When you have a new puppy (or a whole litter!), it can be overwhelming to keep track of them. Despite their small size, puppies have BIG levels of energy, and they can cause massive amounts of harm to themselves — or your home — if given total access to everything.
What many people don’t know is that some normal things you’d find in any home can be dangerous for your adorable new friend. Puppies love exploring, so it is important that new puppy parents create a safe and enriching space for their new friend(s) to scout through.
Puppy-proofing your home is a thorough process that prevents access to harmful things and delicate components of your home, including removing hazards, sectioning areas of the home off, or using other strategies to avoid exposure to potentially harmful things.
It is important to remember that puppy proofing and baby proofing are not the same thing, as a new dog is more mobile and will require extra safety precautions.
Note that one measure of precaution is to develop skills and good habits for owners and puppies alike. Greenlin Pet Resorts offers puppy training classes that can be a fun adventure for all young pups!
Our specialized trainers can work with your young puppy to help them learn basic commands and skills to build on when they get older. To learn more about our boarding or training services for puppies, contact us online.
This Is Your Puppy Proofing Checklist
Your puppy will spend the majority of their time in your home as they build their understanding of the world around them, so it is crucial that the space is set up properly for a puppy to thrive.
As you have probably realized by now, puppies have a lot of energy! They also are fascinated by the most unusual things.
One of their primary ways of learning about these things is by chewing, which ends up being a common cause of most home destruction and a potential avenue towards exposure to hazardous substances.
Ensuring that the most common hazards are stored away from your puppy will stop many accidents from ever having the potential to present themselves. Follow this 10-point checklist to prevent common accidents from occurring:
- No electric cords in reach: A puppy is likely to be attracted to loose cables or cords lying around, so be sure to tuck away any exposed wiring. You can also get outlet covers for additional protection.
Exposure to electric currents is an extremely common puppy injury, so it should be one of the first things to check off on every puppy parent’s list.
- Trash cans concealed: One man’s trash is another puppy’s treasure! Do yourself a favor and conceal all trash cans so you don’t walk into a puppy rave starring last night’s takeout and midnight snacks.
Remember that your dog’s nose is likely better than yours, even from certain stages of puppyhood, and young dogs are less likely to be able to control themselves around delicious smells.
If there are bones or poisonous leftovers like garlic and onion in the trash bin, your dog could be at risk for various injuries, so it can be a good idea to remove strong-smelling waste before bedtime.
- Windows and doors always remain closed: As previously mentioned, your explorative new friend may get curious about a sound or smell coming from beyond the home and form a plot to escape.
Avoid a runaway puppy situation by strictly enforcing a closed windows and doors rule. It is beneficial to keep all doors inside the house closed when you have a new puppy, too.
If your puppy ever decides to play a game of hide-and-seek with no warning, having all the doors closed will greatly reduce the area where their potential hiding spot can be.
- Toilet seats are always closed: Many dog parents will tell you that their canines prefer toilet water to their own fresh bowl, and that can be extremely dangerous for puppies.
Not only can toilet bowls harbor bacteria, but such a small pup could easily get hurt trying to drink water from the toilet, so keeping it shut should prevent a “cannonball “situation from happening.
You can also buy toilet seat locks that prevent your dog from being able to get it open on their own, too.
- Medications are stored in high cabinets or with child locks: Pill bottles shake, rattle, and make all sorts of interesting noises that your young puppy may find difficult to resist.
If they end up getting the bottle open (spoiler alert: they will), it can have detrimental effects on their health, especially if you do not catch it in time.
This event can also be harmful to a person who relies on medication, so it is best for everyone involved if any and all medications are stored out of reach.
- Remove small items and choking hazards: If it is smaller than the puppy, chances are it would be smart to keep it away from them. Puppies explore not only with their eyes and noses but also with their mouths.
There is no telling what your young puppy may want to try and bite or swallow, so keeping all small items away from their living space will help them explore safely.
Common choking hazards include toys, rawhides, batteries, hair ties/laces, writing utensils, and more.
- Move or secure other hazards like cleaning supplies and breakables: A litter of puppies can be much stronger than you think.
You may leave lamps, vases, or other heavy collectibles around, thinking that they can do no harm, but puppies can have a tendency to “hulk out” and tap into surprising wells of energy.
Many cleaning supplies are also extremely harmful to pets, yet give off an intriguing smell for your puppies to come to explore further. Keep cleaning products locked away and avoid cleaning products that could harm your pet.
Look for products that say “pet-safe” when you purchase cleaning essentials at the store.
- Bags and totes are always stored out of the puppies’ reach: Remember that no-warning game of hide and seek that was previously mentioned? Another common hiding spot is unattended bags and totes.
This can be dangerous, especially if there is limited ventilation inside the bag. You also don’t want to go out for your errands and find a stowaway puppy playing with your mints and keys.
- Create limits for your puppies’ space: You should never give a new puppy unrestricted access to your home. You can create a space for your puppies with fencing or keep them contained in a specific area by shutting doors.
As they learn more about their environment, you can encourage them to explore new sections of the house until they are big enough to confidently wander the full space.
Allowing unrestricted access to the home could expose your puppy to an endless sea of dangers that you cannot regulate if they aren’t in a contained space.
- Learn about and remove all poisonous houseplants: There are many houseplants that are deadly to dogs. Be sure to research the plants you keep in your home and determine if they need to be moved away from any puppies.
Sometimes, the smell alone can have minor effects, but it is crucial that you ensure your dog is never close enough to ingest a poisonous plant.
Get Started With Puppy Training or Daycare at Greenlin Pet Resorts
Having a new puppy around is very exciting, but helping them grow into well-mannered adult dogs can be a more difficult challenge. Puppies need to be socialized and have time out of the house from a young age in order to avoid the development of anxiety or irrational fears.
Greenlin’s puppy training academy can prep them quickly during their crucial first weeks of learning, and puppy training is available at any age. The Greenlin puppy daycare program gives young pups a chance to socialize with dogs like them and spend time away from their home.
To learn more about puppy training and daycare, contact Greenlin Pet Resorts online or call (717) 904-3539. We have 6 locations in the Harrisburg area and skilled team members standing by during business hours to help!