If you are expecting to take home a new puppy soon, you are probably extremely excited and counting down the days, if not the hours. Why not do something constructive with this time, namely puppy proofing your home.
Here are some tips that can help you create a safe space for your new fur baby.
Inside Puppy Proofing
The inside of your home will likely be the most difficult part for your to puppy proof. There are so many hidden dangers that you probably do not realize are there. Let’s take a look at those dangers from the eye and height of a small puppy.
There is one that your puppy is guaranteed to do and that is chew. Ideally they will concentrate on the chew toys you buy but they will be drawn to other things, namely electrical cords.
The hazard here is obvious with the risk of electrical shock. Even if they just lightly chew though, you have the possibility of them pulling down heavy electronics or lamps. Injury would be very easy and very likely.
Make sure that cords are neatly tucked away and out off reach of your new puppy. If this is too difficult in a particular room, you should make that room off limits.
As a general rule of thumb, you should keep medication stored securely in your home. You might not realize what counts as medication though. Even a bottle of simple vitamins could be toxic to your pet and they may be easier to get than you think.
Medications are easily knocked off of counters and are reachable by larger breeds like Great Danes, even as small puppies. Before your pup arrives, choose a safe and secure place for all meds and vitamins.
Blinds & Drapes
These cords can be just as dangerous as electrical cords. You have the strangulation hazard as well as the chance of pulling down the blind or curtain rod iteself. A 20 pound blind can do a lot of damage to a small puppy.
Secure your cords with baby proofing devices or simply keep them high up and out of reach.
As disgusting as it sounds and is, many puppies will be attracted to litter boxes. This is an obvious problem from a sanitary point of view because you know their next stop will be to your side, licking you in the face. It can also be dangerous though.
Litter is essentially clay and if your puppy gets enough of it, it could lead to an intestinal blockage. That can be deadly if not caught in time and if caught early, it will be very expensive. Keep the litter boxes out of reach of your puppy.
Trash cans are a huge temptation for puppies and a very big hazard. Besides the obvious mess that they can make, rooting through the trash can be very dangerous.
With kitchen trash, you have chicken bones, jagged cans and similar items. Things that could cut your puppy or lead to a blockage if digested
Bathroom trash cans are just as much of a problem with items like used razor blades and feminine products.
Pick a secure trash can with a lid and/or store your trash cans behind a door, such as in the pantry.
Outside Puppy Proofing
The outdoors will be a wondrous place for your new puppy, but just like with a human toddler, it is filled with dangers. Take a look at some big dangers that may be lurking
The first thing that you need to consider is how you are going to keep your puppy in your yard.
Take a look at your fence from ground level. You might be surprised at just how small of an opening can lead to an escape for a curious puppy. This might be obvious with dogs like Chihuahuas, but even bigger dogs can be escape artists. I once watched a Great Dane slide itself under a 5 inch opening at the bottom of a fence.
Don’t underestimate what a dog can do. Get that fence secured for your dog and for others. Remember, protecting your dog means keeping your dog in and other dogs out.
An obvious hazard to human babies that is just as problematic to the canine variety. The best answer here is a pool fence but these can be costly.
Your second best answer is to not let your puppy in the backyard unattended until they learn to swim and know how to escape a pool. As soon as they are of age, teach them how to find the pool steps and practice this with them until it becomes second nature.
Of course this only works with dogs that can swim. Some dogs, like French Bulldogs will never be capable swimmers and you will always need to use caution with them around pools, even as adults.
If you maintain your own lawn, you likely have all sorts of tools and chemicals that should be kept away from your puppy. Thinks like fertilizer, weed killer and gasoline can be a real problem.
Make sure that lawn care equipment and chemicals are kept secure. Do not assume that your pet will stay away from them. If you have a shed, keep the door closed and locked.
Before your puppy steps foot in your yard, take a look around and do one last puppy proofing trip. Look for little things that can hurt a small dog with tender paws.
Things like broken glass and small nails are an obvious example. Some other, less obvious hazards might be plants with pokey leave at puppy eye level. Take a look at things from a puppy perspective and level and you might be surprised at the dangers you find.