Getting a new puppy is an exciting time, both for you and the puppy. But if you don’t prepare your house for your new friend, those first few weeks could be pretty disastrous too. Your home could sustain some substantial damage, and your puppy’s health could get put in jeopardy too. Here’s how to protect your home, and your pup, when introducing a new canine family member into your life.
Put Dangers out of Reach
The typical home is rife with potential dangers for puppies including chemicals, sharp items, electrical cables and choking hazards. For these items, install cabinets or create a storage place up high where the dog can’t reach before you bring the pup home. If your pet might be able to nudge cabinet doors open, use child safety latches.
Be sure to put any cleaning products that contain chemicals away as soon as you’re done using them, and use naturally derived cleaning products whenever possible. Also, make sure you unplug appliances when they’re not in use and can store cables out of reach.
Put Fragile Items in Secure Places
As you most likely know, puppies can get pretty rambunctious. Leaving delicate items out in the open or in precarious positions is likely to lead to them getting broken. Until your four-legged friend calms down a bit, you might want to move your fine china away from the edge of the shelf or maybe even consider putting it away in a cabinet for a while.
Give Them Their Own Space
You can’t put everything out of reach, and chances are high that your furniture won’t come out of this unscathed.
To minimize that damage, get a crate or a gate to keep them somewhere they can’t do damage when they can’t be supervised. To make the crate a more enjoyable prospect, make it into a safe place for your dog complete with a comfy bed or blanket and toys.
For those chewing sprees that slip through the cracks, investing in furniture that you can repair or refinish, like solid wood furniture, will get you through.
Guard Against Fire Hazards
Even something as simple as a candle can be a danger to your home and your pooch. Make sure candles are far out of reach and don’t leave your puppy along with them while they’re lit. If they get knocked over, they’ll spill hot wax everywhere and may even start a fire. If you have a fireplace, get a fire screen to keep your pet out of there.
Check for Toxic Plants
Chemicals and scissors present a clear danger to animals, but your home may have some less obvious hazards in it too. Some common house and outdoor plants, including azaleas, tulips, and sago palm, are toxic to dogs.
While eating most plants can upset a dog’s stomach, ingesting the most toxic ones can lead to severe illness and even death. The ASPCA maintains a list of plants to avoid. While most plants won’t cause serious illness, it’s smart to put houseplants out of reach to avoid an upset stomach and a mess.
Use Trashcans With Lids
Dogs will eat anything, including trash. If you have a trashcan without a lid, especially in the kitchen, they’ll probably get into it. This can cause a huge mess and might make your dog sick, depending on what’s in the bin. The kitchen should be your top priority, but it wouldn’t hurt to put lids on the other cans too.
Your life will change in many incredible ways when you get a puppy. To make this transition as smooth as possible, you’ll have to change a few things about the way you run your home. By keeping potential hazards out of reach and taking some simple steps to protect your home, you’ll keep both you and your new four-legged friend much happier.
By Emily Folk / Twitter @EmilySFolk