New puppy? Has anyone warned you how much damage they can do to themselves or your home?
Here’s how to puppy proof your home (or how to pet proof your home in general), with essential things you absolutely must do, and some great tips to help your puppy settle in!
Having a new puppy in your home is such an exciting time, so it’s important to puppy proof your home in good time.
Puppies love to explore the world with their mouths and can easily get up to mischief in a few seconds of being left unsupervised.
True story – when I brought home my first Border Collie puppy I had moved into a really old house which I planned to renovate. With old scraggly bits of carpet and not much else I thought I was safe – what could my puppy damage?
It turned out everything! Those scraggly bits of carpet were torn up in hours, the skirting board chewed, and anything and everything I had lying around. You know, it’s surprising how long a toilet roll is… literally the length of the house and back.
My top tips to puppy proof your home
The following are some handy tips to make sure your home is a safe and secure environment for your new puppy:
- Make sure all chemicals and detergents are out of your puppy’s reach.
- Make sure there are no dangerous plants in the yard (here’s a list of Australian plants which are toxic to dogs and cats).
- Make sure all breakables are out of your puppy’s way.
- Make sure all electrical cords are hidden to ensure your puppy doesn’t chew on them. Keep them up high as much as possible.
- Make sure all your children’s toys are kept out of reach. Often these toys have small parts your puppy could swallow.
- Make sure your yard is secure with no holes for your puppy to escape through. This includes areas where they can dig a hole under a gate or fence.
- Make sure your pool or spa is fully fenced or covered to ensure your puppy cannot gain access.
All the above are essential to puppy proof your home. Never underestimate how quickly a puppy can get harmed with each of those hazards, not to mention the cost of replacing items which they damage.
There’s some other stuff you want to keep away from your puppy too, like socks and shoes. It takes a puppy less than 10 seconds to destroy a designer pair of leather shoes (something I also learned the hard way).
Other ways to puppy proof your home
A brilliant way to protect your puppy is to purchase a puppy play pen. They are a brilliant tool in keeping your puppy safe and secure when you cannot supervise them and also teaches them their boundaries.
Puppy pens provide your puppy with their own sense of space without feeling closed off from the family. It may seem cruel at first to put them in a pen (which is kinda like a cage), but they quickly learn to feel secure and realise it’s a safe place.
If you have kids I doubly recommend a puppy pen. Kids tend to scare puppies with erratic movements and gestures, and dogs instinctively react when cornered or scared. Even the nicest of pups.
The best place to buy a puppy pen is Amazon, who have a range of pens available – click here. We used the UNDERDOG puppy pen which is very solid, and so easy to set up in whatever configuration suits you (you just connect the panels together by slotting in the bars, and if you move it outside the bars act as pegs in the ground).
Puppy pens can be used for most animals, so if you’re pet proofing your home for a rabbit, kittens, or chooks, then they’ll work for that too.
My 1 year old daughter also took to the puppy pen much to our surprise! Living room camping!!
A puppy shopping list
When puppy proofing your home it’s worth purchasing a few things so you’re all ready for the big day. Here’s a puppy shopping list which will help you deck out your puppy pen:
- Bed – opt for something priced mid-range. Cheap won’t last, and an expensive one will still likely need to be replaced after your puppy’s teething phase.
- Pee Pee Pad – these will help train your puppy AND save your carpets. Puppy pads can be easily disposed, and you’ll definitely appreciate them.
- Water bowls and feeding bowls – no explanation necessary here, but it’s worth getting a decent set of bowls. Make sure you clean them daily as well.
- Toys – puppies need stimulus and need to be kept occupied, so invest in a range of decent toys. Do not buy cheap toys from the supermarket or cheapo places (sorry Coles, sorry Kmart, your toys don’t cut it). Always supervise your puppy as it’s easy for them to destroy a toy and swallow pieces.
For toys I highly recommend Kong due to their reliability, durability, and safety. Pet Circle have a great range of Kong here. At the least buy one of the Kong classics which you can fill with peanut butter – a fabulous way of keeping your puppy occupied for hours!
A quick note on toilet training your puppy
I’ve already mentioned puppy pads as a great way to help your puppy get into good toilet habits, but make sure you read the guide on how to toilet train your puppy as well – I can pretty much guarantee success with that easy method.
Final thoughts on puppy proofing (or pet proofing) your home
Always keep in mind it can only take a moment for your new puppy to get into trouble.
By taking the precautions above you’re half the way there, and the other half is keeping an eye on your puppy and making sure their environment remains safe.
You’ll be alright! Enjoy your new puppy!