How to Puppy-Proof Your House

Estimated Reading Time 3 minutes
How to Puppy-Proof Your House

Getting a new puppy may be a bigger adventure than having a baby! After all, puppies don't stay in the same place for the first six months of their life and can't wear a diaper. No wonder they say puppies are a lot of work! Before you bring Fido home, be sure to take a thorough look around your house to make sure it's safe for your new furry family member. Keep reading for more expert advice!

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Common Household Dangers

Just like a wandering toddler, a puppy will explore with his mouth. Cleaning solutions, prescription vials, glue bottles, insect repellents, and household chemicals all pose a threat. Those sharp puppy teeth can chew and puncture plastic bottles, exposing the contents inside. Always keep these items securely stored.

Keep toilet lids closed and the trash can lid secured, or better yet, store the trash can in a closed cabinet. Dogs have a great sense of smell, and it won't take long for him to realize there may be interesting things to investigate in the trash! Also consider your bathroom trashcan and its location, as many of these contents may be quite harmful if eaten.

Look around for electrical cords that are within reach, and secure if needed. These pose an electrocution hazard if chewed on! Keep doors and windows closed to prevent escape. Dangling cords on blinds can cause strangulation, so tie them up and out of reach – with no dangling loops.

Never leave loose objects lying around the house either: dirty clothes, shoes, socks, pens, household plants, food on a countertop, pocketbooks, candy, gum, coins, rubber bands, and endless others. Not only may some of these objects be harmful or poisonous if ingested, but they may also cause choking or an intestinal obstruction that could be life-threatening.


Certain things cannot be eliminated from the environment, like your couch, carpeting, or door trim! All puppies should have a crate or similar safe spot that they can be confined to when not supervised. Not only will this help with house-training, but also prevents avoidable mishaps from a bored or lonely puppy.

Remove collars and harnesses when in a crate to prevent strangulation accidents. Remember when the puppy is out and about in the house, even with a properly puppy-proofed environment, you should always be directly supervising. Yes, puppies are a lot of work!

Outside Dangers

Also, consider where your pet may go outside. If he's not in a fenced yard, always keep him leashed. He may not seem to wander far, but as he gains confidence, he may suddenly bolt away and won't respond to commands to return. Neighborhood pets may not respond in a friendly manner to his happy antics.

In a fenced area, remember he may learn to dig or climb the fence. He may also decide to chew on your house siding or your deck. There are many varieties of plants that are poisonous, so do some research if you have a garden so you can remove any potentially dangerous plants or flowers. Garden tools, flowerpots, fertilizers, rat poisons, and yard chemicals should all be stored out of his area. A fenced area is not a substitution for supervision.

Be prepared for your new puppy, and make sure you are bringing him home to a safe environment. Use common sense and be on the lookout for any new potential dangers. Your new best friend will thank you!

Read more:

Preparing for Your New Puppy

How to Choose Safe Toys for Your Puppy

How to Introduce a New Dog or Puppy to Your Home

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Published: 3/18/2022
Dr. Julie Blalock, Veterinarian

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