12 How to Puppy-Proof Your Home for That Perfect Pad

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New puppy owners often forget to properly protect their home for the safety of their new housemates. This can cause accidents and injuries to the puppy as well as annoying property damage.

Modifying your home for their arrival doesn’t have to be as difficult or expensive as you think.

1. See the world through your puppy’s eyes

Get down on your hands and knees and try to view the world through the eyes of your puppy. What can they get into? What are the dangers? Puppies are naturally curious and cheeky, but there are some simple steps you can follow in order to supply your new furry friend with a safe, happy and healthy home!

Preparing your home for a new best friend is similar to doing so for an inquisitive toddler. In order to eliminate dangers, you need to see the world from you puppy’s perspective.

Your dog will want to inquire every room and every corner into detail and won’t be able to make a difference between toys and items that can harm them. Basically, it’s completely up to you to make sure that your pooch is safe under your roof (and beyond, but that’s another story).

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2. Keep your food out of reach

Many human foods are dangerous to dogs, so always keep them out of reach. Don’t underestimate their ability or determination to get to the good stuff. Since they will definitely try to explore the kitchen, use childproof latches to keep their little paws from opening cabinets and drawers.

Nevertheless, puppies are capable little creatures who can easily think of ways to get what they want. Because of that, always place human foods on high shelves. Even if the food itself isn’t harmful to dogs, the wrapper could be.

No matter how much they beg, don’t feed them our food. And it’s not just because of weight. Even though they might think it’s the most delicious thing in the world, there are numerous foods that might poison and/or kill your dog, including fruits and vegetables that are healthy and good for human consumption.
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3. Keep a lid on the trash

As you’ve probably noticed by now, dogs love the food they see us eat. So, once you’ve disabled them from investigating the kitchen, the next logical step for them is to raid your trash. One man’s trash is another dog’s treasure. Puppies, and even adult dogs, frequently eat garbage. A snug-fitting lid on your trash bin is the best method to keep your puppy away.

Another good idea is to keep trash bins inside latched cabinets. Apart from keeping a lid on the trash bin, make sure to put leftover foods away. Also, every family member should always clean up after themselves. Don’t temp the dog, because they will enjoy exploring leftovers and/or trash as soon as they get a chance.

Naturally, the best way to prevent your pup from stealing food from the trash is to prevent them from experiencing this fun activity in the first place.
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4. Keep the litter box out of reach

Many dogs, especially puppies, like to snack on poop which is very unhealthy, not to mention gross. If you have a cat, keep their litter box out of reach from your new home investigator. Although most dogs grow out of this nasty habit, some pooches have a tendency to eat cat poop their entire lives.

Since this is something you don’t want (not to mention your cat!), you need to create a dog-free litter box. Luckily, this is really simple. As long as you pup can’t get to the cat’s poop, they can’t eat it.

The easiest way to prevent your dog from eating the poop is to place the litter box somewhere where they don’t have access. In a nutshell, the location and position of the box have to be convenient for the cat and extremely inconvenient for the dog. Better luck next time, Buddy.

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5. Keep your puppy out of the garage

The garage is usually the most dangerous room in the house for a young dog. There are numerous dangers for a puppy in the garage, so it’s best to keep them out of there (unless, of course, you want to convert your garage into a dog living area).

When you look around your garage, you are going to notice many obvious dangers to your dog. And since you can’t supervise your pup 24/7, it would be best to make some adjustments.

Keep paint, pesticides, cleaners, insecticides, antifreeze, gasoline etc. out of your dog’s reach. Everything we’ve mentioned (and many other things that are not in this article) can seriously harm your dog and even lead to death. Additionally, secure all tools, bottles and boxes into a locked cabinet or store them on high shelves that you pup can’t reach.

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6. Check your plants

The average home can be filled with several plants which are toxic to dogs. Make sure to ask your vet which of the plants in your house may be dangerous and if you have ‘em, toss ‘em.

When choosing plants for your house or garden, have in mind that over 700 plants are toxic to dogs. Luckily, not all of them are fatal when eaten, but a lot of common indoor and outdoor plants can cause some discomfort and health problems in dogs.

Last but not least, if you think that your pooch has ingested a poisonous plant, call your veterinarian as soon as possible and ask for treatment advice.

You can find a list of the 20 most common toxic plants here. http://www.dogreference.com/20-plants-that-may-poison-your-dog/

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7. Put down the toilet seat lid

To help keep your new puppy healthy, try to prevent them from drinking from the toilet. Although bacteria are not as bad as many people believe, residue from chemical cleaners can pose a hazard to canines. Chemicals from toilet cleaners are very toxic and can make your pup sick if they ingest them.

Additionally, while the quality of the toilet water can be the same as from the tap (if the bowl is very clean), this is usually not the case. After drinking from a dirty bowl filled with bacteria, your pooch may experience gastrointestinal problems. Finally, puppies and small dogs could jump into the bowl and drown.

In order to avoid any accidents, keep the toilet lid down at all times or at least keep the bathroom door closed. Puppies are naturally curious and cheeky, but by following these simple steps, you’ll be able to supply your new furry friend with a safe, happy and healthy home!

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8. Protect Your Cables

Needless to say that if you have cables on the floor, Buddy is eventually going to find and chew through them. If you want to have functioning cables and wires, make sure that they are out of your dog’s reach.

You can use adhesive-backed cord clips for attaching your cables to furniture or walls. Another option is to use a cable box to protect your wires from your pup. When your dog is small, you can also use a cable tray. There are numerous other options that will help you keep both your wires and your pup safe and all you need to do is choose the cable protection that you like the most.

Oh, and pay special attention to wires during the holidays. If your home is decorated, cord protectors are a must-have: dogs will find unfamiliar wires especially fascinating.

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9. Say No To Cluter

Humans love their cozy rooms that are packed with all sorts of things, including clothes, shoes, magazines, gadgets and god-knows-what-else. Well, humans, dogs also love them – but for all the different reasons.

When your pooch destroys some of your favorite things, don’t say you weren’t warned. To put it simple, dogs love to chew. They will put anything in their mouth and chew right through it. So, if you want your precious possessions to stay intact, you better keep them away from your furry friend.

Essentially, put your things away when you aren’t using them, especially any kind of medication, tools, cleaning products and sharp objects. If you’ve been thinking about reorganizing your home, now is the perfect time. Apart from not tempting your curious and teething puppy, you’ll be super organized and all your favorite stuff will be undamaged.

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10. Keep your medications out of reach

We leave our meds in a lot of accessible places, unaware that they might harm our pets. Many people don’t have the slightest idea that some common over-the-counter and prescription medications can be toxic to dogs.

When your new furry bundle of joy arrives home, you have to make sure that they can’t reach any meds. Also, separate your pup’s meds from your own. If you keep your meds in the medicine cabinet, put your dog’s pills in a completely different place so you don’t accidentally mix them up.

Further, if your pooch is in any pain, seek advice from your vet. Never give your dog any meds on your own because drugs that relieve our pain can do some serious damage to your pup’s health. If your dog ingests human medication, call your vet immediately and ask for treatment recommendations.

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11. Keep dirty laundry away from the dog

A lot of dogs really love their human family’s dirty laundry. Actually, the smell from our dirty clothes offers a great deal of comfort to our dogs, especially if they are left alone in the house for long periods of time.

There are several other reasons why dogs find dirty laundry so appealing. Firstly, they could just be bored and need more toys to play with. Secondly, they might be hungry. If you spilled some food on your clothes, your pup may see it as a delicious snack. And finally, some pups can’t stop chewing fabrics.

Whatever the case, you don’t want your pup stealing your dirty clothes so buy a laundry basket with a tight-fitting lid. If your pooch is persistent and keeps attacking the basket, move it in a closet or in a room in which you can keep the door closed.

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12. Make sure your yard is safe

Puppy-proofing yards or gardens is similar to securing the inside of your house. First of all, make sure there is nothing in your yard that your pup can chew on and swallow. Secondly, remove all dangerous objects – if you let them play in the yard, they need to be able to explore their surroundings freely.

The most important thing you need to do in your yard is secure the fence. You have to be certain that your pooch can’t escape from your yard and run away.

The fences have to be high enough to prevent your dog from jumping over them. Also, look for holes or damaged areas where your pup might be able to squeeze through. Finally, never leave the gates open or install self-closing hinges or locks on all gates. Last but not least, if you have a swimming pool, fence it off until your puppy is a bit more grown.

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