Your new puppy’s job is to get to know you; yours is to keep him safe (and your things too!) This guide will help you puppy-proof your environment for both of your sakes.

All photos are courtesy of Scenthound

Key Takeaways:

  • Puppies require supervision and protection.
  • Make your home safe for your new puppy by removing things that can be chewed or swallowed.
  • Limit its access to unattended areas where it could ingest harmful materials.
  • Use proper preventatives to protect your puppy (and you) from fleas and ticks.
  • Properly store medications and products made with xylitol.
  • Start crate training, housebreaking, and commands to prevent boredom and destructive behavior from your dog.

Is there anything more adorable than a puppy? (Definitely not!) When you bring a new puppy into your home, your life will never be the same. Dogs are loyal, loving, and wonderful companions, and you’ll love the process of getting to know your new furry friend.

With becoming a dog parent comes great responsibility, however. There are several things new dog parents need to do, starting with safety precautions. Puppies are curious explorers who don’t understand how things in your home can hurt them, so it’s up to you to provide them with a suitable environment. You’ll also want to train them for their protection as well as for your belongings’ sake. 

This article will give three simple steps to help you start puppy-proofing your home.

Puppy proofing step #1: Prepare for your new arrival

Before you even bring your fuzzy bundle of joy home, you’ll want to do a little prep to make your house safe for your new friend. Think of how you would prepare for a toddler. You’ll want to get down on the puppy’s level to give yourself a better idea of what to do.

  • Use child-proofing methods – Latch kitchen garbage cans or secure small bins in a closed cabinet to prevent a puppy buffet. Fit your cabinets with child-proof latches. You’d be amazed at what little paws can pry open!
  • Cut off access to ‘no fly’ zones – Keep toilet lids, doors, and cabinets closed. Consider putting up baby gates to limit your pup’s access to off-limit areas of your house.
  • Eliminate chewing temptations – Unplug electrical devices you aren’t using in areas your puppy will frequent. Put away shoes, boots, coats, hats, and mittens, and teach your children to put away their toys. Anything a puppy can get into his mouth is a possible chew toy!
  • Put away choking hazards – Pack away knitting needles, pens, pencils, the TV remote, cell phone chargers, and anything tiny enough for your puppy to swallow.  

Puppy proofing step #2: Protect against toxins, medications, and allergens

To keep your puppy safe, you’ll need to change your way of thinking in many areas of your home. Certain products may be helpful to you, but they can cause serious harm to your new furry friend.

  • Properly store medications – Many of us don’t think of medications in the same way as other belongings. They are there for our health, so they become almost “invisible” to us when we are puppy-proofing a home. You’ll want to properly store any you normally leave out nightstands, end tables, coffee tables, and other locations at doggie eye (or mouth) level.  
  • Store bags, purses, and backpacks – You may not think of a backpack as potentially harmful to a puppy, but xylitol poisoning is becoming more common in dogs. More than 700 products – from purses to sugar-free gum – have xylitol in them. Familiarize yourself with products that include xylitol to create a safe home for your new puppy.  
  • Bathe your puppy – When your pup gets a bath, you’re washing away dirt and doggie-stink as well as possible allergens like grass, pollen, mold, and dust. Set up regular appointments with Scenthound for expert bathing services to get rid of all these irritants in addition to complete wellness checks. It’s best to introduce your pup to regular bathing as early as possible, too, so the process is easy and stress-free.

Puppy proofing step #3: Start training early

A well-trained dog is less likely to get into trouble or get hurt. You can start training your puppy when he’s seven to eight weeks old, which will make him less inclined to get into trouble. Dogs enjoy having things to do, so teaching them new skills and giving them plenty of outlets are great ways to help puppy-proof your home.

  • Housebreak your puppy – It takes between four and six months to housebreak a puppy. Smaller breeds may take longer because they have smaller bladders, and some dogs are just slow learners. The key to housebreaking is patience and consistency.
  • Work on crate training – Some pet owners believe putting your puppy in a crate is cruel, but the opposite is true. Dogs are den animals. Your new puppy will likely be quite nervous in your home because there are so many new smells and sensations to take in. Giving him a crate will make him feel more secure, so long as you never use it as punishment. Crate training can also be a great addition to housebreaking.
  • Teach your puppy commands – Dogs are task-driven and enjoy learning commands. When you begin teaching them at an early age, you are giving your puppy stimulation that is important for his mental health. Learning commands helps prevent boredom, too, which will help avoid destructive behavior. It’s important to keep training sessions short – under five minutes – and always use positive reinforcement.

Summing up

You can enjoy a good, long life with your dog by taking simple steps to keep him safe. Remember, your puppy doesn’t understand the human world. Start good habits early and you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful companion who will shower you with unconditional love.

Do you have questions about what your puppy needs to keep it healthy and happy throughout its entire life? Contact your local Scenthound team for a consultation.