If you’ve recently brought a new puppy into your home, congratulations. You’ve made a great addition to your family. While puppies are awesome, they do come with a lot of responsibility. You need to take the effective steps necessary to keep your pup as safe as possible – both inside and outside your home.
The last thing you want to worry about is the risk of your pup being hurt, or your personal items being damaged. Here are a few tips on how to maintain a safe doggy zone for your new companion.
Some General Tips On Puppy Proofing Your House
In order to make your home a safe zone for your new pup, you’ll need to put some thought into things that you might not have considered before. Potential items of danger around your home include electrical cords, cleaning supplies, and even certain types of foods you eat. Here are a few things you can do to help create the perfect dog zone for your new family member.
- Secure all electrical cords in your home. This might be a hassle, but it could help protect your pup from a serious electrical shock. Your puppy might chew on a cord thinking it’s a toy – only to suffer a potentially serious injury.1
- Keep cleaning supplies safely out of reach. You can keep your supplies in a cabinet outfitted with a childproof latch, or in a separate room with the door closed. If you have a cabinet situated high off the ground, that could be another great option.2
- Never feed your puppy food from your dinner table. There are lots of foods that are perfectly safe for humans, but they’re anything but a tasty reward for a dog. Chocolate is one of them. It contains theobromine. While harmless to humans, theobromine acts as a powerful stimulant in a dog’s system – and could even be fatal. If your pup accidentally eats chocolate, call your vet immediately.3
Keep All Medications in a Safe Place
If you take any sort of medication, secure them just as you would if you had a small child in your home. Tragically, far too many pets suffer harm due to eating prescription drugs and over-the-counter supplements. When you take pills, dispense them over a bowl. That way, if they spill you won’t have to worry about your pup getting a hold of them.4
Just like cleaning supplies, keep all of your medications in an area that’s hard to reach. That could be a drawer or a cabinet located high off of the ground.
Get a Cover For Your Couch
Couches typically don’t come in dog proof models. But a couch cover can be a great solution to the accumulation of dirt or dog hair. If you choose to let your pup on the couch to snuggle with you – and let’s face it, if you’re like most pet parents, you will – think about getting a couch cover that will protect your furniture.5
Make Your Backyard Safe
You’re obviously going to want to let your pup out to run around in the backyard. It’s important that a puppy gets exercise to help their bones and muscles develop properly. But like other areas of your home, the backyard can be filled with risks you might not have ever considered. By putting in a little work, however, you can make the yard completely safe.
- Hopefully, your yard is already fenced. If it’s not, have one built as soon as you can. Pay special attention to the gate, and make sure it’s always closed.6
- Always supervise your pup whenever they’re in the yard. Clear the yard of items such as glass or nails, or anything else that looks like it could possibly lead to an injury.7
- If you have a garden, make sure the plants aren’t poisonous to dogs. You can either go to the ASPCA website for a comprehensive list of toxic plants or call their Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you’re not sure.8
Keep Your Puppy In A Crate When You’re Not Home
You can create a designated dog room for your pup when you have to leave. Keep a crate in that room, so your young dog will have a safe place to sleep while you’re gone. You can find a basic dog crate at any pet store. Some online stores offer luxury crates that may double as a side table or other piece of furniture.
Whatever you choose, remember that comfort counts – for humans and dogs alike. You want to make sure your puppy is safe and snug while you’re away from home. Make sure it’s big enough so your dog can move around and play with one or two activity toys. No dog likes to be confined into small spaces for any period of time.
Consider Dog Proof Rugs
Even if your pup only goes outside for short periods of time, they’re going to track in dirt and mud. That dirt and mud will inevitably move from their paws to your rugs. Pups will also have occasional accidents before they’re completely housetrained. But you don’t have to resign yourself to ruined rugs. You do have some options.9
For example, there are a lot of great looking outdoor rugs that can be used inside as well. An outdoor rug will be a good addition to your inside décor. It’s a lot more durable, and can be cleaned easier than the typical indoor rug. If your pup likes to run around your home (and most of them love to do just that), consider buying skid-resistant rugs. That will help keep them from potentially slamming into a wall or a piece of furniture.10
A Dog Proof Trash Can And Other Tips To Keep Your Puppy Safe
While puppies are adorable and filled with love, they’re not exactly known for their good behavior. There is no such thing as a perfect dog zone, but with a little work and common sense, you can help your pup stay healthy and happy. Here are a few more tips to help make sure that happens.
- Trash cans – Keep your trash cans in places your puppy can’t get to them, such as cabinets or closed-off rooms. If your pup does get into the trash, look thoroughly throughout your home to make sure there’s nothing that flew out of the trash that can cause an injury. This includes things such as cans, plastic wrap, and foil.
- Curtains and blinds – It would be understandable if you didn’t associate window treatments with puppy safety. But a pup can easily get caught in the cords used for moving your curtains or blinds. They can also chew on the plastic ends of those cords, which could pose a choking hazard. Tie up the cords and make sure they remain out of reach.
- The bathroom – Always keep the toilet closed. A really curious puppy might want to drink out of the bowl – or worse yet, fall in.11
Have A Great Time With Your New Puppy, But Be Careful
Bringing home a new puppy is a joyous time for everyone in the family. You’re going to have so much fun seeing that pup mature into a loving adult dog. To help ensure that happens, just remember to take a few precautions. The effort you put in now will make a huge difference when it comes to the long term safety and happiness of your new companion.