When we become parents, we are constantly being advertised products on how to “baby-proof” our homes. But what happens when you become a dog parent? Where are the advertisements on how to “puppy-proof?” Whether it’s a one-bedroom apartment or a single-family home there are things that you need to prepare for before bringing a new dog into your life.
What do I need to buy before adopting a dog?
You’ve got the basics covered such as toys, food and a dog bed. But there are some essentials that you may want to stock up on that you haven’t thought about.
- Poo bags—Trust us, you’re going to need a lot of these while house training.
- Pee pads—Another item you’re going to want to have all over the house to preserve your rugs and floors.
- Grooming wipes—Dirt, grass and other germs from outside can get caught in your pup’s paws so wipe them down after a walk. (Also, puppies have no aim so they will get pee and poo on them from time to time).
- Training treats—Puppies tend to be food motivated and you’ll find yourself giving your puppy a lot of treats throughout the day. Try to stick to healthier and smaller treats so your dog doesn’t become unhealthy early on.
- Chew toys—Plushies and tennis balls are great for play time, but your puppy will be teething just like a newborn baby. Get a couple different chew toys to help with pain management and temptation to chew on other things such as your shoes or furniture.
IMPORTANT: Make sure to speak to your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet.
How should I "puppy proof" my house?
Now let’s get to the home. As we mentioned before you need to make your home “chew proof.” On top of having a variety of enrichment and chew toys you should make sure to put away anything within reach. Their teeth may be small, but they can create some big damage.
Some dogs chew wires and electronics. We suggest wire covers or tucking them away into places that they can’t reach. This includes even the smallest electronics! Our new puppy chewed through my boyfriend’s brand new $80 Xbox headphones his first week home—so learn from our mistakes and put things away when you’re done using them.
Trash cans are like gold mines for dogs. Leftover food scraps are not only harmful to your dog but can also make them very sick. Make sure all trash and leftover food is thrown away properly. Trash cans should have lids and taking the trash out more frequently will help with that too.
How do I keep my new puppy safe from chemicals and unsafe food?
We said it before—and we’ll say it again—dogs can get into everything. It’s best to put childproof latches on cabinets so they can’t open it with their paws and get into the food cabinet.
Keep counters clear and free of clutter. Everything from beauty products to medications can be toxic to your dog if they ingest it. Make sure everything is sealed up and put away in places they can’t reach. Keep this in mind with food if you are cooking dinner. Don’t leave the chicken on the counter because even if you turn away for a second your dog will get to it.
Speaking of things that are toxic to your dog, make sure to do your research on chemicals and ingredients that can be harmful. Research topics such as cleaning products, essential oils and air fresheners.
A simple way to avoid your dog getting into trouble is to shut the door behind you when you leave a room. By shutting the doors behind you it stops your new fur baby from sneaking in somewhere when you’re not looking. Remember to lock any gates too. Baby gates are a great investment if you have a bigger home and need to keep the dogs out of a certain area.
The biggest tip we can give you is to simply pick up after yourself. Dogs will get into every little thing possible so even if you’re just leaving the room for a second, pick up whatever it is that you’re using so they don’t find it.