First-time dog owners can forget to pet-proof their houses, but it’s an important step before ever bringing a dog home. Here are a few tips.
How to puppy proof your home
Every soon-to-be pet parent is excited to bring a new companion home, but not all dog owners remember to pet-proof their houses before Fido arrives. Whether you are bringing home a puppy or adopting an adult dog, protecting your pet from household hazards and safeguarding your breakable belongs is an important step toward becoming a pet owner.
Before you go to pick up your dog, take a walk-through of your house to assess any potential hazards for your pet and items you need to move out of his reach. First, sweep for unsafe objects such as electrical wires, sharp objects and small items such as loose coins, medications or game pieces that your dog could swallow. If you are up to it, examine each room from a “dog’s eye view” by moving on your hands and knees. This will allow you to see any hidden hazards that you may have missed when looking from above. Once you have checked for obvious hazards, evaluate other potentially harmful objects that may be in your home. Some house plants are poisonous for pets, so be sure to research any that will be within Fido’s reach to make sure they are safe in the case of canine consumption. Move any plants that are toxic for dogs, or that you simply want to protect from potential damage, to a higher area. You will also need to relocate any toxic chemicals such as household cleaners and medications inside a puppy-proof cabinet or to a high shelf.
After you’ve made your home safe for your new pet, it is important to protect your own belongings from being potential destruction by a feisty pup. It is worth investing in a dog-proof trash can to keep your companion from creating a mess or eating garbage that could make him sick. Some dogs are notorious chewers, so keep your dresser and closet shut tight and any shoes, belts or other chewable objects locked safely away. A rule of thumb is to view anything as a potential chew toy to your new dog, and to move anything that could be damaged to a high shelf, shut drawer or other safe spot.
It can be daunting to pet-proof your house before bringing him a new dog home, but the results are well worth the effort. By taking the time to remove any objects that could harm your pet and secure your personal belongings from potential damage, you can ensure your dog has a smooth and safe transition to his new home.