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How to Puppy-Proof Your Home

Puppies can be very much like children, and ensuring your home is a safe and secure environment for a new fur-baby is just as important as ensuring it is safe for a human baby. Puppy or dog-proofing your home often involves many of the same steps as childproofing.

As a general rule, remove anything at your puppy’s level that you don’t want chewed, licked, climbed on or knocked over. Puppies tend to explore the world through their mouths, and anything within reach is fair game for being chewed, eaten or destroyed. So, remove those favourite shoes from beside the door and take a hard look around your home for potential temptations and threats for your new pup.

Start by taking a thorough walk around the inside and outside of your home and property in any areas that the dog will be allowed. Outside, look for any weak spots in the fence that your pup may be able to squeeze through and escape from. If you have a pool, check that the safety fence is in good order with no weak spots. If there is no fence surrounding the pool, do not leave your pup unattended around the pool-  pools pose significant dangers for puppies, who will jump in before realizing they can’t get out on their own.

If you live in an area where dangerous wildlife is abundant, ensure that wild animals, such as coyotes, are not able to get into your yard. While your pup is young and small, or if it is a smaller breed, be sure to keep a vigilant eye on them outdoors if predatory birds such as hawks or eagles are prevalent in your area, as they are prone to scooping up small dogs as prey.

Inside the home, it’s a good idea to invest in garbage cans with pet-proof lids, and put all garbage cans inside secure cupboards to thwart curious noses. Secure or conceal any electrical cords hanging around, as they can be tempting chew toy, which can lead to electrical shock. Fasten any unstable furniture, such as bookshelves, to the walls to prevent large objects from falling on you dog, and evaluate any standing lamps or decor that could get pulled down or knocked over. Remove or close up any open storage that is at your puppy’s level.  If you have small children at home, be sure to place small toys and craft supplies in out-of-the-way spots. Put any medications high out of the pups reach, and be sure all cleaning supplies and chemicals are in tightly closed cabinets. In the garage, place any antifreeze up high, as it has a sweet taste that appeals to animals, but can be fatal if consumed. Same goes for any pesticides or rodenticides.  

When you must leave your puppy alone, consider using an appropriate crate until they are housetrained, or use baby gates to keep puppies in areas where they can do little harm, such as kitchens or laundry rooms. You can also use baby gates while you are at home, so the puppy learns what areas they are allowed and not allowed in, as well as keeping them away from stairs to prevent falls.

Puppy- proofing your house isn’t difficult but does take some thought and action- taking the time to make your home safe and secure will aid your pet in living a long, healthy life.  

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Posted on Mar 22, 2016 by VOYCE Behavior & Training