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Yes! It’s definitely very important to puppy proof your house before you bring home a puppy. In fact I have a 7 point checklist for puppy proofing my house that I go through every time before I bring home a new puppy.
When I rewind back 7 years and think about bringing home my first puppy, Linus for the first time I was ill-prepared. There were many things I should have done before making the final decision to bring home a new puppy. And this is from someone who did do some preparation including reading the Puppies for Dummies book…twice! Also, I did not bring home the first adorable puppy I came across and I actually did a ton of research on different breeds before picking Linus. I also had a veterinarian and a puppy trainer already picked out for my new puppy.
However, here are a few things I didn’t do:
- I did not puppy proof the house.
- I did not get puppy supplies for my new pup.
- I did not prepare for sleepless nights especially my puppy’s first night at home.
- I did not have an 24 hour emergency vet.
Make Sure You Puppy Proof Your House
By the time I decided to volunteer as a guide dog puppy raiser I made sure I puppy proofed my house before my home interview. Every time I get a new puppy I go through the short ritual of crawling around the house and yard on my hands and knees looking for potential dangers. I even mention this in the Dublin’s first Puppy In Training TV Video:
You probably already know that it’s extremely important to puppy proof your home for your puppy’s safety as a puppy is liable to pick up just about any and everything off the ground and eat it or chew on it. Here’s a step by step guide on how I go about puppy proofing my house before bringing home a new puppy:
- The Basics – My first round of cleaning is just the basics. Clean the house. Pickup everything off the floor. Vacuum. Mop and clean the floor (make sure you don’t use harsh chemicals that might irritate your puppy). Dust the house…you know the basics!
- Crawling the Floor – After the basics I get on my hands and knees and crawl all over the house inside and out to see from the same perspective as my puppy. You can often find hidden dangers this way. Keep your eye out for anything on the floor. Also watch out for electrical cords and wall sockets (your pup may want to chew on these).
- In Home Workers – If you have workers who come over (cleaning people, gardeners, pool men, etc.) make sure to check that they didn’t inadvertently drop anything or leave doors ajar.
- The Garage – there’s lots of dangerous stuff in the garage. Be very careful with antifreeze. Pets like the taste, but it’s absolutely deadly. I’ve had several friends lose their cats to antifreeze. Always check for leaks. Other harmful things for your puppy commonly found in the garage are pesticides, fertilizers, snail bait, batteries, cleaners and solvents, motor oil, gasoline, craft glues and cement mix.
- The Bathroom – Do not store dangerous items like medications and chemicals under the sink. Move anything like toilet and drain cleaner up and away from the toilet. Keep the toilet seat down, put trash up (or get one with a lid), and close shower/bathtubs. Some people often put cleaners in the toilet that turn the water blue. I never use these because even if it’s a rule to close the toilet lid not everyone in the house may follow through and I don’t want one of my pups or dogs drinking the chemical filled water on accident.
- The Living Area – Do your best to hide all wires and cables. Make sure all paper shredders are unplugged. There are many toxic plants, make sure if you have any toxic plants they are out of reach from your dogs and puppies.
- The Kitchen – Some of the major kitchen hazards include coffee grounds, spoiled foods, coffee grounds, bacteria and sharp objects. Cover all trash cans. Remove anything toxic from under the sink. Store all foods on high shelves out of the reach of your puppy. Keep your dishwasher closed. Know all the common food that are toxic to dogs ie. chocolate, grapes, raisins, etc.
That’s about it! If you’re about to bring home a new puppy I suggest you go through these 7 steps to puppy proofing your house.
What about you guys? Am I missing anything? Do you have a checklist you go through for puppy proofing your house? Please tell me about it in the comment section below.