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How to Puppy-Proof Your Home

Keeping your favorite shoes out of your new puppy's reach is only the first step!


  • Step 1: Close closet doors Keep your closet doors closed! Aside from protecting your shoes from bite marks, it's important to keep puppies from accidentally swallowing shoelaces or socks.
  • Step 2: Put cords out of reach Before bringing your puppy home, stow away any electrical cords and wires that your dog might be able to reach.
  • TIP: If putting cords out of reach is inconvenient, you can spray them with a pet repellent or cover them with rubber or plastic cord covers.
  • Step 3: Put away small hazards Put small objects and plastic bags away. Keep your dog safe from swallowing hazards by keeping your house clean.
  • Step 4: Cover trash Cover your trash! Puppies can hurt themselves by eating wrappers, chemicals, or even chicken bones.
  • TIP: Never give your puppy leftover bones or other scraps from the dinner table. Bone slivers can be harmful, and table foods will end up making them sick!
  • Step 5: Put away poisons Store all cleaning products, household chemicals, medications, and bathroom products out of reach of your puppy. Keep cabinets and bathroom doors shut to protect your dog.
  • Step 6: Check your plants Many common plants could make your puppy sick if he nibbles on them. Make sure that the only plants in your home and garden are harmless to dogs.
  • TIP: You can find lists of hazardous plants in dog-care books and online.
  • Step 7: Use a puppy gate Consider placing a puppy gate anywhere you don't want him to wander, especially for times when you're not watching him closely. Place a gate at the foot of the stairs, which your puppy could easily get hurt on.
  • Step 8: Close toilet lids Puppies have been known to fall into toilet bowls, so keep toilet lids down if the bathroom door is open.
  • TIP: Puppies like the sweet smell and taste of antifreeze even though it's poisonous, so be especially careful to keep it away from them!
  • Step 9: Use a crate Dog crates allow you to keep your puppy safe while you're not at home. If you don't want to keep your dog in a crate, you should still give him a bed or a comfortable corner somewhere.
  • Step 10: Keep Christmas safe Christmastime? Keep things merrier by hanging ornaments and tinsel only on higher branches of your Christmas tree, and make sure to put a screen up in front of your fireplace.
  • Step 11: Follow your puppy Finally, let your new puppy explore! Following him around will help you spot any potential dangers that you might have missed.
  • FACT: Chocolate contains a substance that is poisonous to dogs, so put away the candy dishes—and never feed your dog brownies, cookies, or other sweets containing cocoa.

You Will Need

  • A puppy who's about to move in with you
  • Puppy manuals
  • A dog crate
  • Pet repellent
  • Electrical cord covers
  • Puppy gates
  • Cabinet locks
  • Fireplace screen
  • And a dog bed

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