Puppy Proofing 101

Bringing home a new puppy is one of the most exciting things to wait for! But preparing yourself and your home for a puppy can be an entirely different, nerve racking experience. Making sure your pup has a safe environment where they won't hurt themselves, or your valuables, is EXTREMELY important when you first bring your dog home. So together at the MaxCare team, we have put together a list of 5 steps for puppy proofing your home and being prepared for when your new best friend arrives!

1. Location, Location, Location

Think about where your puppy is going to spend most of its time... How will you keep your puppy there? Will they be tied to something? Will you be putting up a barrier or closing doors to block its access to certain places? You should only let your puppy have free range of a very small area of the house when you first bring them home. Then, as they start to learn the rules you start to increase their free range of the house (this also helps with house training). Be sure to pick your puppy's location wisely and ensure there is enough room for it to play, even while being contained.

2. Electrical cords...

This may seem like a given, but you would be surprised how many puppy's injure themselves because a power cable is left lying around. Electrical cables are extremely dangerous, but to a puppy it just looks like another plastic chew toy. Ensuring that every electrical cable is tucked away safely and out of reach is very important when puppy proofing your house.

3. Think like a dog!

When we say this, we mean it literally... Get on your hands and knees and start crawling around to view the world as your puppy would. What objects look tasty, what areas could they get into that you don't want them to. Remember that puppies are experiencing everything for the first time in their lives, so seeing something on a shelf is going to strike their curiosity and they are going to try and sniff it or bite it. Be sure that anything your puppy may get into has been moved out of reach. Check the bottom of bookshelves, open cupboards and any other low lying storage to ensure there's nothing dangerous or valuable that your puppy can get into.

4. Move your chemicals

This one may seem like another obvious, but it has to be said. Cleaning chemicals are great and definitely come in handy when those house training accidents happen. But make sure that all your cleaning supplies are stored safely away from your puppy and be sure to let any chemicals you use dry and washout thoroughly before you puppy has access to the affected area again. Highly scented chemicals can even bother some puppies so be sure to check what chemicals you use and ensure they aren't highly scented.

5. Mitigate your losses

Your puppy is going to get into things. They will try and chew your furniture and eat books among many other household objects. Be sure to move anything that you consider valuable away from your puppy and provide lots of different chew toys to manage and mitigate any damages caused. Remember to get lots of different textured chew toys, if a puppy only has access to rope, they may start chewing on your wooden furniture... And if they have no rope to chew on, well then they may look at your carpet as a nice alternative. Be sure to pick out chew toys that vary in material so you puppy can keep his interest on these instead of your furniture and belongings.

Bringing home a puppy is very exciting, but it is very important that you bring them into a safe environment. Be sure to checkout these steps and more to ensure that your puppy is coming home to a safe, happy and nurturing environment. You can also see our post on housetraining your new puppy here!

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