Just like we have to baby proof our homes when we begin our families, we must also proof the house for our puppies and other pets as well. Man‘s best friend can get into the same mischief, and more, just like your toddlers to, and sometimes put themselves in danger as well. That is why it is so important to keep them safe and sound by practicing proper safety protocols, if you will, throughout your home before you being a puppy in. If you are wondering where you would even start with puppy proofing your house, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we are going to bring to you twenty of the best tips and tricks to keep you dog and pets safe in the home. With that said, let’s get started.
This is probably one of the most obvious safety protocols that we think about when we first bring a dog, or any other pet, into the home. Sure, we love to spoil our dogs with some bits of human food here and there, but there are actually quite a few human foods that can make your dog very sick, and could potentially be fatal as well. This can include foods such as chocolate, grapes, garlic, onions, milk, macadamia nuts, raw meat, yeast dough, coffee, and so many more items. Of course, this also includes items that are spoiled, molding, or past their expiration date as well. If you would like to obtain a full list of foods and beverages that can make your pooch sick, you can find resources both online or via your local vet or animal shelter.
Don’t Let Them Drink Out Of The Toilet
We think this is a disgusting idea to begin with, but there are indeed people all over who let their dogs drink out of the toilet during the day. Although this at seem more convenient than having to check if their water dish is full, it is really not the best idea. Letting them drink out of the toilet bowl could lead to them ingesting some of the chemicals that are used to clean your toilet, and it is just a disgusting habit in general. That being said, the best thing to do is to make sure that there is a water dish set out for them with clean, filtered water. There are also devices available on the market that can help to alert you when your dog is attempting to drink out of the toilet and to help you break the habit as well.
The Escape Artist
Yes, every now and again, your pooch may attempt to escape, especially when curiosity is getting the better of them. Every pet owners worst fear is that their dog will run off, and won’t be able to find their way back home, or worse, they get into some sort of accident because of it. So, to avoid any of these outcomes that come with escaping the yard, there are a few tricks that can help. First, and probably the best solution, is to put up a fence around the yard where you most often let them outside during the day. Having this fenced in area will help to show them their boundaries, and they will learn as they continue to get older. However, if you have a dog who is a digger, and works their way under the fence, you may want to invest in a outdoor leash stake that you can hook your dog up to when you let them outside. It is also good to get your pet microchipped in the event that they do escape and go missing in the neighborhood.
Don’t Keep Your Dog Locked Up In A Hot Car
This isn’t exactly a tip that pertains to the home, but it is important nonetheless, and many often don’t realize the dangers of it. Keeping your dog locked in a hot car can be fatal, and within mere minutes. If you plan to go anywhere and be out of your car for longer than a 10 to 15 minute period, you would be better off to leave your dog at home. The impact that the sun has on a car can make it reach boiling temperatures, something that no one could last. If you have to leave your dog in the car, even for a short time, make sure they have water with them. Either way, leaving your dog in the hot car is torture, and could potentially be fatal for your pet.
Of course, just as with children, it is very important that you lock away all of the cleaning and other chemical products that you may have in your house as they can cause toxic and potentially dangerous responses in your pet. This can include items such as medications, insecticides, cleaning products and detergents, Antifreeze, and the list continues on and on. The best thing to do is to keep these products that you have closed up into cupboards, or behind doors where your dog can’t get at easily, or up away where they wouldn’t be able to reach even if they jumped up onto something. Keeping these items out of reach will help you to avoid that trip to the vet clinic.
Temperature Of Your House And Garage
For the majority of the time, we tend to keep the inside of our homes at comfortable temperatures, so it is not something we often worry about. However, many of us don’t often think about the internal temperatures of our garages as well, even when we plan to keep our pets in there for parts of the day. Since most garages aren’t built with a thermostat, it is always good to make sure to accommodate for the climate outside; If it is colder outside, make sure that there is a space heater in there to warm up the space, or if it is hotter outside, make sure to have a fan running to make it a bit cooler. This will create a comfortable space for your dog if they will spend some of their time in the garage during the day, and you won’t need to worry about how they are doing.
Helping Your Dog In The Cold Weather
Have you ever heard the phrase that if you wouldn’t walk on the snow or the ground without shoes on, then your dog shouldn’t either? Well, its true. Would you walk with bare feet in the snow? More than likely your answer was no. Your dogs paws are very sensitive, although they walk on different terrains every day. If you live in an area that tends to have colder temperatures, you may want to invest in some type of boot or footwear for your dog to wear in the snow, no matter how ridiculous it may look. They will be more comfortable, and it can also keep their paws from getting over-sensitized and harmed in any way.
Use Locking Garbage Cans
As we mentioned before, there are many different foods and other products that we throw away in the garbage each day that can be toxic or harmful for your pet. If you worry about your dog possibly getting into the garbage on the daily or when you’re not at home with them, the best thing that you can do is find a garbage that has a locking lid on it, or a lid that only opens with a pedal. With their inability to open the lid, you will have a better time keeping them out of harm’s way. If you aren’t able to fit these larger trash cans in specific rooms, like the kitchen, you can always put smaller trash cans behind closed cabinet doors as well. Either way will work to keep your dog safe and sound.
Grills And Fire Pits In The Yard
Nowadays, everyone has some type of fire pit and/or grill in their backyard, and although it is a great pastime for the humans of the family, these pits can potential cause harm to your pet when they are not within an eye shot of you. That being said, if you and your family are spending time around the grill or the fire pit in your backyard, make sure to keep an eye on your dog at all times. Although these are products are emitting heat, your dog won’t be able to resist the curiosity of what tasty treats they smell over the fire. If you feel you won’t be able to keep a close eye on them during that time, make sure to keep them either in the house or tied up to their outdoor leash in the yard to keep them at bay.
Watch Out For Strings By The Window
As we all know, puppies are curious creatures, and will try to get their paws and teeth on anything. This goes for even the strangest and uncommon worries, such as that of window drapes and blinds. Yes, puppies that are wanting to jump and play with the strings dangling form the blinds and or drape tie backs can lead to them getting caught and becoming strangled. In order to avoid this strange occurrence, make sure to keep your blind stings and drape tie back tied up and away, out of reach of your pup. This way, you can also avoid potential damage to your blinds, drapes, and possibly your windows as well. It’s a win win tip for everyone!
We often worry with our children, especially when they are at this stage of putting everything and anything in their mouth, that they will choke on something that is just small enough to go down their throat. This is a worry you should also have if you bring a younger pup into your house. Puppies, and even some dogs, can be caught chewing on random things now and again, such as rubber bands, batteries, small toys or plastic pieces, razors, sharp objects, and even sometimes electrical cords. Chewing on these various items can cause many dangers for you pet, including cuts, or the obvious causing them to choke and be unable to breathe. To avoid this, make sure to keep trash cans out of reach, especially the smaller ones, and to keep small toys and objects picked up the majority of the time. It can also help to keep your pets restricted to certain rooms, and avoid rooms where there are typically small objects on the floor, like the playroom or the kids’ bedrooms.
Even though we underestimate them, there are some dogs that are so cunning and clever that they are able to get into even the trickiest of cabinets in both bathrooms and kitchens. So, if you have a lingering worry that your dog may learn this new trick, or if they have already mastered it, it may be time for you to buy some child safety locks for your cabinets. These locks can come in a variety of forms, depending on what works best for you and your family as well. This will be able to help you keep the necessary items in their place without having to worry about who or what is getting into them.
Keep The Yard Clean
As we have mentioned, there are many things that can potentially become choking hazards for your dog, but they are not limited to items that are just found in the house. There are many things in the yard, such as bark, twigs, rocks, and other small items, that can cause a choking situation for you animal. These can also be hazardous as they can potentially cause splintering or other sharp pain in their throat if it gets lodged in any way. To avoid them choking and chewing on sticks, the best thing to do is to make sure your yard is kept up and cleaned, especially after storms or wind that can knock down these twigs and sticks. It also helps to make sure that you keep an eye on your dog when letting them outside to play or to go to the bathroom to make sure they aren’t choking on or chewing anything.
Using Pet And Baby Gates
When you have children in our home, and you are wanting to keep them in their own, safe space or just out of your way, the best thing to do is put up a baby gate. These gates can also come in handy when you have a new puppy or dog in the home. If you are wanting to keep your dogs out of certain, more hazardous rooms in the home, or rooms that you want to keep pet free for the time being, using a baby gate will be your best option. The majority of dogs won’t be able to make their way over the gate by jumping or knocking it down, although there can be some mischievous pups that do find their ways around them. It’s all a learning experience for everyone.
Hide The Electric Cords
We all know that electrical cords can be dangerous for all people, in all honesty. Some open wires can cause electric shocks that are hazardous, especially for young children and pets. So, when it comes to your electrical cords that you have plugged in, try your best to keep them up and hidden away, even if they are plugged into your appliances. If you can’t keep them off of the floor for any reason, try to hide them out of the way behind furniture or even tape them along the baseboards of your walls. You can also find some products that act as cord covers to help keep them out of sight and not looking like a chew toy to your loving pooch.
Protect Them From Dangerous Falls
This tip pertains more to those who live in apartment buildings or those with balconies or decks that are higher off the ground on their properties. If you let your dog wander onto your balcony, you will want to make sure to protect them from accidentally falling over the edge. Dogs aren’t quite as resilient when they fall, and can sustain severe injuries depending on the height of the fall itself. To puppy proof your balcony or deck railing, you can find a small or mini fencing that can be placed around the railing itself. This will allow you to cover any holes or spaces where they could fit through and fall, and will allow them to play out on your outdoor space with you when you decide to relax.
Watch Out For Certain Plants
We may not think of it, but there are actually some household and outdoor plants that can be somewhat hazardous and even toxic for your dog if ingested. Although it won’t be likely that your dog will be caught chewing on your plants in the window sill, but it is good to keep in mind the plants that you do have to make sure you are keeping them out of the reach of your pooch. The list can often be quite extensive, but there are good resources for finding which plants to watch out for both online, and via your local vet or animal shelter.
Block Those Crawl Spaces
This tip seems to go hand in hand with that of the balcony spaces, as puppies are good at finding those tight, small, hard to reach spaces to get themselves stuck into. If you have a deck space that has a crawl space underneath of it, you will want to block it off to make sure that you dog can’t squeeze in their when they are on their own. The best solution for this issue is to invest in a mesh screen or other type of screen that will block of the entrance of the crawl space. You will want to make sure that when installing the screen that you get, you also close up any potential holes that you dog could dig and make their way through. This will keep them safe and sound, and you won’t have to worry about them getting into trouble underneath the house.
Issues With Tall Furniture
If you have a small dog, or a toy breed, you could potentially have issues with your pet trying to jump on and off of your taller furniture that you have in your home. In fact, this continually jumping on and off of these tall pieces of furniture can begin to cause damage and pain to your pup’s joints. To avoid any unnecessary pain to your dog, it might be a good idea to invest in or make your own steps or a type of ramp to help them get on and off of the furniture, such as places like the bed, ottoman, couch, or anything else that might be their favorite place in your home.
Talk To A Pro
If you have any concerns or questions regarding safety tips for your home that could be beneficial for your new pet, your best bet may be to talk to an expert. This can be exceptionally helpful when you are unfamiliar with the breed of dog that you are bringing home, and are wanting tips that are specific to your pet. You can find experts ranging in all specifics online, or you could even find some recommendations from your local vet in your area as well.
There you have it! Although every dog is different, these are twenty of the best safety protocol tips that you can use in your home to keep you and your best pup safe and sound day after day. If you have any other questions or concerns regarding any of the tips that we may have mentioned on our list, it is always a good idea to bring them to your local vet or animal shelter to get the answers that you need to keep your dog at his or her best. Make your home the best and safest that it can be for you, your family, and your dog, and you will have no reason to worry whatsoever.