Bringing home a new puppy is sure to bring lots of happiness into your life, but if you’re not careful, it can also result in lots of destruction. As you begin training your new addition, you’ll need to learn the basics of puppy proofing to protect your house – and your new puppy – from harm!
Know the Problem Areas
The first step of puppy proofing is being able to identify potential hazards in your home. This includes things that are ripe for chewing, like exposed cords, gels, shampoos (and other toxic liquids), as well as shoes, toys, and clothing. You should also make sure not to leave small, ingestible items where puppy can get to them. While you might not see a hair clip, rubber bands, or laundry pods as dangerous, to a curious puppy, they could be deadly.
Be Aware of your Surroundings
Because of their “caving” nature, dogs often seek out small, dark places when they are scared or stressed. Because of this, you’ll want to read this blog about crate training your puppy, and ensure that you temporarily impede access to places like under your bed and behind the couch, so puppy doesn’t get stuck or otherwise injured during his explorations.
Another important part of puppy proofing is ensuring that you are more mindful with actions like opening and closing doors, pulling out chairs, etc. Now that you’ve got a little one running around, you’ll want to perform these tasks with more care to avoid pinched paws.
Clean up the Yard, too
Oftentimes, new dog owners think puppy proofing stops inside, but that’s certainly not the case. You’ll want to make sure your yard is clear of hazards that could get the little guy in trouble. Do you have lawn ornaments that could pose a choking hazard? Are the slats in your fence wide enough that puppy could escape? Do you have any potentially toxic plants that you need to remove? Since puppy will be spending a lot of time in the yard, you want to make sure it’s safe for him.
Of course, the constant vigilance of puppy proofing will subside as your dog ages, but these tips are an excellent place to start to ensure your new dog’s first few years are healthy and happy.