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Puppy Proofing Your Home

puppy mess

Puppy Proofing Your Home Is A Necessity Before Your Little Newcomer Arrives

Just like a baby, there are certain preparations that you will want in place. Puppies are a curious ball of fluff, and that curiosity can get them into a lot trouble. A lot of dangerous or cherished items can seem like the most delicious treats to your new puppy. Make puppy's new home as safe as possible for those moments when your eyes are elsewhere. Keep in mind that whereas a human child uses hands and fingers to investigate, a dog's natural instinct is to use its mouth and teeth to explore all new things.

Puppies Love To Chew - Be Prepared!

Just like a baby, puppies love to chew especially when teething! Be prepared! It is natural for dogs to chew. They discover with their nose and mouth. Provide your puppy with alternatives such as a few of their toys and you will find yourself saying "NO, LEAVE IT!" less often! Remember to praise when the toys get chewed! Puppies also do not know any better. They are not purposely being naughty --- only doing what comes naturally, especially while teething. For most young dogs, that can mean up to six months of age. Take care to supervise puppies when allowed to freely roam your home. Knowing how puppies love to chew, how can you get your home ready?

Prepare Your Home By
Puppy-Proofing on All Fours:

Try looking through the eyes of your puppy!
By looking at their level, you may see things
not normally noticed from your eye level.

Take some time to look in and around your house.
Puppy-proof your basement and garage to be sure
there is nothing within reach for puppy to chew
or swallow!

Should puppy swallow sharp items such as razor blades or sharp objects:
 - CALL your veterinarian or emergency veterinarian immediately!
Should puppy ingest poisonous substances:
 - CONTACT ASPCA - Animal Poison Control Center or your veternarian immediately!


  • Not all plants are pet-friendly: It is just better to keep all plants out of reach when in doubt. Click to view a list of poisonous plants.
  • Household garbage: A common source for which puppy can get sick or harm himself. Spoiled food, sharp lids and discarded toxic materials are just a few of the risks that can lurk inside. And a word from the wise... they'll learn quickly how to open those under the sink cabinets where your garbage is!
  • Cleaning substances: Keep out of reach, or in locked cabinets.
  • Swallowable objects: Pick up and put away any objects your puppy can reach that are small enough to swallow or chew. It obviously could be bad for your puppy to get a hold of and swallow any sharp objects, such as a pin or razor blade. Such things could cause very serious injury to their digestive tract. Even an object that is smooth, soft or made of non-toxic material -- such as a ping-pong ball -- can be harmful if swallowed, because it can get stuck in the intestines and cause blockage.
  • Check all the corners of your rooms, basement and garage: Is there anything standing up that might look enticing? If you imagine what "could'' happen it might just be a clue for one more preventative so your little one does not accidentally harm themself. Check to be sure any automotive containers are out of reach.
  • Check outdoors: Remove hoses, outdoor tools, and any lawn chemicals in the area they might be roaming.
  • Be sure all your electrical cords and computer wires are not accessible: If needed, tape them to your walls, and floors. Tuck away out of site. If they are accessible, there's a good chance they will be chewed!
  • Keep your laundry basket and your shoes out of reach: These are some favorite chewing items. Some serious operations have consisted of removing underwear that has been eaten!
  • Ask children to pick up their cherished items: A great way to get the kids to 'clean' their bedrooms! Plastic toys, crayons, and the like should be put away.
  • Curtain and drapery cords: Should be tied up high enough to be out of reach so they can't get tangled in them.
  • Keep doors closed to any 'off-limit' rooms: Remind family members so there are no surprises when you find puppy chewing or soiling in an area they shouldn't be in.
  • Medicines: Make sure that all medicines are stored high above your puppy's reach, and never leave individual pills or containers on low, accessible surfaces, even for a moment. They can be swallowed in an instant. Even gobbling down too many vitamins can make a puppy sick.
  • Poisons and household chemicals: Keep containers of cleansers, polishes, poisons or other dangerous chemicals have been left in puppy-level, easy-to-open cabinets. (Child-safety latches can help.) Some to look for are oven cleaners, floor products and waxes, bathroom cleansers, makeup items, paint removers, plant fertilizers or sprays, laundry products, insect traps or sprays and rodent poisons. Cigarettes and felt-tip pens can be toxic, too.
  • Keep all your toilet lids down: Toilet cleansers can be harmful if swallowed. Puppies and dogs are noted for playing in the water or drinking from it. It might be wise to remove any automatic bowl cleansers in case you forget to close the lid.
  • Garage Floor and Driveways: Be certain anti-freeze is out of reach and ANY drippings are cleaned up completely. All dogs are attracted to its scent. Anti-freeze is HIGHLY TOXIC.
  • Never leave your puppy unsupervised inside or outside the home: Keep him off the balconies, upper porches and high decks where he can slip through openings and fall.

Solutions When You Can't Keep A Watchful Eye On Your Puppy

What do you do when you need to go to work or leave the home and need to leave puppy home alone? When you can't keep a watchful eye, consider setting up a "safe room" for your puppy where he or she can't get into trouble during those times while you're not watching him. Rather than leaving puppy to roam the entire house, use a dog crate and/or dog gate. They are a great way to confine your little one when you can not be there to supervise! Read why they are great items to help with house training your puppy.

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