Before bringing your new puppy home, there are some environmental precautions you should take to help protect him from possible injury. Puppies tend to be very curious, and they can get themselves into trouble in no time at all. Follow these 8 steps to puppy-proof your home and keep your puppy safe:
#1: Level With Your Puppy
One of the easiest ways to determine what changes need to be made is to crawl around on all fours to get a pup's eye view of the place. Particularly look for things that a puppy could chew on or get tangled in, and small spaces he could squeeze through, and eliminate the possibility of an accident.
#2: Don’t Leave Electrical Cords Exposed
Curious puppies might find themselves behind your TV or near a lamp thinking its rubber cord is a fun toy. Because dogs explore the world with their mouths, electrical cords are extremely hazardous. You can block them off with heavy furniture or purchase cord protectors to keep them off limits when you’re unable to supervise.
#3: Block Stairs With a Gate
Falling down the stairs can cause serious injury, so make sure all doors leading to stairways are closed, and block off any other stairs with a pet gate.
#4: Place Human Food Out of Reach
It doesn’t take long for pups to figure out where all the goodies are stored. Human foods, especially those that are notoriously poisonous for dogs, and even his dog food, should be securely stashed away to avoid messes, overeating, and harmful ingestion when you’re not able to supervise.
#5: Keep All Trash Cans Behind Closed Doors
Same idea here—pups can sniff out just about anything, especially old food and garbage. Avoid messes and potentially dangerous ingestion altogether by blocking off access to the garbage or purchasing a pet-proof can.
#6: Keep All Medications in a Safe Place
Make sure that dog medications, human medications, and any other supplements are securely stashed and out of reach.
#7: Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy
To streamline the housetraining process and quickly clean up any other puppy messes, keep pet cleaning supplies ready to go at all times; just make sure that they’re out of reach of your puppy.
#8: Make Your Backyard Safe
Always fence in your yard when possible, making sure there are no small gaps or weak spots that your pup can wriggle out of. Avoid keeping plants that are poisonous to dogs and make sure your yard is clear of mushrooms, which can be fatal. Fence off swimming pools and make sure that your dog knows how to safely enter and exit the pool when it’s open. Avoid using harmful insecticides and fertilizers and store trash and garage supplies out of reach of your pup. Always provide plenty water and shade.
Once you've spent some time with your pup, you will learn his particular tendencies (some are chewers, some are diggers, etc.) and can make additional changes to your home accordingly.