The ultimate checklist for puppy-proofing your home
Puppies are fantastic, and congratulations, you have made a brilliant decision. However, you also have a responsibility to look after them, and they will need extra care when they are puppies.
They are growing and learning, and they will make mistakes. Therefore, before you bring your fantastic fur ball home, you will need to think about puppy safety and how to puppy proof your home, garden/yard, and keep them safe on walks.
Puppy Safety checklist
Here is a list of things you should consider checking before your puppy comes home:
Depending on the puppy's age, there only outside time for a while might be in your garden or yard. Therefore, it needs to be secured. Make sure there are no gaps that the puppy can escape under or through. The gate is often an issue, so make sure this is puppy-proofed. Puppies are curious, and if they can get out, they will. It is not because they do not like you and want to run away. They have an adventurous spirit. You also need to be aware of how big of an adult your puppy will become, as you will need to make sure fences are high enough so that they cannot jump over them.
Nothing that a puppy could ingest and swallow should be left around for them to find. Things like kid's toys, money, and tissue paper should not be left around as they can cause accidental choking. This is especially important if you are not closely supervising them.
Puppies will try to play with anything, and they love to chew. So, if they see a household cleaning product on the floor, there is a good chance they will try to play with it, and they could chew through the plastic. If they do consume anything, then it is highly likely to be toxic and poisonous to them. Therefore, ensure all household cleaning products are stored in high cupboards, with latches or locks on them for extra safety.
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Clothes and shoes
Do not leave your shoes at the door or your coat left on the stairs anymore. All clothing, shoes, and bags should be hung up and kept out of the way where puppies are allowed to roam. They do not know that you are obsessed with your new Nike trainers. If they get hold of them and destroy them, that is your fault for leaving them around.
Puppies do not know right from wrong; they only know what they have experienced alongside their mother and fellow litter members. A part of learning is exploring and testing limits. They often do this by putting things in their mouths and chewing. Therefore, try to ensure there are no electrical wires or exposed sockets around. For example, make sure they can't get behind the TV stand and get to the cables and buy socket covers for plugs.
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Puppies will have a better sense of smell than you think, if there is some food left around, they will know, and if they can get to it, then they will. Make sure no food is left around, especially leftovers like cooked chicken bones. It is also important to realize that what we think is just regular food can be highly dangerous to dogs in high quantities. For example, chocolate, grapes, onions, and garlic. It is also essential to keep them away from food packaging, which is usually some plastic.
Human medication should be stored safely and should only be accessed by its intended person. Medicine can cause side effects for people even when taken in the correct quantities. Still, it can be dangerous for a puppy to get hold of drugs, especially when you consider how much smaller they are than people. Even if you have some puppy medication, it should still be stored away out of reach and should only be given in the dosage that the Vet tells you.
Make sure there is nothing valuable or dangerous at the height the puppy can get to. Things like ornaments, photo frames, and books should be removed from low-level areas. It would help if you also thought about moving potentially dangerous items from higher levels, which may fall and hurt the puppy. For instance, they might not reach a vase on a stand, but they could knock into the frame and knock the vase off, which could fall on them and hurt them.
Many house plants and garden plants can look pretty, but they can cause severe problems to dogs. Plants like Lilies are hazardous if ingested, and plants such as Agapanthus can cause skin allergies in dogs and especially puppies. Having toxic plants in your house or garden is not worth it. Even if you think there is no way your puppy can get to them, it is far safer to remove them entirely.
In my opinion, you are better off being over cautious rather than under cautious. Accidents can happen, and some are unavoidable. However, it is your responsibility to puppy-proof your home as best you can to limit the chances of any accidents.
Most things are basic common sense, but apart from the checklist, I have set out. You need to keep an appropriate level of supervision. If you are busy and can't keep an eye on them, you should put them in a crate or puppy pen. Then you can go about your daily activities knowing they are safe and sound.