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Dog-proofing your home

Bernese mountain dog looking happy advice

Here is how to house-proof your home 

© Shutterstock

Getting a new dog is always exciting. A furry arrival brings joy, happiness, and a new best friend. But it also comes with responsibility.  After all, it's your job to keep them safe! That's why we've found the best house proofing dog tips for new and experienced owners.

By Ashley Murphy

We'll look at the more obvious dangers, as well as a few others that often go overlooked!

Do all dog owners have to 'pet-proof' the house?

There's no law that states you have to pet-proof your house, but making a few adjustments will help a dog settle into their new home and keep them safe.  It's all about making small changes, like tying up loose electrical wire, removing a  poisonous plant, and keeping things that are toxic to dogs out of harm's way.

Dog-Proofing Your Home: A Room-by-Room Guide Pet-Proofing Your Home

Let's start with the kitchen as it's a place that's full of potential dangers to dogs. The first thing you should do is make sure all your cleaning products are beyond the reach of any curious pooches. Dogs love to explore. They find out about the world by trial and error, which usually involves smelling stuff or giving it a little lick. Open cabinets are an invitation for any dog, including those that may contain poisonous substances like bleach. So keep all your cabinets closed and fit some child locks if your pup has figured out how to open doors all by themselves.

man house-proofing its home
"Hey human, what are you doign?" ©Shutterstock

You should also keep certain foods locked away, especially chocolate. Most pups will gobble up as much as they can, but human chocolate is extremely toxic for dogs. Just a few bites can cause serious health problems, including organ failure. Other foods that are bad news for pooches include avocados, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, and coffee.

Many owners prefer to keep their upstairs rooms pet-free. Not only does this give you a little personal space, but it also makes pet-proofing your home a lot easier. However, if your curious pooch can't resist venturing up to the forbidden second floor, baby gates are the perfect way to keep them downstairs.

What is the best way to puppy proof wires in an apartment?

Living spaces like bedrooms and lounges will also need pet-proofing. The biggest danger here is loose wires. These are a real hazard and are well-know to be irresistible to puppies and chew-happy adult dogs! So keep them tied up, using specially designed cable protectors if necessary. You can buy these from pet stores or online. They come in many different styles, including heavy-duty protectors for those really heavy chewers!

How to make your house pet-friendly, especially for dogs?

Making the house dog-proof is only the first step. The second thing you need to do is pet-proof yourself and the rest of the family. This requires a few changes to your everyday routine. For example, keeping the kitchen or garage door closed means there are fewer opportunities for your dog to get into mischief, while keeping the house free of clutter will also reduce the chances of any accidents!

I'm getting a puppy, what should I do in the meanwhile?

You should always carry out a full risk assessment of your home and garden before your new puppy arrives. Chances are you'll be too distracted by the cuteness to do it afterwards, so planning ahead is essential. Go through each room, looking for any potential risks. And always walk on the side of caution. If you think something could pose a threat, then it probably does!

Puppy in its new home
Getting a new puppy is exciting, make sure your home is ready ©Shutterstock

Dog proofing your home doesn't have to be hard work or expensive. A lot of it is common sense, but now you know about the less obvious dangers like certain plants and foods. All you need to do now is put your newfound knowledge into action by making your house pet-friendly. Then it's time for one of the best moments in any dog owner's life - the moment when you bring your new best friend into their perfect forever home!