Puppy training is such an important part of raising your furry companion. Even the most well behaved puppies need to be taught what is and isn’t appropriate. One important thing you can do to aid in your training is to puppy-proof your home. Not only it is essential for the safety of your dog but also can prevent damage and destruction in your home.
This is so important when bringing a new furry friend into your home. Puppies are excited and get into everything which can be dangerous for them and stressful for you. Even adult dogs (whether newly adopted, or your own pups all grown up) should be in a safe environment. That doesn’t change. Most of these tips are ones that should be more permanent changes, so long as you have a dog in your home.
Here are some considerations when puppy-proofing or dog-proofing your home:
Location: Do you want your dog to have free reign in your home? The more areas that you want to let your dog roam in, the more areas which need to be puppy-proofed.
The problem with keeping them in certain areas of the home means if they get out of those safe zones, they could be at risk. This is also important in terms of cleaning up any accidents. It can be easier to clean up linoleum or laminate floors than carpets.
Crate or No Crate: Psychology has shown that dogs do better when they have a small environment to call their own, when being left. This can help relieve stress such as pacing, searching the house for their owners and allows them to treat the area like a ‘den’. A crate offers a safe and comforting place for dogs, as does your dogs own bed. Keep in mind your dogs bed or kennel is a great place for safety and as a result should never be used for punishment or time outs!
Having your puppy in a crate can also be a stress reliever on you, knowing that your puppy is safe and can’t get into anything dangerous. Pens (sort of like playpens for dogs) are also nice. However, if you properly puppy or dog-proof your home a crate may not be necessary.
Identifying Potential Risks: Be patient and carefully inspect the areas you want puppy proofed. Consider how high they can jump when inspecting your rooms.
After thinking of these main concepts, it’s time to take a closer look and determine what immediate dangers are present in the rooms. Then you need to determine ways to remedy the situation.
Here are some common dangers and how to solve them:
- Trash Cans: Old food and other items present in garbage can really catch a dog’s interest. If they knock over a garbage can they can expose themselves to dangerous chemicals, rotten food, plastic, metal, and much more. Some tips for solving this problem include either removing the garbage can (place the puppies in a room without one) or get one with a tight fitting lid, so even if the puppies knock it over, the contents won’t spill out.
- Electrical Cords or Phone Cords: Any loose cord can attract puppies whether or not it is plugged in. Plugged in cords could result in your pup being electrocuted. Even if the cords aren’t plugged in, dogs could still inject something dangerous. Also, some of your pricey electronics might get ruined!
- Area Rugs, Shaggy Rugs, and Welcome Mats: These can often be mistaken for toys. They can be ripped apart and the pieces eaten. This can be very dangerous to our dogs because they can create blockages in their intestines which require surgery to correct! The best solution is to make sure that there aren’t any in the rooms.
- Pens, Pencils, other small objects: Any of these small objects can become chew toys. This includes sheets of papers and tissues from a tissue box. Try to keep these items either out of reach or out of the room.
- Plants: Plants can be appealing to dogs because of the damp dirt and scent of the flowers. However, they can be dangerous because some plants are poisonous or even deadly. Additionally if dogs knock over the pots they can cut themselves on the broken pottery or eat some of the pieces.
- Curtains, Hanging Cords: Anything dangling or hanging can be a distraction to dogs. They can yank down curtains which could hurt them if the curtain rod falls.
- Pillows, Ruffles on Furniture, Couch Cushions: Many dogs and puppies love to chew on the ruffle or hanging fabric on the bottom of couches. Throw pillows and couch cushions also are common targets. Having a good tight fitting furniture cover helps.
- Pest Poison: We often have to deal with pests of various types in our home. Our first response is to put down traps or poison. Both of which can be dangerous to our pets. Even poison for ants and bees can be deadly. Be sure that these are in places where pets can’t get (behind the refrigerator, inside cupboards, etc.).
The important thing to remember is that many of these behaviours can fade with time and proper training. However it is up to us to protect our pups and soon we’ll find ourselves with wonderful companions. Please contact us for more information on puppy training or register for an upcoming puppy class.