So you got yourself a new dog! Well, congratulations! May you and your new best friend have many happy long years together.
Before you take your dog home, first, you’ll have to make sure your home is safe for your pooch, and your home is kept safe FROM your pooch!
Doggy proofing isn’t only to keep your stuff safe, but it is also to keep your dog safe and out of trouble.
By Adeline Ee.
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Dogs like to chew, and puppies like to do so even more.
Puppies will teeth, which is a natural process that they are likely to grow out of.
Dogs, however, might have trouble adjusting to their new environments, and chew when they are bored or in need of some kind of entertainment.
Regardless of the reason, you’re going to have to protect your home from those teeth or more importantly, protect your pooches from themselves.
My Rottweiler Ate My Wall
When I first got my Rottie girl, she brought a whole new meaning to the term “puppy-proofing”.
From the moment she walked into my home, I knew she was trouble.
So I got smart and puppy-proofed my whole house thoroughly, which you can totally do if your dog isn’t a wall-eating Rottweiler.
Since the whole house was supposed to be puppy safe, I decided to shut her in a spare room one day while I went out for a few hours.
Surrounded by tons of her toys, she seemed happy enough to be on her own for a while.
A couple of hours later, I came back, hoping not to find TOO big of a mess (all cables, electronics, and fabrics were all stashed away by then).
And presto. I found a big, gaping, ½ -foot-long scar about two inches deep in the concrete block wall where she had been gnawing happily away for the last three hours.
Playpens Are Your Friend!
I didn’t want to crate a young pup for more than two hours at a time, and I couldn’t shut her up in the room before she tried to eat the building, so I ended up buying a super heavy-duty playpen that was guaranteed to be chew-proof and stuffed it with an endless supply of “indestructible” toys.
That worked for a while until she got to about seven months old and managed to jump the 30-inch pen.
Thankfully, by then, she was a relatively well-trained dog that found her toys more interesting than my stuff, especially when playing with them earned her treats.
Pro tip: If you have a large dog, don’t waste money on flimsy gates.
Buy a sturdy, durable dog gate made of non-toxic, lead-free materials.
How To Puppy Proof Your Home
If you don’t have an annoying chewer as I did, puppy-proofing your home can be a relatively simple affair that won’t take you too long.
The first thing you do is get down on your hands and knees and crawl around the house.
This lets you see the world from your dog’s perspective.
Look at your home through their eyes.
- What can they get to?
- What looks and smells interesting?
- Are there any cables and electrical cords within easy reach?
Here are some things to watch out for in the different living areas.
Dog-Proofing The Kitchen
Keep your trash out of reach and stored securely, say, under the sink.
Loads of human foods are toxic to dogs, and you really don’t want them getting into your trash and dragging the bin liner all over your house.
Securing Medications And Plastic Bags
Keep all food, medications, and bags stored away. Wipe down all the counters after use.
Pups are greedy little things that will sniff out the slightest scent of food and try to get at it on a high counter, hurting themselves in the process.
Suffocation And Toxicity Hazards
Cut up all used plastic bags so that they can lie flat to minimize suffocation risk.
Store all food or bin bags out of reach in high, sealed cabinets.
Keep all washing supplies, detergents, and soaps out of reach.
Even airtight bottles with child-proof leak caps can be chewed through.
Dog-Proofing The Bathroom
Stash Skincare Products Away
Keep your skincare products stored securely and use a bin with a sealed lid if you are throwing napkins and cotton pads used with any chemicals.
Dogs have a curious nose and can get into loads of trouble if they ingest something they aren’t supposed to
Close The Toilet Bowl
Keep the toilet bowl lid down, not just to prevent your pooch from drinking the water that might be laden with chlorine, bleach, and other chemicals, but also to eliminate any risk of drowning.
Dog-Proofing The Bedrooms and Living Room
Leave No Electrical Cords Out
Get all electrical cords up to tables and out of your dog’s reach.
Dogs will go through the plastic covering of cables like a hot knife through butter.
Check For Potential Toxicity
Check on the toxicity of any household plants you might have.
Make sure all potentially toxic substances like medications and skincare products are put away.
Final Thoughts On Dogproofing Home
Despite your best efforts, your dog might still be a voracious chewer that just can’t help attacking your stuff.
Once your dog is more in tune with what is or is not his, then you can gradually offer more freedom for good behavior. Good luck!