Tips for Puppy-Proofing Your Home

There’s something irresistible about baby animals, isn’t there? Puppies, kittens, chicks, and more… so innocent, sweet, and cuddly! But for baby animals, some things around your house may be irresistable… and dangerous.

It’s best to puppy-proof (or kitten-proof, or whatever animal you have-proof) your home BEFORE the new family member comes home. Even if you don’t get every potential hazard out of the way, you’ll still be ahead of the game!

First things first: get a pet’s eye view on the world. That means crouching down — or crawling on your hands and knees — to see what the room might look like from your pet’s perspective. This way, you might see temptations that you don’t pay attention to when you’re on your feet.

Some things you might want to look for (and relocate): dangling electrical cords, breakables on low tables, chewy temptations. Baskets, upholstery, and accent pillows might be a temptation for teething youngsters. (My dog Lally loves to chew on baskets, and she’s far from a young pup!)

You may want to consider gating off a particular room or area for your new pet while they adjust to life in your household. If your new pet isn’t potty trained, you might want to pick an area that’s easy to clean up — no carpet, in other words, and floors that are stain resistant. Confining your pet to a particular area can help keep them safe from hazards around the house, too!

Part of puppy-proofing means changing your habits, too. You may not be able to leave food and drinks on low tables — your new pet may not have the self-control to leave those snacks alone. You may have to start storing things in new places; if your new pet likes chewing shoes, for example, you may want to keep shoes locked in the closet or on a high shelf your pet can’t reach.

If you think like a puppy (or kitten, or other animal) AND think like a human, you’ll be able to keep your house — and everyone in it — nice and safe.