Puppy-Proofing 101: What You Need Before Bringing Your New Pet Home

Credit: oakleythehuskyyy on Instagram

If you want to share your space with a puppy, you should know there’s a lot to consider when it comes to safety. Puppies want to get into everything and they don’t understand that many things are hazardous to them. While it’s easier to puppy-proof an apartment than a large home, there are still things you need to think about before your new pup crosses the threshold.

Corgi Puppy

Credit: Nighty night by maxthecorgs on Instagram


Clean Up

If your new pup can put it in their mouth, they probably will. That stray button in your bedroom? Yep. A wayward piece of food behind the garbage can? Of course. A thorough cleaning of your apartment before you bring your new pup home is a must. And don’t worry if cleaning up is something you’re not used to—you’ll be a pro soon, because puppies can be messy!


Secure Hazards

Puppies love to chew, and they don’t know that electrical cords are something they should definitely not chew on. It’s up to you to make sure electrical cords are off the ground if possible, or that there’s no access to them in the first place. Also, consider the placement of lamps and other things that could fall off a table—and on to a curious pup.

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Think About Areas Your Puppy Isn’t Allowed

Whether it’s the kitchen or the bathroom, chances are there will be a room or two you don’t want your puppy in. Luckily, baby gates aren’t just for babies. If you don’t want to constantly remember to shut doors, or if the room you want off-limits doesn’t even have doors, baby gates are the perfect option.

Bedroom - sneak peek. Credit: By Frances on flickr creative commons

Bedroom – sneak peek. Credit: By Frances on flickr creative commons


Check Out Your Plants

If you’re prone to keeping plants to make your space look pretty, take a good look at a list of plants that are toxic to dogs. There are likely many more than you think, and any toxic plants should be moved to an area your pup can’t access.

Related: Living Green in an Apartment Setting 


Consider Your Outside Area

Apartment living doesn’t often include your own outdoor space, but you can still be vigilant about hazards in the area where you’ll be taking your pup for potty breaks. This includes checking for trash on the ground each time you go out and knowing whether or not your pup’s favorite bush to chew on is dog friendly.


Replace or Move Trashcans

Trash? Chances are your pup thinks of it as “extra dinner.” Consider buying a trashcan with a lid to help your pup resist temptation, and don’t forget about smaller trash cans in bathrooms or bedrooms, which can also be an attractive option. Also, remember to keep your dog food either out of reach in a cupboard, pantry, or plastic container to prevent your hungry lil’ pup from ripping open the bag.


Paper Shredder. Credit: By steews4 on flickr creative commons

Paper Shredder. Credit: By steews4 on flickr creative commons


All of this might sound exhausting, but remember: Puppies are hard work! Yes, they’re adorable and cuddly and look cute in your Instagram photos, but they also want to eat anything, go to the bathroom everywhere, and chew on your favorite shoes. It’s up to you to keep them safe, especially in those first few days when exploring will be at the top of their to-do list.


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Elizabeth Xu

Elizabeth Xu

Elizabeth Xu is a freelance writer who covers a variety of topics, including pets, travel, and education. Check out her freelance writing website to learn more, or follow her on Twitter @ElizabethMXu.

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  • One has to be lucky to find places that allow pets… Some allow only one and some put restrictions on the type of pet…. in particular dogs, large or “aggressive” breeds.
    However, more and more properties and landlords accept pets…
    In Dallas for example, most properties are pet-friendly