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Awww, so you're the proud first time owner of a new puppy! Congratulations on your fluffy bundle of joy!
Puppies are so much like little children; they are curious as can be, have a love of running around and playing, and will more than likely try to chew on whatever they can find. That being said, it is worth it to puppy-proof your home so that you don't have to worry about your little fur baby or your things while you are off doing what you do every day.
Looking at Your Space From Your Four-Legged Friend's Perspective
Puppy-proofing your home works a lot like baby-proofing your home; you look at every detail that could potentially be a danger or a major expense down the road, and you safeguard it. You look at your space from your puppy's perspective, be it a small one bedroom apartment or a large stand alone house.
Puppy-Proofing Home Checklist
There are a few areas to cover when puppy-proofing your home. Following this checklist will ensure proper care is taken when creating a fun and safe home for your little furry friend!
Furniture and Decor
This is obviously the biggest concern for a lot of pet owners. Those who live in apartments care a lot about this part of the checklist, as this is what eats up the expensive pet deposits that they are required to pay for when having a pet such as a puppy or kitten in their apartment. In short, this is because puppies love to chew on things; it can be the couch, the love seat, the chair, the bed, the painting or framed poster on the ground, or anything else within reach. To combat this factor, keep small decor such as any pillows, canvas prints or paintings, posters, and anything easily knocked over up and out of reach.
A lot of pet parents like to set up a nice big play pen for their puppy while it is young so that the puppy has a nice space to romp and play in while owners are away or not able to pay close attention. Also, it is a highly recommended idea to tape down all rugs that have loose threads, and place the play pen in an area without any rugs to begin with, as this is a chewing temptation for the little one. For a puppy that is still being housebroken, place an ample supply of newspapers in the play pen area and begin training the puppy to go on that.
Keep Out of the Garbage!
Along with keeping decor up off the ground and out of reach is keeping the puppy away from the garbage can. Puppies are very curious creatures, and much like kids, they will get into a little bit of trouble without proper guidance. It is a good idea to start training your puppy immediately not to play with or eat the garbage. It is obviously hazardous for them to be chewing on or eating garbage, but there is also the factor of them dragging the garbage all about the house. Who wants to spend time cleaning that up? Keep it out of the puppy's reach, and it should not be a problem. Again, plan for everything!
Electrical Outlets, Medications, and Hazardous Chemicals—Oh My!
These three areas of puppy proofing deserve special attention. All three of these are especially hazardous to a puppy, and again, it all boils down to keeping things out of reach for the puppy. This is also where it is, again, a wise plan to keep the puppy in a nice large play pen full of toys and food to keep them distracted. Invest in covers for electrical outlets, as puppies will lick electrical outlets if they are near them. All medications must be kept locked away in a high cupboard, preferably in a bathroom. All hazardous cleaning chemicals should also be kept locked away in a closet with the door closed at all times.
As your puppy grows, spend time training it so that when it is bigger, it will not go into the dangerous areas and get itself into harm's way. Also, be sure to spend plenty of time playing with your puppy, snuggling your puppy, and giving your puppy long walks so that it bonds with you and stays out of trouble.
These are only a few ways to puppy proof your home.
Again, look at your space from your puppy's perspective. If you were your puppy, what would grab your attention? Plan for all contingencies, and use patience when training your furry friend to stay out of trouble. Have fun!
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