How To Puppy Proof Your House?

If you’ve just adopted a puppy, congratulations! It’s a fun, exciting, and crazy time, so hold on tight! Puppies are typically so full of energy and spirit that every day, it looks like a tiny tornado ripped through your home. Even relatively tranquil puppies still find ways to get into trouble, making constant attention a necessity when you’re a new puppy parent.

Here’s the thing; a puppy will explore everything around your house if given a chance. (You should let them, too, with supervision, if only to quench their curiosity.) A puppy will touch anything within reach with their nose and snout, as well as lick them, put them in their mouth, and so forth. 

As you might imagine, the problem is that puppies can swallow things and choke on them. They can also chew on things and get a good shock if that happens to be a live cable. Many plants around the typical home are toxic for puppies, too, and some are even deadly.

I was thinking about the many dangers in the home that puppies face the other day while watching some puppies play. Their new puppy parents, in this case, had come to me first, asking me about a subject I hear a lot; “How to puppy proof your house? 

The answer to this essential (and often life-saving) question is that there are many different puppy-proofing a home. Most are easy, low-cost, and can be done by the typical homeowner with little stress. Puppy proofing your home also includes the yard and outdoor areas around it. That’s especially true if you have a pool or pond where your puppy could potentially drown. 

Now that you know there are several methods of puppy-proofing your home, I’m sure you’d like to learn more about them and how to implement them in your home. If so, read on. I’ve got that info and some other good advice and tips about how to puppy-proof your home, below.

Puppy Proofing your House

Puppy-proofing the inside of your home is best to accomplish first as, in most cases, your pup will be inside for the first few days or weeks (depending on their age, size, etc.). There are many things you’ll need to puppy-proof, no doubt, including plants, electrical wires, and much more. Below I’ve broken down the different puppy-proofing tasks you have ahead of you.

Puppy Proofing your Wires

Wires are possibly the most dangerous thing for a puppy in a typical home. Puppies can chew on them and get a nasty shock that can, in some cases, cause severe burns in their mouth. Puppies have even been killed by chewing electrical wires. Below are a few methods of making wires and electrical cords less of a risk.

  1. Use spiral cable wraps to keep cables and cords together. 
  2. Keep cords and electrical cables off of the floor. If you can’t, cover them with duct tape so that puppies can’t play with them.
  3. Use a pet deterrent spray on cables and wires to prevent them from chewing on them.
  4. Hide electrical cords and wires behind, under, or on top of furniture.
  5. Use hooks and bungee cords to keep cables together and off the floor.
  6. Make sure your puppy has other, more interesting things to chew on, like toys and bones.

Puppy Proofing your Furniture

Puppy-proofing your furniture is more about protecting the furniture than your puppy. The last thing you want is for them to start ripping holes in your couch or clawing at your bed frame. Also, dander, fur, and bodily fluids can leave smells and stains behind, so protecting your best furniture from your puppy is essential. Here are a few different ways to do just that, including:

  1. Purchase furniture covers if you want your puppy to be able to use, for example, your sofa.
  2. Purchase furniture that’s easy to clean, with removable covers and materials that wash easily.
  3. Keep your puppy’s nails constantly trimmed so that they don’t accidentally tear, rip or scratch things.
  4. Crate train your puppy sp that, at night o when you’re not home, they can’t tear things up in your house.
  5. If needed, use pet deterrent spray to keep your pup off the furniture or from chewing on it.

Puppy Proofing your Garbage

Trash inside your house is a tempting target for your new puppy and one you need to prevent them from getting into at all costs. Depending on what type of garbage it is, your pupper could easily eat or chew on something dangerous, especially in the bathroom. Here are a few ways to stop that from happening and keep your puppy safe:

  • Make sure they can’t tip over garbage cans. Attach them to the wall somehow, for example, using velcro, duct tape, bungee cords, etc. You can also put large rocks or heavy-ish weights in the bottom of the garbage can to keep it upright.
  • Make sure your garbage cans have lids that close well and won’t come off quickly.
  • Take any food garbage out every night, especially meat, cheese, and other types of scraps that have a heavy scent.

Puppy Proofing your BACKYARD

Once you’re done puppy-proofing inside your home, you can start outside. Luckily, it’s usually a bit easier as there are fewer things to do. Below, as with puppy-proofing inside, I’ll break down the different tasks you have to accomplish outside your home.

Puppy Proofing Fences

Fences and puppies go way back, with the latter always trying to get over, under, or around the former. Try the tips below to keep that from happening and keep your puppy safe in your yard.

  • Extend your fence inward at the top using fencing additions. (You can do this yourself or have a fence company do the job.)
  • Add plants and shrubs to deter your puppy from digging under or jumping over the fence. (If they can’t see it, they won’t try to jump it.)
  • Make sure nothing is near the fence they can use to help them climb over it.
  • Extend your fence deeper into the dirt to keep puppies from climbing under it.

Puppy Proofing your Lawn

Puppy proofing your lawn usually requires fencing to keep them in and other creatures out. Also, fencing around any body of water to make sure they don’t drown, especially a swimming pool. You should also;

  • Remove any toxic plants around your yard. (I wrote a blog about them recently.)
  • Put up a good, solid fence. Then, make sure you maintain it and its locks, gates, and latches.
  • If possible, keep other dogs off of your lawn. (Their feces could pass diseases to your pupper.)
  • Keep predators away by keeping the grass low.
  • Rake up rocks, seeds, berries, and other potential choking risks.

Puppy Proofing your Garden

Your garden is the same as your lawn but with more plant species. Here is a list of the common plants you might want to avoid if you have a puppy:

  • Carnations
  • Daisies
  • Ivy
  • Geraniums
  • Hydrangea
  • Lilies
  • Oleanders
  • Peonies
  • Toxic Mushrooms – Toxic shrooms pop up after it rains. Be sure to weed them immediately. 
  • Rhododendrons
  • Shamrocks
  • Tulips
  • Wisteria
  • Apples (because of the seeds).

Quick Puppy Proofing Checklist

Below is my checklist for puppy-proofing your home. If you do everything on the list, you and your pup should be just fine.

  1. Purchase pee pads.
  2. If you plan to crate train, get a crate right away.
  3. If you have stairs, get a stair gate.
  4. Remove any poisonous plants from around the house.
  5. Remove wires from the reach and view of your puppy.
  6. Keep garbage sealed and safe in untippable cans.
  7. Make certain toxic substances are well out of reach.
  8. Remove anything sharp, small, and swallowable.
  9. Close (and keep closed) all toilets.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the question “how to puppy proof your home” has many answers. As I said at the beginning of this article, many puppy-proofing methods are easy, low-cost, and manageable DIY projects (fencing your yard not included). You also need to puppy-proof your lawn, which is also straightforward.

I hope today’s blog answered all of your questions about puppy-proofing your home. Please see my other blogs on the subject if you have more or need more advice. They’re packed with all sorts of great information on how to raise a healthy puppy and be the best puppy parent you can be!