For a new puppy, your home and yard are exciting adventure playgrounds filled with fun stuff to explore, sniff out — and chew. Consequently, it’s important to take special precautions to ensure you’re creating a safe, dog-friendly environment.
It’s important to look around your home and view it from a puppy’s point of view. Get down on the ground, and, instantly, everything takes on a different perspective. This will give you a good idea where to put barriers to block of spaces and better gauge what things to remove or place out of reach.
And always have treats on hand and reward good behavior as your puppy learns the no-go zones. This goes a long way in aiding the settling in process. Zuke’s Puppy Naturals are an ideal choice as they are tasty, low-calorie morsels made with protein-rich salmon, pork, or lamb.
Puppy-proofing Room by Room
Laundry baskets are a magnet for over-curious puppies. Keep the basket out of reach and, if necessary, replace what you have with one that has a firm lid. Dogs have been known to chew and swallow a variety of laundry items such as socks and underwear that can lead to a fatal intestinal blockage. Clean clothing needs to be packed away too. Always put shoes away, especially in the early days and don’t leave jewelry and small objects on a night stand. Never empty your pockets of coins and leave them lying around because the metals can be toxic if ingested.
Ensure that all medications, both prescription and over the counter pills, liquids, toiletries and cleaning materials are locked away. If necessary, install childproof locks on cupboard doors to ensure that persistent paws can’t open them! Even a tube of toothpaste can be potentially dangerous to a curious chewer. Put signs above toilets in the home to keep the lid down. Drinking from a toilet is a bad habit but it can also be harmful if you use chemical cleaners to control bacteria in the water.
The same rule about locking away cleaning materials and laundry detergents applies. Again, child-proof locks on cupboards aren’t just for toddlers; they can keep a puppy from getting into mischief too. Always put shopping away instead of leaving bags on the kitchen floor. The temptation to investigate and possibly ingest the bags can be too much for a young pup to resist.
Electrical cords are probably the biggest danger to dogs. Chewing on them causes burns in the mouth and an electrical shock can even cause death. Further, a cord caught around a puppy’s neck can cause strangulation. Tie up all loose electrical cords with a cable wrap, or place in a cord concealer or PVC pipe available from hardware stores. It goes without saying that you should check cords throughout your home and put such precautions in place everywhere.
Interior Doggie Gates
Sturdy metal dog gates are a great way to cordon off part of a home and prevent access to a puppy. Similarly, a play pen can be a useful item used both inside the home or in a garden to initially contain a boisterous young dog. Again, keep the Zuke’s Puppy Naturals handy and treat so that your puppy understands it’s okay to be placed in a certain part of the home or in a play pen.
Outdoor Areas: Exterior Fences and Gates
First on your “To Do” list should be patrolling your borders to ensure that are no visible holes in fences and gates. It’s also essential to see that your gate locks automatically and remove any visible rusty nails from woodwork. Depending on your puppy’s breed, you may have to put down special barriers to prevent him from digging an escape route under a fence or gate.
Terriers, for example, are great diggers and escape artists. Putting chicken wire below ground along your boundary walls will deter digging in these areas.
For dogs that can’t resist digging, give them a designated area. Put down wood chips, or a mix of sand and soil. Add some logs or rocks. Basically, you are creating the puppy version of a sand pit. You can encourage them to play here by hiding treat-filled balls and other washable toys for them to unearth.