How To Puppy-Proof Your Home
After choosing your new Australian Labradoodle puppy, you’re bound to be incredibly excited. The anticipation can make a few days seem like weeks! Not to worry though, because you can busy yourself by preparing your home for a new bundle of fluff. Labradoodle puppies are extremely curious by nature, which means that they can quickly get themselves into trouble. By making some simple changes around the house, you can turn your home into a safe environment where your puppy can live and grow.
Think Like a Puppy
One of the easiest ways to figure out what you should change is to get down on the floor, which gives you a dog’s eye view of every room. It seems silly, but it’s the best way to spot hidden dangers. Your Labradoodle puppy will be interested in anything that can be chewed, moved, or squeezed into. Puppies have an undiscriminating palette, which means that everything is a potential chew toy. Items that might interest your puppy include:
Shoes, socks, and clothing
Blankets and rugs
Books and papers
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start. After your puppy arrives, you can make additional changes as necessary. When not confined to a crate or x-pen, supervise your puppy at all times, even when outdoors.
Puppy Proofing Basics
Preparing for a new puppy is similar to baby-proofing your home. The main difference is that puppies can be much more destructive! When puppy proofing, your goal is to set up your home in a way that prevents incidents from ever occurring. Here are some general rules to follow:
Anything that can be damaged should be placed out of reach.
Use Bitter Apple spray on furniture legs that might appeal to your puppy.
Provide plenty of chew toys to keep your puppy occupied.
If you have cats, make sure the litter box is out of reach.
Block off stairs with a baby gate.
Keep all trash cans out of reach.
You’re human, so mistakes will happen. But remember – your Labradoodle puppy can’t distinguish between an expensive pair of shoes and an old rag. If your puppy gets into something inappropriate, correct the situation to prevent repeat behavior.
Puppy Proofing Your Home – Indoors
Electrical cords, computer cables, and phone cords are major indoor hazards. Place cords out of reach when possible. Otherwise, you can hide them under rugs or wrap them in PVC piping.
Don’t leave food or breakable items on tables, or anywhere within reach. Be particularly careful with foods such as chocolate, onions, grapes, and macadamia nuts, because they are toxic to dogs.
The bathroom can be a dangerous place for a puppy too. Razors, medications, and soaps can all be hazardous to your puppy, so be sure to keep them out of reach. In general, it’s a good idea to keep the toilet lid down and the bathroom door closed.
Dogs are scent-oriented, so anything that smells like you will instantly become a chew toy. In the bedroom, keep clothes and shoes behind the closet door. Put up temporary barriers to keep your puppy from crawling under the bed or behind furniture.
Pillows, blankets, and other items in your living area can tempt a curious puppy. Always straighten up and put away the clutter before allowing your puppy to play in your living area.
Puppy Proofing Your Home – Outdoors
Exercise caution when using fertilizers, weed killers, and mulch. Make sure lawn care products are pet safe. Some dogs will even swallow landscaping stone, which can cause intestinal blockage.
Several outdoor plants are toxic to dogs, including potato, morning glory, foxglove, lily of the valley, oak, and flowering bulbs.
Garages and sheds contain many potential hazards, including tools, nails, wire, kids toys, and chemicals such as antifreeze. Lock up these areas while your puppy is playing outdoors.
Check fences and gates for holes where you puppy could escape.
Swimming pools, ponds, and hot tubs are a drowning hazard and must be securely fenced off or covered.
Keep all food and garbage in secure containers.
Better Safe Than Sorry!
When in doubt, take steps to remove potential hazards. Puppy proofing gives you the peace of mind to bring a new puppy into your home. As your Labradoodle puppy grows up, you won’t need to be so vigilant. Until then, it’s better to be safe than sorry!