Deciding to have a pet is a huge step. Coming from someone that has three furry ones, I wasn’t exactly sure how it would all turn out. Lucky for me my dogs have outgrown their teething stage and have stopped chewing on random things in my apartment. Plus, they get along really well – most days at least. Needless to say, I’m still very careful about what goes and stays in my home to make sure my dogs and cat won’t get into trouble. I’m going to share with you some pet-proofing steps before you take your furry friend home.
1. Whether you’re getting your pet from a friend, breeder or shelter, make sure to get to know their temperament. Are they playful? shy? quiet? These traits will determine early on the things you can allow in your home once you have them. Some dogs you can trust to behave when you’re gone, but that’s not true all across the board.
2. Get down on your knees and check your house with the point of view of your pet in mind. Get chords off the floor, snip any carpet fray, cover up nooks and crannies where they can potentially get stuck or escape, vacuum, sweep and mop. Waste basket too low? Switch it up for a taller one with a lid. Remember, they’re curious and will get into anything.
3. Secure a place to crate-train. The sooner they can feel at home on their own room, the faster they will learn that THAT is their space and it is a safe place. They will also be more accepting of the crate once you start potty training.
4. Get your essentials – food, leash, collar, ID tag, food and water bowls, toys, training treats, clicker, shampoo, flea & tick preventive meds and toothbrush.
5. Switch out your cleaning products to pet-friendly alternatives. Chemical household cleaners are full of harmful substances that are bad for your pet. These work great!
6. Do your research on pet-friendly toys. Shouldn’t all pet toys be pet-friendly? Not necessarily. Plush toys with polyester filling are no good! Big dogs can easily rip these toys apart and ingest the filling. Instead, opt for BPA-free rubber dog toys. It’s chewy, sturdy, cleans their teeth and best of all, keeps them entertained for hours! You can find those and other dog toys here.
7. Once home, observe your dog and how she’s reacting to her new surroundings. This will give you clues if you need to do some rearranging to accommodate your new pet. Check if they tend to snoop around kitchen cabinets, doors or anywhere they can get their paws stuck – you’ll want to secure that.
8. Give them their own bed to prevent them from sitting on the couch and other furniture. Once they’ve claimed a space as a place to rest, it will soon become their favorite spot and you don’t want that to be your couch! Fill the bed with their toys and let them know that they can stay there.
9. Invest in pet gates. This will prevent your pup from getting into parts of the house that are off limits.
10. Train Train Train! The best way to prevent an accident is to train your dog that it can’t do certain things.
Do you have any puppy-proofing secrets? We’d love to know!