Bringing a puppy into your home is a wonderful thing but if you have not set up your house to make this transition a successful one then your life may turn into a nightmare. You may think you have a plan or want to take it one day at a time with your puppy, but that could only add to the list of things your puppy will destroy.
Moreover, it adds up real quick with the destruction your puppy can bring into your house. I think remembering that there is not clear sign from your puppy that he/she is done chewing things up. It is up to you as the puppy parent to remember to go slow and check around your house if you are not crate training your puppy.
I remember hearing one of my clients seemed surprise when her 8 week old golden doodle started chewing on the corner of the couch and started chewing on a pillow that was on the couch. The stories of destruction I have heard are unfortunate and could have been avoided if these puppy parents knew how to keep their house and puppy safe together.
That is why i decided to write a blog post on how to puppy proof your house, because being proactive will save you being upset, frustrated, and save you money having to replace things. Also, some of the things I will suggest in this post are easy to start doing today before you even experience the destruction your puppy can unleash.
Depending on the size of your kitchen you can use a dog door to stop your puppy from even getting in the kitchen. However, I know some puppy parents might fight their kitchen is the best place out of crate training to secure their puppy while going out or to work.
I would make sure all the cabinets are closed and make sure the garbage can is not left with your puppy. You may think your puppy may not go for the garbage can, but I have seen what a puppy who is bored and has access to things in a kitchen can do.
Tip: I know sometimes having a bag or can for garbage under the kitchen sink is common, but if your puppy smells it and can chew or get into the cabinet you are in trouble. It might not be a bad idea to use baby proofing cabinets to stop your puppy from going in the kitchen.
Food on the counters is another thing that needs to be moved or put somewhere the puppy cannot get access to it. A puppy has a great nose, that can smell better then you and I, and that can lead to trouble as well.
It may seem like something that is not part of your routine but if you have a puppy food on the counters is another thing that can cause trouble and a mess for you when you come home. Make sure to check your kitchen before you leave and everyone else in your home should be on board about keeping things safely away from your puppy,
Finally, another area that will need puppy proofing is your dining table. If you have one in the kitchen that or nearby the kitchen that is another area where you may leave things like napkins, towels, food, papers, and anything else that could be important.
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Keeping all your remotes in one location and high enough that your puppy cannot reach them is ideal. The reality is you and whoever else is in your house will probably forget. Therefore, I would have everyone agree what is the easiest place to keep remotes that will make it less likely someone will leave them out for your puppy to reach.
Another thing to think about that could work on puppy proofing your living room is to see if setting up a puppy playpen would a better way to stop your puppy from destroying things. Too often puppy parents get distracted by a show, phone call, etc. and things can be over looked.
I think having blankets, pillows, candles, potted plants, anything with glass would not be a good idea to keep out especially if your puppy can reach it easily.
Another thing to think about is if you have kids and your living room has toys around for your puppy to find and chew up. I know my mother-in-law’s living room is perfect for my kids to play but can be so easy for her dog ( he is still a little over a year old and acts like a puppy).
My kids forget as well as my mother-in-law to check for toys on the floor. Her dog knows this and he has been successful in getting kid toys and playing keep away. This could be your house or someone else who is unaware of how smart a puppy can be when left alone to find things to destroy by themselves.
Whether it is kids or a spouse or partner in your house that can add to the difficulty of making sure your house is puppy proofed. Make sure to have everyone talk about things in the house that need to be kept away from the puppy.
What you may think is not safe for a puppy someone might have a different opinion. The main goal is to not let your puppy destroy or hurt themselves and for you to enjoy having a puppy that works for you both.
Another thing to think about is the type of breed you have for a puppy. A larger puppy could reach things easier just by jumping up depending on the height of things in your living room.
I have told my clients to get on the floor and think from their puppy’s height what they could get into. I have actually done that myself when going into my client’s houses. As a puppy parent you may think puppy proofing is a one time thing but each day you have to keep doing it in your house.
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You may think puppy proofing your house would only apply to inside your house but your puppy can get into a lot of trouble in your backyard too. Checking the fence and making sure there are no gaps or broken areas where your puppy could escape.
I have been in a lot of puppy and dog client’s backyards and have brought up things they never thought could be a problem. I have heard enough stories of a puppy or dog escaping from the backyard and getting hit by a car or lost.
I would hate for this to happen to your puppy and that is why I want to give you things to check out in your backyard before going out with your puppy. Moreover, puppies have a tendency to put things in their mouth before we even realize it.
Do you know if any of the plants in your backyard are toxic? Where are all your hoses located? Watering systems are another thing your puppy can destroy if left in the backyard by themselves.
My mother-in-law’s dog I mentioned above was and still is quite destructive in the backyard. He has found tree branches, bark, and watering tubes to chew up. Luckily, he has not actually ingested all that he has destroyed.
Something to do while out with your puppy in the backyard is to have your puppy on a leash at all times to keep he/she from putting something in their mouth. Another option to do in your backyard with your puppy is to use a wire leash that your puppy can be hooked up to it and cannot destroy the leash while you cannot watch your puppy in the backyard.
Finally, some other things to think about puppy proofing in your backyard are: potted plants that are easy for your puppy to go for, sprinklers if you have grass in your backyard, furniture like chairs or couches with cushions, tables, and the gate to in your backyard needs to be secured.
Tip: I would temporarily use cheap plastic chairs in your backyard and keep your nice backyard furniture in your garage or somewhere your puppy can not destroy.
If you have other people like a gardener who have access to the backyard gate that could lead to your puppy getting out. This is a real possibility and something to bring up with those in your house as well who use the backyard gate so everyone checks and makes sure it is secured.
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Here are some items I would have on hand to help with puppy proofing your house.
Food toys: I like Kongs as they can give your puppy something to do in a positive and not destructive way.
Another food toy I like is Hipat Large Dog Treat Ball, Dog IQ Puzzle Toy, Interactive Food Dispenser to Slow Feed Best Toy for Training and Play this one is great to just use dry kibble or small treats in it.
I would try just one food toy at first to make sure your puppy will use it. Too often new puppy parents buy a couple and then your puppy does not like it and then you never try it again. Also, make sure you supervise your puppy with a food toy to be there if it does not go well (puppy chewing and swallowing the food toy).
Gate: a baby gate would be a great way to secure an area you do not want your puppy having access to and is usually very durable. I have clients who have used a dog gate like Carlson Extra Wide Walk Through Pet Gate with Small Pet Door, Includes 4-Inch Extension Kit, Pressure Mount Kit and Wall Mount Kit and it has been very helpful for them.
Leash: You can never have enough leashes around your house to have ready to go if you need it. Keeping one in the most common place in your house you will be spending time with your puppy can be helpful if your puppy is too excited and need to quickly stop things before they get worse.
I like this leash but you may want a leather leash if that is more your preference. Every puppy parent is going to have a different idea of what a good leash is to them. Make sure your leash is easy to grip and you feel confident using it.
Dog Treat Containers: BPA-Free Plastic Airtight Dog Treat & Food Storage Containers Canisters Green & Blue Paw Print with Slogan (Set of 2) I like this container because it is easy to secure it as well as open to give a treat your puppy without it getting destroyed by your puppy.
These are a couple treats I like to use with my clients and they are easy to break up and use which is helpful if your puppy is a small breed.
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It is an exciting time to be a new puppy parent but remember that puppy proofing these three areas I mentioned in this blog post will keep everyone safe. You can start puppy proofing before you even get your puppy and that will help you to assess how safe your house would be for a puppy.
Puppy Proofing ca be easy if you start incorporating it into your routine everyday. First thing in the morning and before you go to bed, just look around your house and make sure everything is secured. Doing this will save you and your puppy problems or an unnecessary veterinarian visit.
If you are looking for professional help for you and your puppy those first couple months then book a discovery call with us and let’s see how we can make puppy hood a success and help get through those bumpy times you will experience together.
Every puppy parent needs support and to know they can do it and we want to be there to answer questions, offer support, and help you learn how to care and train your puppy. Here is the link again to schedule a free discovery call. We cannot wait to hear from you.
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