How to Puppy Proof Your Life and Home

Puppies bring so much joy into your life, but with that joy comes a bit of extra work.
These cute little bundles of energy love nothing more than to explore their
environment and in doing so, they can break things, chew things and generally
cause havoc.

It's important that you puppy proof your home, not just to protect your belongings
but to keep your new four legged family member safe from harm.

Here are some simple puppy proofing tips that can help.

1. Clear your floor of loose objects. A puppy can't tell the difference between an old slipper and your new pair of designer heels, so don't leave any shoes on the floor at all. In fact, anything that is within puppy's reach is at risk, so your new pup should be a good incentive to stay tidy.

2. When you're not home, give your pup his own play area. This could be a room or part of a room secured with a baby gate, or it could be a crate. Keep him busy with toys such as Kongs or Buster Cubes that he can play with and chew on.

3. Put locks on your kitchen and bathroom cupboards, just as you would if you had a toddler. Puppies aren't good at opening doors but if you accidentally leave one open, you may come back to find your pup chewing on the soap or licking up the dishwashing detergent.

4. Keep electrical cables out of reach. Puppies can chew on dangling cords and get burned around their mouth.

5. There's nothing more attractive to a puppy than a trash can. If possible, keep your trash can in a cupboard so your little one can't get to it. Alternatively, buy a trash can with a lid that seals. This will be a little inconvenient for you, but not as inconvenient if your pup eats an old bone or corn cob and needs surgery to remove it from his intestine!

6. It goes without saying that your back yard should be fenced, but while your pup is little, make sure there aren't any tiny escape routes. You may need to add some chicken wire as a short term measure if he can fit through the fence. As he grows, he'll be less likely to squeeze through small gaps.

7. Educate yourself on what's good and what's not good for your pup. For example, many human foods are toxic to dogs and you shouldn't give them to your pup as a treat. Grapes, onions and chocolate are just a few foods that you should keep away from him. It's not a bad idea to learn a little about dog first aid, and to keep your vet's phone number on speed dial, just in case.

8. Obedience training is important. It will take some time and will cost a few dollars, but if you can call your dog back to you when you need to, it may save his life. Welcoming a puppy into your home will have its challenges. By following these suggestions, you'll fill your life with delight rather than destruction.