Puppy Proofing Basics | What to do Before Bringing Your Furball Home
Photo Credit: RTimages / Thinkstock
You’re going to bring a cute, angelic furball home who will show your family unconditional love with cuddles, licks, tail wags, chewing on your cords and shoes, getting into the trash… hm… did we mention they’re cute?
Puppies are curious about everything around them and they don’t know the difference between what’s safe & what’s not. Until you’ve had time to teach them right from wrong, create a positive, safe environment where a puppy can thrive and avoid as much reprimanding as possible.
Those puppy eyes will help them get away with a lot of mischief, but make sure your house is ready for it with these puppy-proofing basics:
Be patient and keep in mind that accidents happen! Bring them to a Noah’s Animal Hospital near you if you have an emergency!
GET ON THEIR LEVEL
It may feel silly, but get on all fours and crawl around your home and imagine what your puppy could swallow, jump on, pull down, knock over, chew up, and then take these precautions:
Cover those cords. What is it with electric cords and animals? In .05 seconds you could be replacing your $$$ computer/phone charger or lamp, even though their chew toy is right next to them! Here are a few precautionary ways to avoid that extra expense:
• CritterCord wraps around whatever cord/cable you want to keep safe and deters your pet with a citrus scent and bitter taste.
• Bitter Lemon Spray is an easy way to train your furball to stop chewing, gnawing, and licking things they shouldn’t.
Don’t let your house get trashed! Those sniffers are strong and they’ll be on the hunt for any food scraps you throw away! Get a trashcan with a secure-locking lid or find a place to hide it in a cabinet they can’t open. Same goes for bathroom trash cans!
DE-CLUTTER, ORGANIZE, & KEEP IT CLEAN
If you haven’t done your spring-cleaning yet, a puppy is the perfect reason to get to it! De-clutter all rooms, sell or donate what you haven't used in the past year, trash old cleaning supplies, and organize everything else in storage bins, on hooks, and keep as much as you can off the floor... that's the puppy's domain now :)
• Store your shoes in closets with the door closed. Have a family member who’s always leaving miscellaneous items out? The puppy might teach them a good lesson to keep their things tidy ;)
• Build a family command center to drop your keys, mail, wallet, etc. as soon as you walk in the door instead of leaving everything on a side table where they could be knocked off and chewed up/swallowed or destroyed like this guy's...
• Hide your remote controls (they make great chew toys).
• Keep the toilet lid DOWN. It’s NOT okay for your puppy to drink toilet water as toilet bowl cleaner or tablets you use to clean it are toxic!
• Tuck blankets and pillows in decorative bins. If there are pillows in the family room you love, maybe store them away in a closet during this puppy phase just in case!
• All cleaning supplies should be safely stored in a cabinet or closet. If your puppy figures out how to open doors, we recommend installing cabinet locks (the baby-proofing ones).
• Remove toxic plants from your home. Not sure if your plant is toxic to your puppy? Check on ASPCA's Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List.
YOUR SPACE vs THEIR SPACE
Whether it's a crate, a dog bed, or a specific spot on the couch, your puppy needs a "safe space" to retreat to. When done correctly, crate training provides a calming and protective space where your dog can feel safe and secure.
And at least in the beginning, it's good to restrict your puppy to only 1-2 rooms in your home until they're trained enough where you trust them to roam the whole house. Invest in baby gates to keep them out of your most important rooms, like the office!
Your perfect furever family member is waiting for you at Indianapolis Animal Care Services, the state's largest animal shelter with an average annual intake of 14,000 animals. See who’s available to adopt this month:
Indianapolis Animal Care Services - Adoptable Pets - May
Click here to see all of their available animals, or visit them at the shelter at 2600 South Hardin Street Indianapolis, IN 46221
Adoption Center Hours
Sun: 10am - 6pm
Mon: 10am - 6pm
Tues: 10am - 6pm
Thurs: 10am - 7pm
Friday: 10am - 6pm
Sat: 10am - 6pm
About Noah's Animal Hospitals: Noah’s Animal Hospitals are a locally owned family operated group of veterinary clinics serving Central Indiana and surrounding communities. With eight convenient locations to serve you, including two 24 hour locations, Noah’s is dedicated to providing you and your pet with the best possible care and exceptional client service, exceeding your expectations with every interaction. In fact, they like to consider themselves “The Best Friend of YOUR Best Friend.”