Congratulations! You’ve either just welcomed a new puppy home or are preparing for the arrival of four tiny paws!
Puppy proofing your home is essential for keeping your puppy safe, your home in one piece and your sanity intact!
As you look at your beautiful eight-week old puppy, it might be hard to imagine why puppy proofing your home is so important, but I promise those sleepy days of chilled puppy bliss will pass quickly….
Before you know it, your pup will be exploring and getting into mischief around the house, so let’s get you clued up on how to puppy proof your home!
7 top tips for puppy-proofing your home
- You need a crate or pen so you can keep your puppy safe when unsupervised
- Tape or move cables and wires so your puppy cannot chew them
- Keep appealing items like shoes, kid’s toys and laundry out of reach
- Ensure cleaning supplies and medications are stored up high, or use babyproofing cupboard locks to prevent your pup from accessing them
- Keep toxic human foods away, such as raisins, grapes, avocado, chocolate and alcohol
- Get clued up on indoor and outdoor plants that are poisonous to dogs – like lilies, daffodils, ivy and tulips
- Secure your yard, check for holes in fences or low fences that your pup may jump
Prepping before your new puppy comes home
When you bring your new puppy home, they should be supervised 100% of the time if they have free access. The smallest things lying around can lead to your pup either damaging your stuff or injuring themselves.
Puppies explore the world with their mouths, which puts them at high risk of ingesting something which could cause major damage, not to mention insane vet bills!
Dogs are opportunistic. If they can steal stuff off the counter, they will. If they can chew your table leg, they will. If they can bolt out an open front door, they will.
These are normal dog behaviours. And the best way to train your dog not to may not feel like training at all… it’s all about prevention!
Anything your puppy practises, they will get better at.
So if you don’t want your puppy to counter surf, steal stuff or chew the furniture, you’re going to need a way to manage your puppy when they’re unsupervised.
Creating a safe space in your home for your puppy
You need a puppy-safe space in your home where your pup can hang out, stay safe and keep out of trouble when you’re busy doing other things.
This might be a puppy crate, a pen or a gated off area. It’s far easier to fully puppy proof a small area of your home than to tackle the entire house at once.
The added benefit of keeping your pup confined to a smaller area of your home is it prevents your puppy from becoming overstimulated…. Which only leads to crazy behaviour!
We recommend choosing an area in a relatively quiet area of your home for your puppy’s safe space. Puppies need a lot of sleep, and when they don’t get it, they’re like overtired toddlers! Not fun for anyone!
Ensure your puppy always has access to fresh water while in their puppy safe space. You can use a heavy ceramic bowl to prevent spills or a bowl which attaches to the side of the crate.
Choosing a spot that is close to where you want your puppy to potty will make it easier to toilet train your puppy. Whenever your puppy wakes up, after play and after meals, you need to take them quickly to their potty area – so make sure it’s quick and easy to access.
Choosing a puppy crate or pen
A puppy crate or pen is an excellent option for your puppy’s safe space. Make sure you choose one with enough room for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably.
If you have a large breed, you can use a divider until your pup grows into their crate to make it feel cosy and prevent potty accidents inside.
If you’re using a pen, make sure it’s tall enough for larger breeds. Buying a smaller pen will only cost you more in the long run once your pup grows big enough to jump out of it!
What to put inside your puppy crate or pen
You want your puppy to love their crate or pen. So be sure to make it a positive experience spending time in there.
Put some toys in your pup’s safe space so they can self-occupy. But don’t throw them all in at once, keep them on rotation, or else your puppy will lose interest in them.
Teach your puppy how to play with the toy – start the game with them. You can attach toys to the side of the crate or pen using a carabiner so they can self entertain while you’re busy with the kids, cooking dinner or taking a shower!
Feed meals and give enrichment activities to your puppy in their crate or pen to encourage a positive association with their safe space.
Long-lasting chews are great, but power chewers need to be supervised to prevent injury. In our free puppy ebook, you can get all our advice and hot tips on everything puppy prep.
At Canine Learning Academy, we offer all-day puppy school or Board and Train services, which can offer a welcome relief to new puppy parents.