Tips & Training

10 Ways to Puppy Proof Your Home

Our top ten tips for keeping you and your new pup safe, healthy and happy...leaving more time for pupper snuggles.

Copy: Serena Faber Nelson

Photography: Serena Faber Nelson & Sarah Dickerson

Bringing home a new puppy can be a daunting task. For many of us, it’s the first time we’re responsible for something other than ourselves. (Lets never mention that plant we got for our housewarming, ok?)

But alas, puppies can’t live on champagne, cupcakes and hugs. When you bring a new bundle of fluff home, you need to prepare your house or apartment for the little one’s arrival. These tips will have you winning pet parent of the year in no time…

10 Ways to Puppy Proof Your Home

How to Puppy Proof Your Home

1. Keep food items out of reach. Gone are the days that you can leave a half eaten pizza on the couch, a cooling pie on the windowsill or a freshly made sandwich on the countertop. You’re a dog lady now! (or dog man!) Due to their amazing sense of smell – and an uncanny ability to sense food from two towns over – given the opportunity to grab a snack on the go, a new puppy will eat anything that crosses their path. Not only does this ruin their balanced diet, many people foods can be extremely harmful to dogs. So before they come home ensure all food items are stored out of reach, including preparation utensils, plates, pet foods, mints and gums, and decorative food items. And by out of reach, I mean out of reach. Never underestimate a puppy’s ability to get to food. They are wily little muffins.

2. Store poisonous items and household chemicals out of reach. This one seems like a no brainer, but is actually quite an extensive job. Start in your kitchen and laundry, moving onto your bathroom, bedrooms and garages ensuring all cleaning products, medications, pesticides, car kits, and beauty products are put away out of reach. Even the most seemingly harmless items, such as herbal supplements and hairspray cans can be toxic and dangerous.

3. Keep electrical cords out of reach or safely secured. For years this used to be as easy as securing the television, toaster and iron cords and walking away. However with today’s technology, you need to ensure laptop cords, phone chargers and ethernet cords are also kept safely. If the cords are fixed, ensure they are secured where they cannot be reached. If the cords are transported throughout the house, get into the habit of packing them away whenever they are not in use.

How to Puppy Proof Your Home

4. Make your garden pet friendly. Puppies love to explore, and if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, your new pup has years of frolicking to enjoy. Before they come home, go through your garden ensuring any plants that may be poisonous to your new pup are removed or securely protected. For a full list of harmful plants visit here.

5. Check your fencing. If you have a backyard, scour the perimeter of fencing, checking for gaps and places where your puppy could dig and get out. Also check the sturdiness and security of your gate. Close off staircases, balconies and any open high spaces to prevent falls and injury. If you’re not sure how to keep your pup contained, consider investing in a baby gate to limit their access.

6. Keep toilet lids down and train everyone in your house to do the same. In this case, training is not just for the pup! But ensure all household members know the importance of keeping the lid down to prevent your puppy trying to drink from the toilet or falling in it.

7. Declutter. Puppies explore with their mouths, so for their safety AND YOUR SANITY ensure all small items, breakables and knick knacks are placed out of puppy’s reach. This includes your shoes (spoken from an owner who had over 5 pairs destroyed before learning her lesson); choke hazard items such as coins and pins, and sentimental pieces that can’t be replaced. Puppies don’t generally care if something was your family heirloom – in fact I could swear they find sentimental heirlooms and expensive shoes the tastiest of all.

How to Puppy Proof Your Home

8. Keep dangling blind and curtain cords out of reach. Just like small children, puppies can be fascinated by hanging cords, which can quickly become dangerous hazards. Tuck them away.

9. Cover your rubbish bins, laundry hampers, washing machines and dishwashers. All of these items carry significant scents that attract a puppy’s attention. By ensuring they are closed and/or covered your new puppy can’t break in to them causing mess or compromising their safety.

Once you’re done, walk through your home and approach it from a puppy’s viewpoint. Are there things you want to chew, climb on, or investigate that may be dangerous? A quick whip around will pick up anything you may have missed. That’s where Tip #10 comes in…

10. Establish puppy safe zones. Your best tool in puppy proofing your home begins when you bring your puppy home. While you can protect them through the above preemptive tips, nothing beats training them from day one where they can and can’t go. Depending on your household, maybe it’s the busy kitchen that will be out of bounds, or maybe the garage is a no-go zone. With your guidance, they’ll quickly learn where the secure places are to be. Puppies enjoy having a safe haven. Whether you crate them or create a safe place with their bedding and dining zones, they will soon develop an affinity with their protective dens.

Time welcome your new puppy home!

In the first few weeks you may discover more ways to keep your new puppy safer and happier. By supervising them closely, and enjoying their company, they’ll be at home in no time.


Copy: Serena Faber Nelson

Photography: Serena Faber Nelson & Sarah Dickerson

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “10 Ways to Puppy Proof Your Home”

  1. Beth says:

    Great tips! Puppies have a way of getting into everything.

  2. Maggie Eddy says:

    indeed, great tips, Serena, for prospective owners :)

  3. Sarah says:

    Wonderful tips and advice, Rene! So many little things you can forget when your used to having an older dog. Thanks so much for including little Ronin too :)

  4. says:

    Thanks so much everyone! I learnt some of these tips the hard way – or should that be my shoes learnt the hard way! :)

  5. April says:

    What kind of dog is this?

  6. Arnel Tabing says:

    i wish to adopt a puppy but i don’t live in U.S.A.!I live in the Philippines.

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