Becoming a proud puppy owner is an exciting yet challenging time, as any pet lover will know.
Puppies come with bundles of energy and curiosity in equal measures and will be fearlessly exploring their surroundings in no time, including where they spend most of their time, the family home!
While this guide will cover top tips on how to puppy proof your home, as we know accidents can still happen, and unexpected illnesses can unfortunately strike at any time. This is why puppy insurance should be considered along with these steps, as with the right cover in place you can ensure that your puppy receives the best possible care, without having to worry about potentially costly vet bills.
Why puppy proof your home?
Simply put, puppy-proofing your home is the process of taking steps to protect your puppy, and in the process your belongings around the home.
All pet owners want to ensure that their pets live in happy and safe loving homes, free from risk of injury or harm. However, for curious inexperienced puppies, they may unwittingly see everyday household items as toys, items such as power cables, the TV remote and cleaning products to name just a few – such items should always be kept out of reach.
Below Sarah-Jane White, an Animal Behaviour & Enrichment Expert from Ruffle Snuffle provides her 10 top tips to puppy proof your home.
Invest in a puppy gate
To prevent your pup from getting into trouble, it’s a good idea to use baby gates in your home. Puppy or baby gates can be used to block off certain areas of your home, such as the kitchen or bathroom, so that your pup can’t wander into dangerous areas. Put one at the bottom of your stairs too to avoid your puppy taking any tumbles.
Tidy up cables and cords
Even though we are supposed to live in a wireless world, I can bet that you have a plethora of cables on the floor that normally you wouldn’t pay any attention to. Unfortunately for your new puppy, they will look like chew heaven! Invest in cable covers and put away any that you don’t need. Raise as many cords as you can off the ground and safely out of reach of those puppy teeth.
Check your plants
It’s important to check your house for poisonous plants before you get a puppy. Puppies are curious and will try to eat anything they can find, so it’s important to make sure that there aren’t any harmful plants inside and outside your home. Make sure to get rid of any poisonous and toxic plants (like lavender, daffodils, and eucalyptus) and keep an eye on your pup when they’re exploring their new home.
Remove harmful household items
Do a tour of your house and gather up any other household items that might be harmful to your puppy, such as medicine and food. Puppies can be crafty, and some can even get in your cupboards so use child safety locks on the doors, just in case. Keeping these items out of reach will help prevent your pup from getting into trouble and potentially becoming poisoned.
Puppies and children all love to explore new things with their mouths. In fact, if you have kids then it’s vital that their toys, especially Lego bricks our stored safely out of reach. A couple of toy boxes with heavy lids will keep the chores down as you can quickly sweep up any debris and hide it safely away from your pup.
Go for non-toxic cleaning products
Many first-time dog owners are surprised to learn that dogs can be allergic to household cleaning products. Dogs can have skin allergies just like people do and using harsh chemicals to clean up your puppy’s mess can make problems worse.
Did you know, even after being stored, the vapours from products that have ammonia (bleach), formaldehyde, glycol ethers, and chlorine can be harmful to your puppy. Choose specific pet-safe products to be on the safe side.
Put the toilet seat lid down
Some of us may have seen the viral social media video of a dog drinking from the toilet bowl, and puppies are no exception to the rule. Remember, toilet cleaning products, like bleach, are highly toxic, therefore make sure you put the lid down. If you have a toddler, then be especially mindful as a toddler stool could provide the ideal platform for your curious pup to climb.
Secure your bins
The contents of your bin can contain some dangerous substances that could be hazardous to your pup if eaten, and even contain items that could prove to be a choking hazard.
Make sure your puppy can’t open the bin or knock it over. Keep the bin out of reach (I used to put mine behind the puppy gate on the stairs!) or buy a new bin with a secure lid.
Reduce climbing temptations
Puppies’ bones are soft, and their joints are not fully formed so climbing, jumping and falling can pose a big risk of injury to your pup. It might seem silly, but keeping your chairs pushed right under the table will reduce the temptation for your puppy to climb. If they are on the sofa with you, then get a footstool so they have something to step down on before reaching the floor. Better still, lift them down. Make sure you are always with them when they are near furniture, just in case.
Finally, remember, should an accident unfortunately happen, then having affordable pet insurance for puppies can ensure that your pup receives the best possible care they deserve, and even help to cover costly vet fees.
Puppy proofing your home is an important step for first-time dog owners. It helps to keep your pup safe and healthy while they get used to their new surroundings. By following the tips in this article, you can make sure that your house is as puppy-proof as possible.