Getting a Dog

How to Puppy Proof Your Home

The short version:

How to puppy proof your home:

  • Lock away cleaning products and medications
  • Secure electrical bales
  • Tie back blinds or drapery cords
  • Check your indoor and outdoor pants are not toxic
  • Pick expensive or delicate items off the floor
  •  Make sure their sleeping areas isn’t in a walkway
  • Put up any playpens, gates, or dog crates
  • Use child proof latches to keep doors and lids closed

Puppies find many of the ordinary things that we see (and ignore) everyday very exciting. That pot plant, those socks, that power cable might be boring to you, but they’re fascinating to them. So when preparing to puppy proof your home it’s worth taking the time to look around your house from their perspective.

Start by deciding what rooms you’ll allow your new dog into. Any space where they’ll be spending time needs to be vetted–including garages and yards. Once you’ve assigned your dog-friendly zones, review them with an eye out for the following items. Any dangerous objects should be removed or placed somewhere high out of reach.

Cleaning Products and Medications

Be very conscious of your cleaning products, medications, household poisons (such as weed killer or rat bait), fertilisers, insecticides, or paints. Think, would I want to eat that? If the answer is “no way” then store them in a locked cupboard or on a high shelf.

Electrical Cables

Puppies use their mouths to explore new objects, so be wary of any electrical equipment that could give them a shock if chewed. If you can’t remove them, make sure they’re tied up or taped down.

Blinds or Drapery Cords

Dogs can easily become tangled in cords or mistake them for a toy during play. This can lead to injuries or strangulation. So make sure they’re tied back or secured away after use.

Plants

Many popular house and garden plants can be dangerous to dogs if ingested. Look up the plants you have around your home to see if they’re toxic to pets. If so, make sure they’re removed or out of reach.

Items on the Floor

Pick up anything that may be small enough for them to swallow. This includes things like shoes, socks, rugs, pillows, homewares, and objects with small parts they could gnaw off. Remember, you can’t be too careful. Even soft objects can cause issues.

puppy proof your home

Don’t Forget the Garden

When you’re out to puppy proof your home, don’t miss the garden. All the above watch-outs also apply to outside areas. Make sure any garden, courtyard, or balcony is fenced and secure with no holes where pets could escape. Pool fencing is also a must, along with a pool cover.

Think about Their Sleeping Area

Pay extra attention to where your pet sleeps to make sure it’s safe and secure. Small rooms, crates, and pens are all good options. But wherever you choose, ensure it’s not in a thoroughfare or an area where there is a lot of movement. You don’t want them to be constantly disturbed, tripped over, or stepped on.

Playpen, Crate & Baby Gates

If you want to keep your dog away from dangerous areas for a short period of time or when you’re not around (say if you’re doing house work that involves chemicals), consider using a crate or playpen. To make areas of your home permanently pet-free, you can set up a baby gate.

Keep Things Closed

Doors and cupboards aren’t the only things to keep in mind. Also ensure that washing machine and dryer doors, rubbish bins and toilet lids are all secured too.  Trust us, if it’s possible, they’ll find a way to get in.

Child Proof Latches

If you have low cupboards or doors that don’t close securely, and you don’t have time to get them fixed, child proof latches are great as a quick solution.

Hear more from Sophie Allan on her show the Healthy Dog Pod.

For expert advice on everything (else) you need to know about preparing for a new pup, head over to Scratch’s New Dog Guide.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Clock away cleaning products and medications
  • Secure electrical bales
  • Tie back blinds or drapery cords
  • Check your indoor and outdoor pants are not toxic
  • Pick expensive or delicate items off the floor
  •  Make sure their sleeping areas isn’t in a walkway
  • Put up any playpens, gates, or dog crates
  • Use child proof latches to keep doors and lids closed
  • Dog bed and blanket
  • Puppy pads or grass potty
  • Mess cleaner
  • No chew spray
  • Baby gate or dog crate
  • Toys
  • Brush
  • Shampoo
  • Nail clippers
  • Flea and tick treatment
  • Toothbrush or dental finger cloth and paste
  • Dog food
  • Training treats
  • Occupier treats
  • Food and water bowls
  • Collar
  • Registration tag
  • ID tag with your contact info
  • Leash
  • Poo bags
  • Car harness

 

  • Go at their pace and respect the dog’s choices, space, and body. Let them tell you when they’re ready to interact closely.
  • Provided a safe space (a crate or bed) where they can chill away from people and other pets.
  • Puppy-proof the house to prevent undesirable toileting and chewing behaviour from occurring. Even if it’s an adult dog, they can still use the help.
  • Give them at least a couple of weeks to acclimatise to the new space before being left alone there.
  • Let them sniff. In addition to being the best source of enrichment and stimulation for dogs, sniffing is a really therapeutic and rewarding activity to engage in.
  • Talk to small children about giving them space and not overwhelming them.

Depending on your pet and lifestyle, crate training may be necessary. Dogs that spend a lot of time alone, travel regularly, or experience anxiety may benefit from crate training.

That said, crate training needs to be performed properly. You can’t rush it. The crate needs to be large enough for the animal to stand up and turn around in. And should always be kept clean.

You can train both puppies and adults to like crates, but it will probably be quicker with puppies.

Next in Getting a Dog

Should You Get a Dog?

With so many people stuck at home, dog adoptions are surging. But are you really ready for a pet?

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Written by Doug Spiegelhauer
Doug never had a dog growing up but as soon as he stopped moving around knew he needed a dog in his life. Enter Snoop the Beagle. Doug worked for 7 years designing and making dog treats and food for some of Australia's best brands. Now a Co-Founder of Scratch Pet Food.