First off… congrats on the puppy! It’s so exciting!!
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When getting your home ready, it’s similar to removing objects away from a curious toddler.
If you don’t puppy proof your home ahead of time, your puppy is going to find every loose cord, pair of shoes, or anything else you don’t want them to play with! They don’t know what your favorite shoes are compared to their favorite chew toy! So we have to be smart…and calm. If you give them an old shoe don’t expect them to know not to chew on the new ones too.
Before even bringing a puppy home, I would strongly suggest a crate. See our blog for more info on crate training your dog. It makes it easier for training and behavior issues.
Here are tips to help puppy proof your home…
#1 rule… Keep all the doors shut when your puppy is in the house. It makes it so much easier!
If you have smaller dog breed, a play pen is super helpful to keep them away from chewing on everything and get their exercise. You can even take it outside! It’s harder when you have a large dog breed, like our Labrador puppy, she would just knock down a play pen! She has a 4 foot high sturdy dog kennel outside she goes in and out of. We make sure she gets plenty of exercise and use the crate inside mostly for now. I am glad that it’s nice weather here in Wisconsin right now so she is outside with us a lot. When winter comes our dogs spend a lot more time in the house.
It will take your puppy months until they learn what they can and can’t have. It sometimes can get stressful, because they get into everything, but remember to be patient and give positive reinforcement! They love you and don’t do anything to upset you on purpose.
We know we aren’t all going to remember to shut the doors… So, room by room puppy proofing ideas!
Your puppy will gravitate towards anything that smells like you. Jesse, my senior yellow lab, liked to always lay on my clothes. But when they are puppies it’s important to keep your stuff up and hidden! Also make sure you secure any cords and don’t have your phone charger hanging within reach. Chewed up chargers will happen. Puppies also like to hide, so blocking small hiding spots is a good idea too!
We love when our dogs sleep in our bed but we wait until they are old enough so they don’t jump down and get into trouble while we are sleeping. They don’t mind sleeping in the crate anyway… it is their natural den.
First things first, start training the dog to stay out of the kitchen. My dogs know what a finger point and “Get out of the kitchen” means. Now all I have to do is point and they leave. (They are so smart!) Along with the cupboards and cord risks there are many foods dogs can’t have. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control lists: Alcohol, Avocado, Chocolate, coffee and caffeine, citrus, Grapes and raisins (can cause kidney failure), macadamia nuts, milk and dairy ( some dogs are fine with dairy, others can have intestinal issues), nuts ( not a lot), onions, garlic, chives, raw or under-cooked meat, salty snack foods, Xylitol (is used as a sweetener in many products), and finally yeast dough.
Human foods are the #1 most common dog poisonings reported.
The living area…
The living area is a place we all hang out and will have a lot of tempting “toys” …pillows, laptop, cords, TV remotes; just remind everyone to keep them all picked up and put away. Best thing to remember… don’t leave your puppy unattended. If you have to leave for a period of time, a crate would be the best place or putting a play pen up.
Obviously don’t have any mouse traps or poisons out where the dog can get them either. Mouse and rat poison is the 3rd most common dog poisoning. (Insecticides are 2nd)
It’s always best to be safe than sorry. Taking time to puppy proof your home will give them a great start with their new family.
Keeping your puppy safe is important. As they get older, you won’t need to be so vigilant with your pick up routine and safety measures.
Choosing products can be overwhelming. Chewy is our go to for everything as they have excellent prices and we add it to our auto ship of dog food to get free shipping!
I would love to hear your puppy proofing stories! Feel free to comment below!