Getting a puppy is such an exciting time. The first time your puppy walks through your door, it will be a whirlwind of new sights, smells and things to chew. Whilst you want to give your new housemate freedom to explore and learn, you must protect not only your belongings but also your puppy. Here are some tips and things to be aware of when puppy proofing your home.
The first thing to do is to assess your home. Have a look at everything that would be at your puppy’s eye - or teeth - level. Things that dangle, like wires or curtain cables, can be a target for curious pups so ensure that all of these are tied up out of the way. Keep an eye on low tables: delicate and breakable objects are vulnerable to wagging tails and playful paws. It’s a good idea to move anything edible, including fruit, nuts and even houseplants, above dog level as many of these can be toxic.
If you have any outdoor space, we recommend taking a careful look around. The boundary of your garden may look secure to you, but a small puppy might see gaps that you don’t. Plug any holes that would allow an escape attempt. Any water features or ponds need to be considered too - maybe they should be kept out of bounds. New pups are also vulnerable to any steps in your garden as they are clumsier than full-grown dogs.
Though it can be difficult to say no to those puppy-dog eyes, it’s a good idea to keep some rooms off-limits, such as rooms where cleaning chemicals or household waste is stored. Keeping staircases a no-dog-zone can prevent any injuries from falling - even the shallowest of steps can be huge for fragile new puppies. Stair gates are a great way to keep dangerous objects away from prying paws for a small cost. They attach to any door and can be installed and uninstalled with no lasting damage to your doorways.
To protect your furniture, we recommend using blankets or old sheets to cover the fabric. This can help to avoid accidental tears from claws or teeth, stains from mucky paws or loose fur. You might want to keep your pup off of the furniture completely, but it can take a while for them to learn what they can and can’t do. For really precious objects that you’re worried about, consider placing them in one of our household storage units until they’re old enough to know better.
A lot of destruction is a consequence of boredom. Bored pups soon start looking for something to play with and, in many cases, eat or chew. Kongs, wobblers and other puzzles can be great to keep your dog amused and out of trouble whilst they’re unsupervised. Some mental stimulation combined with the reward of treats can divert their interest away from things that damage your belongings or themselves.
Puppy-proofing can be a great way to realise all the objects that are lying around that you no longer need. This can be a great excuse for a clear-out! Read our blog on making money from your unwanted belongings.