Just like a baby, a puppy spends a lot of time on the floor and loves to put things in his mouth. Dex can help you find stores that offer both information about pets and pet supplies, but it’s up to you to puppy-proof your home. Do so by following these tips:
Get down on all fours, both indoors and out — put yourself at puppy level and see what he will see. Power cords, furniture legs, shoes and just about anything on a low table or shelf will draw his attention. Remove everything you can and hide what you can’t, either in organizers or behind closed doors. In the case of furniture, create a natural chewing deterrent by mixing 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper with every 1 cup of water in a spray bottle; apply to hard surfaces.
Perform the same inspection and prevention tasks outdoors, checking any fences and deck railings to ensure your pup can’t get through or under. Never leave a puppy unattended around a pool. Remove any toxic plants and/or mulch from the yard.
Make sure your pup has plenty of approved chew toys as he teethes, as gnawing on certain items can prove harmful to his health. Veterinarians commonly treat puppies that ingest items they should not.
Hide all trash cans. Your puppy will see every trash can in the house as an unexplored toy box. Put trash cans under the sink in the kitchen and bathroom, or purchase bins with locking lids to prevent such adventures.
Block off any stairs. If you have a child in the home, you likely have a baby gate you can reuse to keep your pup from attempting the stairs before he’s ready to do so safely. If not, pet and pet supply stores have plenty of options for creating barriers.
Create a den and play space. Decide where your puppy will sleep and place his crate there. Putting him in your bedroom will provide him comfort, as it will likely be the first time he goes to sleep without a pile of snoring littermates.
If you plan to crate-train your pup, which you should, he will be in the crate when you are not home. That doesn’t mean you can spend every minute while in the house keeping an eye on him. Use the baby gate or a pet playpen to keep him contained in a play space. Line the floor of the space with puppy training pads to soak up any accidents.
Increase puppy-proofing as he grows. As your puppy grows, he gains access to items higher up in the home and yard. Larger pups will be able to access countertops, something to keep in mind in both the kitchen and the bathroom. If he proves especially adventuresome, you may want to keep him crated at all times when not home or consider one of the many pet day care and boarding options listed on DexKnows.
Once you dog-proof your home, keep it that way by not placing items within his reach without thinking. Do you really want to leave your cell phone on the floor by a curious pup? Probably not.