Have you ever heard that having a dog is like having a kid? Well as a dog lover and owner, I have the joy of experiencing having a dog. Which also feels like having a toddler at times. And just like a house needs to be a safe place for the constant mischief for a two year old, so do they need to be safe for dogs.
There are two main reasons to pet proof your house. They are 1.) to protect your four-legged friend from hazards and 2.) to protect your things from your four legged friend. The reality is there are many ways for your pup to get hurt in your home and there are many belongings of yours that can be destroyed by your pup. So, pet proofing your home is ultimately a win-win.
As you can imagine, there are plenty of things that a puppy or even a grown dog can get into
Below, are some of the more common hazards to beware of:
- Toxic foods
- Small objects
- Sharp objects
- Heating appliances
- Cleaning products
- Swimming pools/hot tubs
- Open windows/doors & other places a dog can escape.
For a list of toxic foods to dogs, check out American Kennel Club’s article. Keep in mind that it is not a comprehensive list and we recommend doing thorough research.
For a list of toxic houseplants, check out the article by Betterhouseplants.com.
Now that we have our list of common household items that are hazardous to dogs, let’s take a look at ways to pet proof your home:
- Keep all hazardous chemicals, poisons and medications out of reach of dogs.
- Keep your garage closed, do not leave paints or chemicals in reach ever. Just like they are toxic to humans, they are toxic to dogs. Make sure any cleaners under your kitchen or bathroom sink are locked or are not reachable by your pup.
- Keep your trash covered.
- If your dog smells something seductive from the garbage, they’ll more than likely go for it. So if you don’t want to come home to last night's spaghetti on the floor, or your dog in possession of a toxic item, be sure your dog cannot get to the contents inside.
- Cover electrical cords or keep them out of reach.
- Electrical cords can be a big hazard since they can lead to electrical shock. If you have a pup that is an avid chewer, you should take all precautions to keep him/her away from any cords.
- Install gates.
- We are talking about gates in the yard and in the house. If you need to keep a pup away from a certain area, you can put up baby gates. Baby gates can very well be your best friend when keeping your dog away from areas that can pose a threat. Gates in the yard can keep your dog safe from the outside world.
- Scour your home and yard for possible escape routes.
- A fence short enough for your dog to clear in a jump, soft dirt on the fence line, an open door, an open window-these are all possible escape routes for your pup. Look for all possible places a dog can get through. It is also imperative to take precautions for certain dog behaviors. Is your dog an avid digger? Then you’ll want to pay special attention to that fence line. Is your pup a regular Houdini? Look for any tight spots they can maneuver through. Lastly, make sure your dog is chipped and is wearing their tags in case they get loose.
- Keep an eye on your dog.
- Observing your dog can give you insight about their mischievous side. Maybe they show no interest in the goodies in the trash, but can’t resist the fuzz in the couch pillows. You will then know where to direct your protective efforts. Keeping an eye on your pup will also keep them safe.
- Keep all your beloved items out of reach of pups.
- I’m talking about your pillows, slippers, shoes, make-up, furniture etc. These things are not necessarily hazardous, but you’ll feel better knowing your possessions are safe, and avoid any anger that might bubble up after seeing a hole in your couch.
Protecting your pup is important. Take our tips as a guide to help you become aware of the dangers around your home. It might be helpful to think of your pup as a toddler. Anything a toddler might get into, a dog can be curious about too. For more great dog content, tips and guides, follow New Life K9s Blog.