Before a new puppy ever crosses the threshold of your home, you want to make sure your house and yard are puppy proof. In every area that’s accessible to your puppy, get close to the ground and take a look around. Put things that are unsafe or off-limits out of reach, and check for objects that could be invitingly chewable. The following are specific things to look for when you puppy proof your home.
Around the house
Put away floor plants, decorations, shoes, and clothing
Keep loose articles off the floor. You may think it’s cute to see your new puppy chewing on an old shoe, but it won’t be funny when he grabs a new one. He doesn’t know the difference, so don’t establish bad habits.
Secure tablecloths, runners, or other hanging material
A quick pull on one of these can bring everything from the table down on your puppy. Tape or tack them down or remove them altogether.
Put away objects on coffee tables, end tables, and low furniture
Puppies can and will put their paws on things until they’re properly trained. Make sure there’s nothing dangerous for them to knock over.
Put away anything breakable, particularly if it’s at tail level
Tails wag. Expensive things get broken. Make sure that Ming vase is way up high or you may find it in pieces.
Lock up cupboards and secure hazardous materials
This includes stowing cleaning products, medications, paint products, and anything that could be poisonous to your puppy.
Secure phone wires and electric cords
You can wrap them in plastic sheathing or pvc tubing.
Have children put away toys and any parts or accessories
If the item is smaller than your puppy, it should be put away. Keeping the dog safe is a great incentive for kids to clean up after themselves.
Protect anything made of wood including table and chair legs
Your puppy knows instinctively that wood is good for chewing. Use thick plastic sheeting or pvc tubing to hide chair and table legs.
Check every nook and cranny for danger items
This includes under and behind furniture and tables or any other dark place a puppy would like to go.
In the yard
Clean up the yard
Put away garden hoses, tools, and plastic toys. Look for anything your puppy can fall into or put in his mouth and secure it somewhere safe.
Block access to the pool and other hazardous areas
Fence off any area you don’t want your puppy to be in and make sure he can’t squeeze through the grating. Even a dog bred to swim can drown in a pool if he doesn’t know where the steps are to get out.
Put away chemicals and potential poisons
This includes lawn fertilizers, insecticides, and paint products.
Check fencing for escape routes
Make sure there’s nowhere for your puppy to crawl under. Check for gaps around gates and fence sections and make sure your puppy can’t get his head stuck in them.
Taking the time to puppy proof your house and yard is a simple way to create a safe, friendly environment for the newest member of your pack.