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