How to Prepare Your Home for a New Puppy

Post of How to Prepare Your Home for a New Puppy

Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting, eventful time and studies show there are numerous science-based benefits to having a dog. New dog owners should be aware that getting a puppy doesn’t only involve buying food, toys, and taking them to the vet. Similar to baby-proofing your home, dog owners need to take similar action to prepare their homes for a new puppy.

It is important to anticipate any potential home hazards for your puppy. The information below is meant to provide new dog owners with several considerations that will help protect your puppy and your home.

1. Remove Hanging Objects

Puppies are curious little creatures. Everything is new to them, and they want to explore anything within reach, so it is crucial to look for any hanging objects and remove them to protect your puppy from any potential harm. If it’s something you don’t want to remove entirely, you can hang them up out of the animal’s reach. Some examples of hanging objects to remove or hang higher include:

  • Electrical wires extend from household appliances and electronics.
  • Table clothes.
  • Bedding.
  • Curtains.
  • Tapestries.
  • Clothing.
  • Hanging plants.

Take a moment and monitor how high your puppy can reach and how high they can jump to ensure that the item you are hanging is at an appropriate height. Reassess the height objects are hung at as the puppy begins to grow.

2. Keep Objects Off the Floor

Life gets crazy and your house can get cluttered as a result, but it is important to pick up after yourself and keep objects off the floor — especially smaller items. This should not just include the floor, it is important to store all potentially hazardous items in areas where your puppy can’t get to them. All objects can be choking hazards and the unfortunate reality is that puppies (and even full-grown dogs) love to eat things that are left out. This can include things such as:

  • Footwear.
  • Articles of clothing.
  • Coins.
  • Baby toys.
  • Shoes.
  • Human food.

Removing all choking hazards is a great way to minimize the chance of your puppy choking. But when there is a will, there is a way, and a puppy will find a way. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Heimlich maneuver for dogs so that you can take immediate action when your puppy is choking. Note that the processes change depending on the size of your dog.

3. Hide and Safely Store All Harmful Substances

Several things are commonly found in homes that are toxic and harmful to dogs. You should store the following “dog poisons” in an area that is inaccessible to your dog:

Over-the-counter and prescription medications: Human medication is poisonous to pets and it can cause serious health issues and even death.

Human food: Feeding your puppy some scraps to avoid doing dishes or because they gave you puppy eyes may seem like a great idea, but there are several human foods to avoid feeding your pet that is toxic — like:

  • Chocolate.
  • Avocado.
  • Citrus.
  • Grapes.
  • Dairy.
  • Nuts.

Chemicals: Digesting chemicals is bad for humans and dogs alike. Be sure to store all cleaning supplies, pesticides, rodenticides, insecticides, and any other chemicals in a spot where your puppy won’t come in contact with them.

If you believe that your dog has gotten into a harmful substance, you should contact Animal Poison Control immediately or take your dog to your local veterinarian.

4. Puppy Proof Your Plants

Plants are a great way to add character or improve air quality, but several plants are poisonous to dogs. Whether they are located inside or outside, it is important to avoid or protect your puppy from the following plants:

  • Sago palm.
  • Tomato.
  • Aloe vera.
  • Ivy.
  • Amaryllis.
  • Gladiola.
  • Holly.
  • Daffodil.
  • Baby’s breath.
  • Milkweed.
  • Azalea/Rhododendron.
  • Tulip.

The best way to keep your puppy away from harmful plants is to avoid them entirely. There are tons of alternatives to the plants above to satisfy your green thumb. If you decide to have a toxic plant, store them in areas that your puppy cannot access. Consider different ways to puppy-proof your pets like hanging your plants from the ceiling or keeping them in a secured greenhouse.

5. Protect Your Pets from Pests

Pests can be obnoxious for humans and dogs alike, but the important thing to be aware of is how they carry disease and spread bacteria/parasites. Some dogs may have allergies to pests that can create additional discomfort. There are a few pests that dog owners should watch out for, some include:

  • Fleas.
  • Ticks.
  • Mosquitoes.
  • Spiders.
  • Stinging insects.
  • Ants.

There are several ways to protect your animal from pests — some examples include:

Consider topicals and collars: There are several different topicals and collars out there to help protect your animal from pests. Do your research and find what works best for you and your puppy.

Take advantage of pest control: Having a pest control professional is one of the best methods for getting rid of harmful pests. Below are some pest control services to consider:

  • General outdoor pest control.
  • Specific pest control like tick control or flea control, depending on the time of year and your location.
  • Utilize traps and deterrents: There are numerous different pest traps to take advantage of. There are specialized lights, hanging traps, floor traps, sprays, and even candles.
  • Keep your dog clean: Regularly groom your puppy to help ward off pests. This should include baths and brushing. This is also a good opportunity to check for any pests in your dog’s hair or on their skin.
  • Keep your house clean: Pests love messy areas. It creates the perfect home for nesting and breeding. Be sure to keep the inside and outside of your home clean.

6. Make Sure Your Fence is Secure

Most dogs love the outdoors and if you have a fenced-in backyard, your pet can spend time outside without your supervision. That said, you should always make sure that your fence is secured so that your puppy cannot escape.

Walk around the perimeter of your fence and look for any loose fence posts, holes in fencing, or areas large enough for your puppy to escape and fix the issue accordingly.

Dogs love to dig. If your dog is a digger, you will want to watch for any holes that are near the fence line where your puppy could escape.

If you are worried that your puppy is going to escape, the best solution is to supervise them when they’re outside.

7. Buy a Puppy Camera/Monitor

You can’t always take your dog with you everywhere you go and sometimes you may have to leave them at home without you. If you want to keep an eye on your dog while you have gone, you may want to consider a puppy camera or monitor. There are numerous options to choose from all with varying capabilities (e.g. treat capabilities, voice capabilities, alerts, etc.).

Do your research to determine which puppy camera/monitor is best for you and your puppy. The American Kennel Club recommends the following pet cams and monitors.

8. Take Advantage of Crates or Dog Gates

Similar to the options mentioned above, when you leave, other ways to keep your puppy from getting into things they shouldn’t are crates or dog gates. With a crate, you can have peace of mind knowing that your dog can’t get into anything dangerous. Dog gates can be used to block off specific areas or to confine your dog to a specific area of the house. However, be aware that a puppy can jump over a gate, so make sure you have one high enough to prevent them from jumping over it. Both are great options — especially if you don’t allow your pets to sleep with you.

Crates and gates are also helpful when you are trying to get some cleaning done, you are working on a home project, or when you have guests over. Avoid using a crate as a method of punishment. This can confuse your puppy into thinking they are in trouble when you put them in the crate at night or when you leave.