppy may want to explore and sneak out of. Secure any loose or fallen gates and always make sure your puppy has plenty of clean drinking water whilst outside, especially on hot days. If there isn’t much shade, create more shade space for your puppy with a kennel.
8. Be a good neighbour
If your puppy happens to get out and go to your neighbour’s place to do their business, it’s always courteous to pick up after them. Remain calm, and pick up any waste they’ve left behind, then take measures to ensure they cannot get out again. Barking can also be problematic and be an inconvenience to your neighbours. Take your puppy to appropriate training and if barking starts to become a problem, seek the advice of a trained professional who can advise how to correct the behaviour.
With a few simple changes and checks, you will likely have a very welcoming home for your new puppy to enjoy at home. With doing these checks, you will also ensure that your puppy stays safe and healthy. If you have any issues at home that cannot be changed (such as cables or wires and equipment or chemicals that cannot be moved to a new location), consider keeping these places inaccessible to your puppy until they’re old enough to learn basic commands and when they are not to go near certain objects or items. With these small checks, you will have a happy puppy and safe environment for them as they grow up.