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How to Get Your Home Ready for a Dog

Pet-proofing your house won't just protect your possessions from becoming chew toys—it could save your dog's life.


  • Step 1: Put away cords Get rid of any electrical cords within your dog's reach. Dogs love to chew, and power cords can seriously hurt them.
  • TIP: You can purchase a pet repellent spray or electrical cord covers to discourage chewing. Either way, it's important to make sure that cords are not left unprotected.
  • Step 2: Check your plants A variety of common flowers and plants can make your dog seriously ill if eaten. Before taking your dog home, remove all dangerous plants from your house!
  • TIP: Books and websites about dog care offer lists of plants that can be hazardous to dogs.
  • Step 3: Keep the dog out of the garden Your dog might love having the run of your yard, but make sure to keep him out of the garden. If you are using an electric fence or dog run to keep your pet in the yard, make sure that garden areas are out of his reach.
  • Step 4: Avoid lawn chemicals Go easy on the lawn treatments—any kind of yard chemicals such as pesticides or fertilizers can make your dog sick, especially with repeated exposure.
  • Step 5: Cover garbage Cover your garbage, especially in kitchen and bathroom areas. Use trash containers with secure lids, or keep your trash in a closed cabinet. And while you're at it, make a habit of putting the toilet lid down so your dog drinks from his clean water bowl.
  • TIP: If your dog is especially adventurous, you may want to use a cabinet lock to keep him out of the garbage.
  • Step 6: No people food Some common foods can be poisonous or nauseating to dogs. Be especially careful to prevent your pooch from eating foods containing onions, garlic, fruit, or chocolate.
  • TIP: Don't give your dog meat scraps with bones attached—the bones can splinter and hurt your dog.
  • Step 7: Clean your house Keep your house clean. Plastic wrappers, hairclips, needles, coins, small toys, and plastic bags are among the many household items that could harm your dog when they are left in his reach.
  • Step 8: Watch out for chemicals Watch out for chemicals. Keep bathroom and garage doors closed, and secure all cleaners and medications.
  • TIP: Consider purchasing baby gates to keep your dog from wandering into areas of your house that are off-limits.
  • Step 9: Provide a bed Purchase your pup a dog crate with a cozy dog bed (or a pile of towels) in it. This will give your dog a place where he can sleep at night and rest undisturbed during the day.
  • Step 10: Buy some toys Splurge on a few toys for Fido, but make sure that they don't have any small pieces he could accidentally swallow.
  • FACT: Chewing on safe dog toys is actually good for your pet's health—they can help to keep teeth clean and relieve the pain that puppies feel while teething.

You Will Need

  • A dog crate
  • A dog who's ready to move in
  • And dog manuals
  • Pet repellent
  • Electrical cord covers
  • Baby gates
  • And a dog bed or towels for bedding

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