7 Ways to Puppy Proof Your Home
By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a cat insurance and dog insurance agency.
Before you usher your new pup through your front door, you need to make your home a safe haven. Devote this time to do a temporary home makeover that will keep your pup out of surprisingly dangerous situations within your home.
Here are seven ways to puppy proof your home:
1. Inspect your home from all angles. Go room to room and view from a puppy’s perspective. That includes getting down on your knees and looking for potential hazards. You will be surprised what you see from this view.
2. Protect your rugs. Temporarily remove any cherished rug and put down inexpensive runners during your pup’s first year. Otherwise, these rugs may be victims of pee puddles or bite marks.
3. Head to the hardware store. Puppies can be as curious as cats because they investigate their surroundings by pawing and by chewing. Purchase childproof latches and attach them to cabinets that harbor cleaning supplies, food and other canine temptations. Encase any wires from electrical devices like televisions and computers in chew-resistant PVC casings.
4. Stop at the pet supply store. Install doggy gates to limit access to rooms and make sure the gates are vertical bars – not horizontal (smart pups know how to hoist themselves up on the lower horizontal bar to scale the gate and leap up and over). Choose an easy-to-clean crate that will serve as your pup’s snooze time den.
5. Dedicate a puppy-safe zone. Resist giving your puppy free roaming rights throughout your home. Introduce him first to a large bathroom or spare bedroom that you have converted into a safe puppy haven. And tether him to a waist leash when you wish to have him join you throughout the house.
6. Keep a neat house. Puppies convert many people into becoming tidy housekeepers. Save on expensive visits to the veterinarian caused by your puppy eating something potentially toxic to him by removing any small items on tabletops that can be chewed and by stashing kitchen and bathroom trash in cans with secure lids. Stash small items like needles, thread, hair ties, jewelry and coins out of paw’s reach. Get in the habit of completely closing all closet, bedroom and bathroom doors to prevent any puppy misadventures. And, training all members of your household to keep the toilet lid down.
7. Let’s see some ID. Before you take your puppy from the adoption center, make sure he is fitted with a collar and an identification tag that includes your name and cell phone number. And ideally, make a detour to your veterinary clinic to have your pup receive his initial physical examination and receive necessary vaccinations and be microchipped.
Final advice: Capture your puppy’s fun-filled first year with photos and videos you can post online to your friends. Trust me, that year will fly by and you will be amazed at how much your pup has grown.
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