Getting a dog is an exciting time for any household! But before fun dog walks, cuddles, and tricks, responsible dog owners must do their part to create a safe sanctuary for their pups. Prepare and dog proof your home in time for dog day!
There’s lots to do in preparing for a new puppy and you’ll need time to get your home and garden ready for your new arrival. Even if you're bringing home an adult dog, you’ll still need to check for home hazards to make sure your house and garden is properly puppy-safe!
Puppy proofing your home
Install baby gates to the top and bottom of your stairwells to prevent puppies or elderly dogs from falling accidentally. This is also a good way to bar access points where dogs are not allowed.
Set aside a cozy corner for your dog. This is a good way of making your new dog feel secure in their own “den”. Place an open doghouse with their favorite toys and a soft dog bed for them to feel safe in their own space in the house.
Remove or avoid household toxins including indoor plants (Philodendron, Mistletoe, Poinsettia), strong chemical cleaners and environmental insecticides.
Keep doors of cabinets, the oven, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, dryer and washing machine closed with child locks.
Lit candles, burning incense or oil burners are asking for trouble when around an inquisitive puppy - extinguish all naked flames and put a guard around any fires.
Hide all trailing electrical cables behind furniture, as these can be very tempting for your puppy to chew on. You can also buy thick cable protector to go over the cables for added safety. Stock up on chew toys too to divert dogs from chewable household items.
Protecting your puppies from harmful household items
Your home needs to be a safe place where your dog can roam around freely without running into harm. Here are a few things to keep your dogs away from while they play indoors.
More people are including house plants inside as their home décor. Your dog-proof home should include dog-friendly plants. Some plants that can cause irritation or poisoning are Lily, Azalea, Daffodil, Tomato, Foxglove, Yew and Hydrangea. If your dog does eat part of a poisonous plant, go straight to the vet, taking the plant with you if possible.
Make sure your dog doesn’t have access to the supply closet. Some homes might have cleaning detergent, slug pellets, weed killer, rat poison (unless pet-friendly), and anti-freeze, which can be extremely toxic for dogs and pets.
Protecting your dog when you’re out and about
- Don’t leave food unattended on your kitchen work surface. Not only is it far too tempting for a dog to resist, but also many of our foods can be toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, onions and garlic.
- If you are leaving your dog unattended while heading off to work, make sure they are safe and secure in the room or area you leave them in. Keep them indoors where it is cool and make sure they have access to food and water while you are gone.
This may sound like a daunting list, but most of it is common sense. Like bringing home a new baby, puppy protection is about prevention and practice.