Puppies are adorable, but they’re also known to destroy your home quickly if you’re not careful with them! As the proud owner of a new puppy, you might feel overwhelmed about keeping your house in tip-top shape.
No need to panic! To help ensure that your pup stays safe and doesn’t cause too much damage around the house, follow these 10 tips on how to make your home puppy-proof.
1. Buy Stronger Chew Toys
For teething puppies, look for rubber toys that have nubs and different textures. These will be more difficult to destroy and will help your puppy get used to chewing on tough surfaces. Once you’ve found a favorite toy, buy multiple copies so you can always have one on hand while you wash another in warm, soapy water.
2. Cover Electrical Outlets
Dogs (and puppies) love to chew on wires, and sometimes they can’t stop themselves. So cover up any electrical outlets in your home so that your pup can’t get to them. These outlet covers are great because they can be opened easily by adults but will keep curious pups out. You could also try making sure there are no small items around that would fit into an outlet and make it tempting to your pup.
3. Block Scary Places
The first step is to move all items that are breakable, sharp or easy to shred out of reach. You also want to block off any place you don’t want your dog venturing into. Remember, a puppy’s strength and curiosity will make him or her seek out all nooks and crannies. If you don’t want your dog investigating a certain area of your home, block it off with a baby gate or wall of furniture.
4. Reduce Cords and Tethers
Stuffed between couch cushions, chewed on and torn from your wall, cables and tethers often prove fatal to young puppies. Even if you think you have secured cords or tethers, it’s worth spending a few hours combing your home to ensure that none are exposed. If you find an exposed cord or tether, don’t panic – just take care of it immediately.
5. Put Things Out of Reach
A new puppy is full of energy and curiosity, meaning he’ll climb and jump on anything within paw-reach. To keep him safe, teach him to stay away from high-risk areas—like stairs, countertops, window sills and dishwashers—by placing household items like rolled up towels or empty boxes in these spots. The message here is clear: You’re claiming your home as an off-limits zone. Think of it as a giant game of Red Light Green Light.
6. Store Items in Containers with Lids
When you can’t put an item away in a closet or cabinet, consider putting it in a container that you can close. Make sure to put these containers on shelves high enough so your puppy won’t be able to get to them. If necessary, purchase a locking lid, as well. Make sure any containers you use aren’t easily broken by your dog—such as plastic boxes that are easily crushed.
7. Add Non-Toxic Cleaners to Clean Up Messes
Even though you’re training your puppy to be clean and non-destructive, accidents will happen. Make sure you have some great dog-friendly, natural cleaners (like baking soda or vinegar) on hand to clean up any messes that may occur. Natural products are also much safer than what you’ll find in most big box stores.
8. Get Breed Specific Beds
What dog breed are you bringing home? Before bringing your new pup home, make sure you have all his supplies on hand. If you want to save money and store space, consider purchasing beds and toys that are breed-specific. Rottweiler pups need a comfortable orthopedic bed because they’re prone to hip dysplasia later in life.
9. House Train From Day One
House training a puppy can be an overwhelming process—but not if you get started right away. Make house training part of your pup’s first days in his new home by starting on day one and reinforcing good behavior. Every time your pup goes potty outside, reward him with treats, toys or playtime. If you catch him peeing inside, clap your hands or say no firmly and then take him outside to finish his business. Consistency is key!
10. Remove Toxic Plants from the House
Some plants can be very dangerous to dogs and other pets. Be sure to get rid of them. Some of these are: Oleander, Azaleas, Hydrangeas, Lilies, Mistletoe, Rhododendrons and Poinsettias. Beware if you have a dog that likes to chew on wood furniture. Check for some of these toxic plants and make sure they’re not included in any wooden furniture you may have in your home.
A new dog can be incredibly rewarding, but also incredibly disruptive. By taking a few precautions before your new family member comes home, you can avoid many headaches in both the short and long term. And once they’re ready to settle in, it will be easier on everyone if you have a puppy-proofed house!