Tomorrow’s the day–your little bundle of joy is coming home! You’ve gotten the bed, the toys and the food. But have you prepared your home? Knowing how to puppy proof your house can protect your belongings from risks associated with a precocious pup. Your new addition needs to be protected as much as your home.
How to Puppy Proof Your House
There are not a lot of differences between preparing for a baby and preparing for a puppy, but forgetting to take those steps could cost you, both in terms of broken keepsakes and in injuries to your furry bundle of joy.
Why Puppy Proof?
You don’t have to watch hours of Animal Planet to know puppies are little balls of energy. They spend their days playing and playing, then drop into a deep sleep without warning. Before long, they’re up again, playing-playing-playing…and then drop again.
Puppies, like babies, have no self-control. Everything goes into their mouths, whether it should or not. Their noses are looking for the next great smell. Their attention spans are about two seconds long. They can’t hold their bladders more than a minute. By puppy-proofing your home, you’ll save yourself time, energy and frustration.
Your puppy will spend most of his or her time in the house, so start your puppy-proofing efforts inside. Start your puppy-proofing by doing the following:
- Cap your outlets. Because puppies are curious about absolutely everything, make sure to put child-protective covers on your lower outlets. You don’t want your puppy licking an outlet and getting a shock.
- Look at your home from your puppy’s viewpoint. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around your home. Anything that’s at your eye level will be the same for your puppy. This exercise will allow you to see where the breakables, “swallow-ables” and sharp objects are, so you can move those items out of the reach of your pet.
- Move your plants. There are several reasons for putting your plants out of the reach of your new puppy. First, even the largest houseplant looks like a toy to a puppy. The last thing you want is to come home and find your favorite indoor tree or large plant reduced to a pile of dirt and some sticks. Second, some houseplants are poisonous to dogs, regardless of their size.
- Secure trash cans. Larger trash cans, such as the one you probably have in your kitchen, should have a closing lid that can’t be opened if the can is pushed over. Other trash cans, like the ones in bathrooms, should either be put up, away from prying noses and paws or should have closing lids, like your kitchen trash.
- Move cleaning supplies. Puppies are smart and curious. They can easily figure out how to get their noses into lower cupboards, which can lead to problems if they get into a cabinet where the cleaning supplies are stored or if a member of your family may forget to close a cabinet.
- Secure litter boxes. To puppies, litter boxes are nothing more than a treat jar. Make sure litter boxes are up off the floor or have a closing lid to cut down on the chance of your puppy stopping by for a quick snack. Other than the fact that the whole idea is distasteful (no pun intended), puppies can be made ill when litter gets into their digestive systems.
- Pick up pennies and other small objects. Dropped coins, bottle tops, cell phone ear buds and so forth can become the instant focus of a puppy’s desire to put everything in their mouths. Make sure any anything that falls on the floor is picked up quickly and put away properly.
- Cover your cords. Electric cords are downright dangerous for puppies, especially with their tendency to chew everything. A puppy chomping on an electric cord can cause a short in the cord, which creates a fire hazard.
Making the outside of your house safe for your new addition is as important as the inside, although it’s often overlooked, even though your puppy will probably be inside most of the time. Take the following steps to keep your yard and your new puppy safe:
- Never leave your puppy outside unsupervised. It may seem like a good idea to leave your puppy outside while you make a quick run to the store, but left to their own devices, puppies will find trouble in a heartbeat.
- Set aside a special area in the yard for your puppy. Train your puppy to use one specific area of the backyard to take care of business; this way, your entire yard doesn’t become one big bathroom that needs to be cared for and cleaned. It also keeps your puppy away from areas where your children play or where adults want to relax.
- Properly store outdoor chemicals and equipment. Don’t leave fertilizer, ant or pest control chemicals, weed control, gasoline or other chemicals out in the open where the puppy can get to them. And make sure lawn mowers, weeders and other lawn equipment are properly secured to avoid any potential risk for your pup to get injured.
- Properly secure trash and recycling bins. If possible, store your trash and recycling containers away from the backyard, so you don’t end up with trash strewn throughout your yard if your dog smells something that causes him to want to investigate further.
ABC Cares About Your Pets
Taking the time to puppy-proof your home before your little bundle of joy arrives will make this special time more relaxing and allow you to spend your time playing and not in clean-up mode. ABC Home & Commercial Services understands that your pets are special members of your family and makes sure that all our services keep both the human and the animal family members happy and safe.