That little face looks up at you with those big eyes and from this day on is completely and utterly dependent on you, you have found the right puppy for you and welcomed him into your family. Now you need to puppy proof your home! The main objective is to make sure that your puppy has a safe environment, just like you would a toddler but a puppy is far more curious and destructive although I’m sure there are some parents who beg to differ! All hazards and dangers are to be eliminated as your pup will investigate EVERYTHING! They are naive and really have no idea how to behave within your home and are clueless about what is safe and what isn’t until you teach what they need to do to be safe. It takes many hours and much patience but the rewards are amazing. There is no distinguishing which are his toys and which are a new pair of shoes, what is tasty and what is not! The best way is to get down to your puppies level and go around your home, basically on your hands and knees, and make safe all the things you see along the way like the trailing cables (great toys to chew!) that hide behind the TV, bowls of cat food and the cat! Any sharp corners basically anything that you feel could harm your puppy in any way.
Creating an environment where your puppy can thrive and be happy and seeing your puppy happy, makes you happy!
A Few Pointers
- Your puppy has the right to play and chew anything that crosses their path on their playful route. Therefore leaving expensive items or clothing laying around in the reach of your puppy then you only have yourself to blame when you see the item in his mouth! Make sure all valuable items are put away and out of reach of sharp little teeth and claws.
- Buy many different types of toys and chews to keep him occupied as this will not let boredom set in and go off to find the corner of the sofa to have a chew on.
- Never leave your puppy to roam the house freely unsupervised. This will only end in disaster and mayhem. Baby gates and barriers are ideal to segregate off a safe area for your puppy to roam free from any hazards and any risk of hurting himself.
Everything is a toy to your puppy
Many plants that you have in your home be them potted or cut flowers can be toxic to your puppy and dog if ingested. This is obviously a very high risk for puppies as they will want to chew everything that they come across just like a toddler wants to put everything in their mouths. Check to make sure that the plants you have are not toxic or harmful to your puppy in any way. Some of the most dangerous plants for dogs include the Sago Palm, Tulips, Azaleas for example, if ingested this will result in vomiting, diarrhea or even organ failure.
Trash cans are one of the more interesting areas for a puppy to investigate. All those exciting and intriguing smells make a puppy extremely curious. It is always important to keep them covered for many reasons, not just for the safety of your pup. he could suffocate by getting caught up in some form of packaging or swallow objects which could get stuck in his intestines or even eat something that is toxic to them but not toxic to humans.
Household Products and Medications
There is a whole range of household products which can be toxic to your puppy. There are the obvious ones like slug repellent, bleach and cleaning chemicals, antifreeze, gasoline, and human medications. These should not be in a low cupboard where your puppy can have access to them. Keep all pet medications separate you human medication and always dispense over a sink to catch any spills.
Your puppy will need a space in the form of a crate or an enclosed area where a rug or a blanket can make a comfy spot, just somewhere he can retreat to when you are not at home and keep safe and feel secure.
Set Your Puppy Limits
Baby pens and gates are a great way to designate boundaries for your puppy. It will give them an area that you know that they will be safe in whilst you carry on with your daily chores. Giving them breathing space and time alone is good to reduce the separation anxiety that affects puppies in the first few months.
Electronic equipment containing batteries and TV remote controls are not toys and are not there to be chewed. Keep these completely out of reach of your puppy as not only if they are chewed resulting in small parts of plastic getting caught in their intestines and causing blockages but if the actual batteries are chewed or ingested then they can cause nasty burns to the lining of their mouth. The small disc batteries can stick to your dog’s esophagus and end up burning a hole, which as you can imagine is not pleasant both for your puppy or you to witness.
Obviously, electrical wires and cables are a major hazard for your puppy and his sharp teeth. Unplug all electrical items when not in use and make sure that as best as possible run all your cables out of reach from your pup. Cable PVC tubing is one option or you can get various bitter chew deterrent sprays which you spray on any items that are not easily movable i.e. table legs or kitchen units. One lick of these and your puppy will not return! By keeping your home puppy proof from the very start and continue to keep it a safe place as he grows into a dog, then you can be sure to give your new addition to the family a great start in life with his family. As he grows you can relax how vigilant you are because he will have learned some obedience manners and will get more of routine around your home and backyard.