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Getting a new dog is an incredibly exciting time for you and your family. But do you know how to dog proof your home so your new friend doesn’t get into trouble?
Dogs can be playful and curious, and while it can be fun at first, it can quickly turn into a problem. Ever seen the classic movie scene where the family dog strews garbage across the kitchen? Dogs are known for getting into things they shouldn’t, and if you’re not well-prepared, your kitchen could resemble that scene.
Just like when you bring a new baby home, your house is full of dangers for a new dog. Whether they’re a little puppy or a old timer, your dog is going to take some time to adjust to his new environment, so the easier you can make it for him to get used to his new home the better.
If you already have a dog, it’s not too late to make sure they stay safe. Often dog owners make a stronger effort to dog proof their homes after something happens — something that they could have prevented. From chewing through cords, eating a twist tie that was dropped, to even chewing through their cages, many dog owners don’t expect their pet to be destructive until he is. Our advice? Be prepared for anything. Your dog might appear to be the perfect angel, but give him a chance and he’ll rip apart every last magazine you keep in the house.
Learning how to dog proof your home can be difficult because you might not know if you have to do a lot or a little — it all depends on the size of your home, the size of your dog, how much access you’re going to give your new dog, and how many potential dangers are in your home.
The basics of how to dog proof your home mean getting rid of anything that could be poisonous or cause harm to your dog, or at least putting it out of reach. Chemicals are a big one, whether it’s cleaning supplies or the infamous antifreeze, it all needs to be up and in cabinets where your dog will never be able to reach them.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that all small spaces that a dog could squeeze into are blocked. The last thing you want is your dog getting behind the couch and eating something he shouldn’t, or accidentally knocking something over. If your dog is a larger breed this might not be as much of an issue, but you should be wise that some puppies will go out of their way to get something they want on the ground.
The easiest way to approach dog proofing your home is to think of your dog like a perpetual toddler. Medications and foods that can make them sick need to be out of sight and out of mind. Baby proofing methods are so similar because the tools we use to keep our kids out of the cabinets work just as well on our dogs. Gates, covers for cords, and safety locks are all very effective in keeping your dog out of places he shouldn’t be.
How to Dog Proof Your Home — A Clean Home is a Happy Home
Another good way to keep your dog safe in your home is to make an effort to keep things clean and organized. Messes are just an opportunity for your dog to find something he shouldn’t. Your favorite shoes or new socks are all at risk if they’re left out, so it’s better to find a way to keep your rooms clean. Everything that has a place should be in a place where a curious snout can’t reach it.
You can find plenty of ways to keep things neat, but even after all that effort, leaving your dog out when you’re not home can also lead to disaster. Unsupervised dogs see the world as their oyster. Couch cushions? Shredded. Get a crate for your dog and put in the time to crate train him. Avoid walking in on your dog’s in the act, and keep him safe by keeping him locked in his crate while you’re gone. Eating something he shouldn’t can lead to serious consequences, especially if he’s not able to pass it.
When you’re learning how to dog proof your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Dog proofing your home might not be the cheapest part of owning a dog, but it’s definitely one of the smartest. Your dog needs protection because he doesn’t know any better, so it’s up to you to make sure he stays safe. Give yourself the peace of mind you deserve so you can spend quality time with your dog rather than worrying about what he’s doing every second.(?) (?)