How to Puppy Proof Your House: Puppy-Proofing 101

Welcoming a new puppy into your home is a fun experience, but it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities. Just like baby-proofing a house for a new addition to the family, puppy-proofing your home is an essential step to ensure the safety and well-being of your four-legged companion. From curious noses to boundless energy, puppies can be quite the handful. Puppies often explore the world around them with their mouths, which can sometimes lead to a lot of your house being chewed up! Keep on reading to find out How to Puppy Proof Your House: Puppy-Proofing 10.

This page may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure here.

puppy proofing

3 essential puppy-proofing Tips

1 – Remove Hazards at Puppy Level

Get down to your puppy’s eye level and assess your home for potential hazards. Remove small objects, toxic plants, cleaning supplies, and anything that could be chewed, swallowed, or tripped over. Pay attention to power cords and outlets, as puppies love to explore with their mouths. You might want to make sure your favorite pair of shoes is also put away in a place they are unable to reach or get to.

2 – Puppy-Proof the Yard

Ensure your outdoor space is safe for your puppy by inspecting and securing the yard’s perimeter, removing toxic outdoor plants, and eliminating potential hazards. Provide adequate shade, shelter, and a designated play area. Supervise outdoor playtime to prevent accidents and escapes. I remember I was outside with Wes on my second day of having him and he ate the mushrooms that had grown in the yard! I didn’t even think to check the yard for them and I completely freaked out and called the vet. They assured me that he would likely be fine but I was so nervous that entire night.

 3 – Invest in Puppy-Proofing Supplies

Purchase essential puppy-proofing supplies, including childproof latches for your cupboards, outlet, and cord covers, and door stoppers. These items prevent your puppy from accessing potentially harmful areas or objects. Also, buy plenty o safe chew toys to redirect their chewing behavior away from your belongings

10 steps to Remove Hazards at Puppy Level

1 – Declutter Your Floors

Pick up small items such as toys, shoes, and any other objects that your puppy could chew on or swallow. Keeping the floor clear reduces the risk of ingestion or choking. For women, hair ties might be lying around too and those can be choking hazards for your new pup. Picking up the children’s toys or secure 

2 – Secure Electrical Cords and Outlets

Bundle and conceal electrical cords to prevent chewing. Use outlet covers to block access to outlets and avoid electrical shocks.

3 – Store Chemicals and Cleaning Products Safely

Keep all chemicals and cleaning products out of your puppy’s reach by storing them in cabinets with childproof locks or on high shelves. Puppies are naturally curious and might investigate containers that emit strong smells.

4 – Tuck Away Medications and Toiletries

Place all medications, vitamins, and toiletries in a secure medicine cabinet or on high shelves. Many human medications can be toxic to dogs.

5 – Remove Toxic Plants

Identify and remove any toxic plants from your home. Puppies often chew on plants, and ingesting certain varieties can be harmful or even fatal.

6 – Latch Cabinets and Drawers

Install childproof cabinet and drawer latches in the kitchen and bathroom to keep your puppy from accessing potentially hazardous items, such as knives, chemicals, or trash. Be mindful of where you have your plastic bags stored too. Dogs swallowing plastic can cause an internal blockage for them. Or if they get it wrapped around their head.

puppy proofing for the kitchen

7 – Cover Trash Cans

Invest in trash cans with secure lids or place them inside a latched cabinet. Dogs are attracted to the smells in the trash, which can contain harmful or spoiled food. Dogs are not supposed to have human food. Human foods can cause digestive issues and cause your new dog to have a tummy ache. There are also toxic foods that you don’t want puppies to get into such as grapes and chocolate.

8 – Block Off Staircases

Use baby gates to block access to staircases or areas where your puppy might fall. Staircases can be dangerous, especially for small or unsteady puppies. Make sure your puppy is comfortable on carpet and/or hardwood floors so they do not fall.

9 – Secure Low Furniture

Anchor low furniture, like bookcases and TV stands, to the wall to prevent them from tipping over if your puppy climbs or pulls on them. A pup’s reach is farther than you think!

10 – Protect Furniture and Belongings

Use bitter-tasting pet-safe chew spray on furniture legs and other items that your puppy might be tempted to chew. This discourages unwanted chewing while you focus on teaching appropriate chewing behavior with toys. Wes was the typical dog who chewed my shoes all the time. 

Remember that puppies explore the world with their mouths, so thorough puppy-proofing is crucial to their safety. Regularly inspect your home for new hazards as your puppy grows and becomes more adventurous, and adapt your puppy-proofing measures accordingly.

10 Steps to Puppy Proof Your Yard

Puppy-proofing your yard is important to provide a safe and enjoyable outdoor space for your new furry friend. Here are ten steps you can take to puppy-proof your yard as a new puppy owner:

1 – Inspect and Repair Fencing: 

Examine your yard’s fencing for any gaps, holes, or loose boards that your puppy could slip through or under. Ensure that the fence is secure and that there are no escape routes. A curious puppy might smell something in the yard next door and dig themselves away under your fence! True story, this does happen more often than you think.

2 – Check for Toxic Plants

Identify and remove any poisonous plants from your yard. Many common garden plants can be harmful to dogs if ingested, so replace them with safe alternatives. Be sure to check this article out on various plants that are safe and unsafe for your pup!

3 – Eliminate Garden Hazards

Store gardening tools, chemicals, and fertilizers in a secure shed or locked cabinet. Ensure that your puppy cannot access these potentially dangerous substances.

4 – Secure Trash and Compost Bins

Invest in trash and compost bins with secure lids to prevent your puppy from scavenging and potentially ingesting harmful substances.

5 – Remove Sharp Objects and Debris

Walk around your yard and remove any sharp objects, sticks, or debris that could pose a risk to your puppy’s paws or mouth. Puppies love to explore with their mouths and may chew on items they find.

puppy proofing yard

6 – Create a Designated Play Area

Establish a specific play area within your yard using fencing or garden borders. This helps you maintain control over where your puppy plays and prevents them from wandering into potentially hazardous areas.

7 – Provide Shade and Shelter

Ensure your yard has shaded areas where your puppy can escape the sun on hot days. If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, provide a doghouse or sheltered spot for your puppy to seek refuge. Or better yet, just don’t let your dog in the backyard for long periods of time.

8 – Inspect for Hidden Hazards

Check for any hidden hazards in your yard, such as buried wires, pipes, or sharp rocks. Fill any holes your puppy digs to prevent them from discovering dangerous objects.

9 – Supervise Outdoor Time

Always supervise your puppy when they are in the yard, especially during the early stages of puppyhood. This allows you to intervene if they get into trouble, dig excessively, or attempt to escape. When Wes was a puppy, I always went out with him for almost the first year. After he ate mushrooms one night, I did get a little paranoid. 

10 – Dog-proof gates and Barriers

Use dog-proof gates and barriers to prevent access to areas of your yard that are off-limits. This can include vegetable gardens, flower beds, or areas where you store garden equipment. Some pet owners will put up electric fences. The dog wears a collar and if they run into the electric fence, the pup will receive an electric shock. In my opinion, I am not a fan. But for people with a lot of land a dog that runs wild, might be a fit for them.

By following these steps, you’ll create a safe and enjoyable outdoor environment for your puppy. Regularly inspect and maintain your yard to ensure it remains hazard-free as your puppy grows and becomes more adventurous. 

10 Items to Invest in for Puppy-Proofing

New puppy owners should invest in a variety of puppy-proofing supplies to create a safe environment for their furry friends. Here are the top 10 puppy-proofing supplies to consider. Simply type in the supply into Amazon and you will have multiple options to choose from that will suit you and your puppy!

1 – Baby Gates

Baby Gates are great tools to block off certain areas of your home, preventing your puppy from accessing rooms or spaces that may contain hazards. I used many of these when I started to allow Wes to be out of his crate and explore different rooms while I was not home.

2 – Cabinet and Drawer Locks

Use Cabinet and drawer locks to secure areas where cleaning products, chemicals, or potentially harmful items are stored. I keep my household cleaners under the kitchen sink cabinet. I would assume that is commonplace for other people as well. Not a good idea with a new pup in the house. You’d be amazed how quickly they can open a kitchen cabinet.

3 – Outlet Covers

Outlet covers are essential to block access to electrical outlets, preventing your puppy from sticking their nose or paws into them.

4 – Corner Protectors

Soft corner protectors can be applied to sharp edges on tables or nightstands to prevent injuries in case your puppy bumps into them.

5 – Chew Toys and Teething Toys

Provide a variety of safe and durable chew toys to satisfy your puppy’s natural urge to chew and reduce the likelihood of them chewing on inappropriate objects.

puppy proofing the couch

6 – Poison Control Phone Number

Keep the contact information for a poison control hotline or your veterinarian readily available in case of accidental ingestion of toxic substances. You can visit the national hotline for pet poison here.

7 – Non-slip rugs or Mats

Use non-slip rugs or mats in areas where your puppy may walk or play to prevent slips and falls, especially on hardwood or tile floors.

8 – Puppy-Proofing Spray

Bitter-tasting pet-safe sprays can be applied to furniture, cords, and other objects to deter your puppy from chewing on them.

9 – Pet-Proof Trash Cans

Invest in trash cans with secure lids to prevent your puppy from rummaging through the trash and potentially ingesting harmful items.

10 – Puppy-Proofing Kit

Consider purchasing a comprehensive puppy-proofing kit, which may include various supplies like outlet covers, corner protectors, cabinet locks, and more in one convenient package.

These supplies will help you create a safe and enjoyable environment for your new puppy, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries as they explore their new home. Keep in mind that puppies have different needs and levels of curiosity, so regularly assess your home for potential hazards and adapt your puppy-proofing measures accordingly.

Summary

Bringing home a new puppy is a heartwarming experience. But it also comes with responsibilities, including ensuring the safety and well-being of your furry friend. Our latest blog post, “Puppy-Proofing Your Home: Puppy Proofing 101,” is a must-read for anyone preparing to welcome a puppy into their lives. In the blog above, we explore the critical steps to take before your puppy’s arrival, helping you create a safe and nurturing environment. We discuss the importance of assessing your living space, gathering essential puppy-proofing supplies, and making sure your yard is safe for your pup to play in.