I’ve seen it written that puppy-proofing your home and garden is similar to baby-proofing your home because of the imminent arrival of a newborn baby. There’s no comparison because babies don’t get up to any mischief until they are about six months old, whereas a puppy is into everything from day one.
A natural curiosity drives puppies to explore. While it’s cute and funny to see, your dog may be put at risk by this activity.
As your pup’s new parent, it falls to you to ensure that your new pet’s house and garden are safe and free from hazardous encounters. Because young puppies lack any prior knowledge of danger, you must conduct a thorough home inspection for potential hazards.
The better you can puppy proof, the less chance your puppy will hurt themselves. This also means your puppy can explore without you having to constantly pick them up to remove them from a potential hazard.
9 Tips For Puppy Proofing Your Home and Garden
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While you are rightly concerned about the potential dangers in your home for a young puppy, you should also be mindful of the vet’s cost if your puppy injures itself or swallows something that could threaten the dog’s life. So have a good think about what needs doing, look around and don’t take any chances, no matter how minuscule they might appear.
Declutter Your Home
Have an excellent clean-up and remove everything off the floor before your puppy arrives.
Don’t leave stuff lying around for a puppy because they have no idea what they can and cannot play with or chew.
If you have a young family, keep an eye out for small plastic items that a puppy can quickly swallow; have a good talk to the children to impress on them the dangers of leaving things on the floor.
Essential Safety Checks
Hide or position cables out of reach of your puppy; one bite into a live line doesn’t bear thinking about. It’s remarkable what puppies will chew on, so repair any split skirting boards, broken tiles, or frayed carpet edgings. Anything a puppy can get their mouth around, they might chew.
Keep Cupboards And Doors Closed
Close cupboard doors and install child-resistant latches to prevent curious little noses and paws from swiping food or ingesting harmful cleaning materials.
Don’t forget about your bathroom! Keep shampoos and lotions out of reach, place the seat and lid down on the toilet, or close the bathroom and toilet door and make sure to teach the children the importance of them remembering to do the same.
Puppy-Proof Your Furniture And Belongings
All dogs love the scent of their owners, and puppies quickly identify the smell of who you are and want to be close to. This can mean curling up to sleep on your expensive clothes or even chewing them.
Pick up your items and don’t leave them lying around; if they’re dirty, put them in the laundry basket and put a lid on them. Many laundry baskets are pretty flimsy and easily pushed over, so you might want to replace them with a sturdy one.
You also need to decide when the puppy immediately arrives where you will allow them access; for example, are you okay with them on the sofa or in the bedroom? Start as you mean to continue.
Puppies are notorious for chewing table and chair legs, so keep your eyes on that situation, but always make sure your puppy has plenty of exciting toys especially chew toys, as an alternative.
Use a Stair Gate and Crate
It would help if you considered installing a stair gate to prevent your dog from going upstairs, especially as a tiny puppy because they can tumble downstairs and injure themselves.
A crate is also tremendously helpful and can be a safe den for your puppy. Dog experts recommend crate training from the day your puppy arrives; puppies should be placed in the crate when you leave the room, even for a few minutes.
Close Garden Entrances
Naturally, your puppy will already be microchipped, and if they have a collar, you’ll likely have ID tags on there. However, that’s not a foolproof solution to prevent your puppy from being stolen or, if they escape, someone returning your puppy.
Ensure all entrances and gates correctly close, and it makes sense to install a lock. There should be no spaces underneath your gate and fence for a puppy to wiggle through.
If you allow the postman to deliver through the gate, position a postbox outside the gate.
Secure The Fence Around Your Garden
Even if your puppy is still too small to jump over the fence, they still might be able to dig down and under it to enable their escape. To prevent that from happening, you need to ensure the fence is far enough underground your puppy gives up digging before the end of the fence.
If there are areas of your fencing where it’s not possible to bury the fence, use heavy stones to block any gaps that your puppy can exploit.
Don’t inadvertently leave tables and chairs up against the fence or a wall so the puppy can climb up onto them and then jump over.
Remove Or Lock Away Anything Toxic
Everything from paint to insecticides, birdseed, slug pellets, fertilizer engine oil, antifreeze are all toxic to pets. Ensure they are all locked away in a garden shed or your garage.
If you have a pond in your back garden, cover it at all times if you’re not in the vicinity and you’ve let your puppy outside. Your puppy will likely have no clue of the dangers of water.
The same with lawnmowers, hedge cutters, shears, and strimmers, lock them away in the shed or garage. I shouldn’t need to mention this, however, lock your puppy in the house if you’re using any of these tools or machines.
Remove Toxic Plants
If you’re a keen gardener and have masses of plants and flowers, you should know which plants can be harmful if swallowed by a pet and which plants are pet friendly.
Fortunately, most dogs will not consume plants; however, some can still make a puppy sick even if they only chew on the leaves.
Some of these flowers are rhododendrons and cyclamens, some daffodil bulbs, onions, and rhubarb leaves. If you intend to allow your dog free reign in the garden, you might need to consider identifying toxic plants and removing them from your garden altogether.
A puppy’s innate curiosity is entertaining to humans but can be dangerous simultaneously. You need to ensure you keep your puppy away from hazardous situations because they have no clue and aren’t aware of the dangers.
Check your home and garden for potential hazards before bringing your new puppy home. Taking care of these issues will make your life a lot less stressful.
Mike is the proud owner of a 7-year-old Cockapoo named Luna. He loves to share stories, tips and information about owning a Cockapoo. With over7 years of experience as an owner, Mike is passionate about helping others own and care for their dog.