Puppy proofing?..  What’s that then? We doubt you’ve given this much thought when there are so many other exciting things to think about when getting a new puppy. Trust us though, it’s pretty important to keep your puppy safe and stop your home from potentially getting destroyed by your new Tasmanian Devil pup.

When we welcome a puppy into our home we need to make sure the environment is safe for them by puppy proofing it. But what is puppy proofing a house really all about? And just how much damage can that bundle of fluff do anyway? 

Well read on, and we’ll tell you all the reasons you should puppy proof your home, there’s our handy checklist to puppy proofing and even some extra ideas for stress free puppy proofing. We’re nice like that.

golden retriever puppy with bowl
Photo by Berkay Gumustekin on Unsplash

If you’re looking for more puppy tips and tricks, or perhaps a kind and listening ear to coach you through life with a new puppy, then download the Zigzag puppy training app. We have a team of puppy coaches ready to help you with your puppy, and a dedicated puppy training programme for you to work through. The pitter patter of tiny paws need not be so worrisome, we’ve got you. 

Why should I puppy proof the house?

When you think of a puppy proof house what springs to mind? For us we want an environment for our puppies that is safe, but what does that mean exactly, and why wouldn’t a regular house be safe enough?

Well listen up! These puppies get into everything! And we really do mean everything! They are super curious and investigate things with their mouth, which means chewing galore, eating the craziest things, pawing and jumping on anything that may be in their way. If you imagine the phrase ‘bull in a china shop’ well that’s puppies for you!

When you first bring your puppy home they will spend a lot of time indoors. They won’t be fully vaccinated and out and about just yet, so it’s important to make sure you puppy proof your house. We’d recommend you do this before you bring them home so that you’re well prepared. 

Essentially, puppy proofing your house is about making sure your puppy’s world has nothing dangerous in it. That way, you can relax when you’re not watching them or with them. This will be essential as you can’t possibly stay with them 24/7, not to mention you will want to teach them to be happy on their own, so puppy proofing your house means you can relax knowing that they’re safe and well.

pug puppy wrapped up in blanket
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Checklist for successfully puppy-proofing your house

When puppy proofing your house, it’s important to be thorough. Don’t forget how curious your puppy is!

Do a full puppy proofing house audit

Yes, this means sitting down in your house and looking around at what might be dangerous for your puppy. Write down everything you see that you think might possibly be a hazard. Check for dangers like electrical cables, cleaning supplies, strings from hanging blinds, poisonous plants, small ornaments or sharp objects, expensive rugs etc.

Operation puppy proof house begins

It’s time to take action to puppy proof your house. It’s always good to prepare things you need in your puppy’s space to make it totally comfortable and safe for them. This typically involves doing things like:

1. Keep cables and leads out of reach

Taping up or blocking off cables that could be chewed on. Laptop and phone chargers are always a favourite for a teething puppy

2. Tie up any loose ends, literally

Tying up blind strings or anything hanging down that your puppy might climb or get tangled in.

3. Put your plants on a pedestal

Raise plants high up out of pups reach, or move them out and away from the puppy’s area.

4. Keep the bathroom doors firmly shut

Pups are curious and the thought of drinking out of a toilet bowl, regardless, does not put them off. Drinking from the toilet is never a good idea, is it?

5. Keep the bins squared away

Rummaging around for food, whether its fresh or not-so fresh, isn’t a deterrent for pups. Locking bin lids and putting the recycling out is a good way to stop your pup dragging your chicken carcass from last Sundays roast around your home.

6. Roll up, Roll up, the rugs we mean!

Taking up any expensive rugs. Your puppy will pee or chew on them so good to pack them away for a while! Don’t worry, as soon as they our toilet trained, that lovely teddy rug can come straight back out.

7. Clear any small objects

Your pup will think that anything and everything it can pick up, big or small, is a toy that must be played with. Clearing away any small objects that could be a choking hazard to your pup will stop you worrying if you take your eyes off them for a short time.

8. Check your back-stock

Make sure any cleaning products you use are pet-safe and non toxic. Also make sure they are kept locked up safely, you don’t want your pup getting hold of your floor cleaner!

9. Keep your batteries stored away

Remote controls, electronic toys, key fobs and anything else battery operated in your house should be picked up and moved well away from your pup and its designated area. Batteries in any form can be especially dangerous.

10. Give them space

Having baby gates set up or a puppy playpen are useful for keeping a dedicated space puppy proofed at all times.

Puppy proof for your pup’s arrival home

Now you’ve got a perfect puppy proof house – yes it’s a bit of a tongue twister that – let’s make sure you’ve got everything you need for bringing your new puppy home. It’s always good to prepare things you need in your puppy’s space to make it totally comfortable and safe for them.

  • Have their crate, and possibly puppy pads or a puppy toilet in this space.
  • Fresh clean water should always be available for your puppy.

Things to keep in mind when puppy proofing your house

Puppy proofing an open plan apartment or large house

If you have a small house then it can be easy enough to puppy proof all of it. But if you have a larger home or live open plan then it can be an idea to set up a gated area, or a puppy playpen in order to make sure your puppy’s environment is puppy proof. For apartment dwellers, it’s also worth you making a toilet area for your puppy, as garden space may sometimes be hard to come by for those top floor occupants. Toilet training in a flat can be tricky, but not impossible as long as you know what to do and stay consistent. 

Yawning pug puppy
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Puppy proof your garden: its an essential

There are many hazards in the garden for your puppy too. Do the audit and check for any of the following which might be dangerous for your puppy

  • Make sure your fence is secure so that your puppy can be safe in your garden.
  • Poisonous plants – Tomato plants, Gladiola, Ivy, and Daffodils to name a few. 
  • Pools or ponds – make sure you fence around these in case your puppy goes for a curious dip. 
  • Weedkillers, pesticides, BBQ supplies or other chemicals commonly used in the garden should be put away in sheds out of harm’s way.
  • Do make sure there is shade and fresh, clean water available for your puppy if they’re going to be spending time out there. Puppies get hot quickly.
  • Mow the lawn so fleas and ticks are less inclined to be hiding in the grass.
  • Set up a dedicated toilet area outside so that you can teach your puppy to go to the toilet in a specific place. You can use small fence panels for this. 

Keep an eye on your puppy proof house with a pet camera

Once your puppy is home, a pet camera can help alleviate any worries you may have about what your puppy’s getting up to when you’re in a different part of your home or when you’re not there. You can use apps on a tablet to watch from your phone, or a dedicated pet camera. Being able to check on your puppy when you’re not there is also really useful for figuring out if they’re okay being on their own. Find out more handy tips with our guide to puppy separation anxiety.

In summary, management will be the best way of keeping your puppy safe in your home. It is pretty straightforward to do a puppy proofing audit and then make a few simple changes to prevent your puppy from getting into trouble. They are so precious we don’t want them hurting themselves. We also don’t want them chewing on our valuables either. And chew they will – why not check out our guide to puppy chewing for the full story!

Don’t forget we have a team of Zigzag puppy coaches to help you figure out what may or may not be dangerous for your puppy when puppy proofing the house, or for any other puppy query. We have an extensive programme of things to do before you even bring your puppy home as well. Why not download a trial of Zigzag and give it a go today?