Guest Post - How to Puppy-Proof Your Home & Backyard

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Getting a new puppy is one of the most exciting times in life for just about anyone. There is almost nothing better than bringing a new dog into your home and making them a new member of the family. But before the time comes to bring in your new furry friend, it is crucial to make sure your home and backyard are ready. Much like babies, puppies will find a way to get into anything and everything. By going around and making sure everything is nice, safe, and welcoming, you will also make sure that your puppy stays safe and happy.

Puppy-Proofing Basics

Much like your own children, there is a good chance that puppies will find their way into all of your home’s nooks and crannies and start playing with whatever is laying on the ground. Baby gates may be used to block off any areas they are not allowed and loose wires should be kept hidden and securely tied to deter puppies from chewing on them. If you have medications, vitamins, food, or cleaning products around, they should also be kept secured away in a cabinet.

It may seem silly, but one of the easiest ways to puppy-proof your home is to get everything you would to child-proof your home. Put locks on the counters, cover up sharp corners, make knives and sharp objects out of reach, and use fasteners to make sure that all large and heavy objects won’t accidentally fall while you’re puppy is playing.

Keep Doors and Windows Closed

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It might take some getting used to if it is not already a common practice at your house, but with a new puppy in the picture, it is crucial to keep all of your doors and windows closed. If an untrained puppy gets out, there is a good chance they will not be able to find their way back home. There is also a good chance that they could get seriously injured by a car, that somebody will steal the puppy, or even report them to animal control. 

To prevent this, only keep your windows and doors open when you are monitoring the area and are with the puppy. The last thing you want is for the little one to jump out when you have your back turned or their barking to irritate the neighbors. You can even consider installing window and door alarms so you know if your puppy happened to get out. Accidents do happen, after all, and it’s better to be alerted to the situation as quickly as possible.

Make Your Home Easy to Clean 

One of the biggest frustrations people come across when they have a new puppy is how messy they are. Those who have fabric sofas, carpets, lots of rugs, or lots of stairs may find it difficult to maintain the upkeep of their home. The puppy will likely shed and as their claws grow, they can definitely damage furniture around your home, especially pieces that are made of fabric and not leather or something similar. 

Baby gates are a great deterrent for any areas of the house that you want off-limits to the puppy. And along with immediately starting the puppy training process, it is also a great idea to amp up your home design. Consider replacing rugs with ones that are stain resistant and purchase protective sprays and treatments for your furniture so it is less likely to stain. Also, make sure to have plenty of floor cleaner for any spills or drips your puppy may cause. 

Protect the Puppy from the Pool 

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Spending time in the yard with your pup can be some of the best times for bonding, playing, and training. However, if you have a pool, it can also be very dangerous. Puppies may not be the strongest swimmers right away, and even if they seem like they can handle themselves, they should never be in water unattended. 

It’s totally understandable that you cannot keep an eye on your puppy for all hours of the day, which is why it is important to safeguard your pool. Having a pool fence or sturdy cover makes for a great start. Unlike traditional chain link pool fences, a mesh pool fence ensures that no matter how tiny the puppy may be, they won't be able to fit through any gaps in the fence. And just in case they manage to dig a hole under the fence, the pool cover will ensure that they cannot get into the pool water when nobody is around. 

Fence in Your Yard

Your pool is not the only area that needs a protective barrier either. Essentially, any spot of your house that has open access to others’ homes, the road, or any other part to the outside world needs to be protected. Consider fencing in the perimeter of your yard with appropriate material and sizing so that your puppy will not be able to escape through. Not only will this make playtime a little more fun and a lot less stressful when playing catch, but will also allow you to train your pup on how to be outside alone without too much cause for concern. 

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A Safe Home is a Happy Home 

At the end of the day, bringing a puppy home is a great opportunity for a little extra love and companionship. But even the smallest form of love needs to be nurtured. Consider installing these safe home practices before your new friend arrives and you will be sure to live a long, happy life together that is stress-free and ready for fun.

Author Bio: Aaron Smith is a writer and copy strategist for several companies and non-profits. He often covers topics important to pet owners, and is a dedicated dog dad to his three pups: Buddy, Roxy, and Kaya.