10 Tips for Puppy Proofing Your Home, Inside and Out

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A new puppy is a great adventure. From the tip of its wet nose to its wildly wagging tail, it makes your world a happier place. However, it can also wreak havoc. Puppies are inquisitive, mischievous, and see everything you own—with no regard for price or sentiment—as a potential toy.

To make sure your new little addition brings nothing but joy, it’s wise to puppy proof. It will not only protect your shoes and other valuables, but it will keep your puppy safe and secure. The tips below guide you through puppy proofing your home, inside and out.

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Puppy proofing indoors

While your coat rack is conveniently located for you and your guests, your puppy may be able to reach your hanging belongings as well. Follow these effective steps and you won’t encounter any mishaps.

1. Protect your possessions.

No-chew spray

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Put away anything in your home that you don’t want played with or destroyed—keeping an eye out for potentially dangerous items like blind cords, curtain tassels, and tablecloths. Use a no-chew spray for any furniture you don’t want your puppy to chew on, and make sure you've blocked off any areas that are forbidden for the puppy.

2. Create a “pet-friendly” zone.

Dog bed

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Dog toy

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One of the best ways to minimize damage is to create a space just for your puppy, complete with a bed and plenty of safe toys like the Classic Kong. This helps your puppy acclimate to its new environment and allows you to introduce it to other parts of your home as it matures. Keeping only items that are puppy friendly and chew-able for your pet in this area is a good way to teach good chewing habits as well.

3. Minimize escape routes.

Best pet gate
carlson extra tall pet gate

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Best cabinet locks
Baby Safety Cabinet Locks

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Puppies are Houdinis. Do your best to prevent their tricks with deadbolts on doors, locks on windows, and pet gates for doorways or stairs. Motion sensors help protect your young escape artist and will send alerts to your smartphone when your puppy is not where it should be. While your puppy cannot escape through a cabinet, it could become trapped. Secure cabinet doors with latches, just like you would when babyproofing

4. Remove dangerous items.

Cord protector
Critter Cord Protector

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Outlet plugs
Outlet Plug
Mommy's Helper
(36 count)

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Trash can
Simple Human Trashcan

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From a puppy’s perspective, electrical cords are chew toys. Tuck cords away, enclose them in PVC pipe, or purchase cord protectors. Cover your outlets with outlet plugs. Keep anything that you don't want chewed on off of ground level and out of reach of your puppy. Safely store detergents and other household cleaners in a locked cupboard or on a high shelf. Trash cans may have items dangerous for consumption, so consider purchasing one that will stay closed even if it tips over.

5. Install a dog door.

Dog door
Electronic Pet Door
Power Pet PX-1

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Dog doors keep you and your puppy living in harmony. Any model will do the trick, but if security or energy efficiency is a concern, the Power Pet Door is a great solution.

Puppy proofing your backyard

Even if you plan to supervise your puppy in the backyard, these tips will help you avoid any search parties or unnecessary trips to the veterinarian.

1. Mend gaps and holes.

Self-closing gate spring
Gate Spring

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Deck shield
Cardinal Gates Deck Shield

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Puppies can squeeze through surprisingly small spaces, so look for holes of any size in your fences before letting your puppy outside. Cover any gaps with chicken wire or wooden slats. Make sure that all gates close securely, or even self-close. You can also use motion sensors to ensure the safety and security of your pup and loved ones. Unsecured decks and crawl spaces offer potential ways to escape or hide. You can puppy proof these areas in no time with Cardinal Gates Deck Shield.

2. Secure garbage.

Strap locks

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One man’s trash could become his puppy’s treasure, but it doesn’t have to be. Purchase latches so your puppy can’t get into your trash, yard waste, and recycling bins.

3. Prevent illness.

Many plants, including daffodils and foxglove, can be harmful to dogs. The ASPCA has a list of common plants to watch out for when your puppy is outside. Keep your puppy free from ticks and other parasites by maintaining a well-trimmed lawn. Store any poisons and chemicals — like antifreeze, fertilizer, and pesticides — securely and out of reach.

4. Hide tools and wires.

Rakes, saws, and other yard tools can injure your puppy if they are stored improperly. Accessories like gloves and hoses may become chew toys if they are not put away. Exposed wiring outdoors is as dangerous as it is indoors, and it needs to be hidden or protected.

5. Safeguard fire and water hazards.

If you have a barbecue pit, pool, or other fire or water hazard, you’ll want to safeguard them with fencing and motion sensors.

Whether your puppy just arrived or is on its way, it’s time to puppy proof your home. Use these tips to get off on the right paw for your puppy’s happiness and health.

Compare the top pet safety products

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Treat dispenser

Best pet-friendly security systemAdjustable motion sensitivity
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Best pet gateCat door

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Katherine Torres
Written by
Katherine Torres
Katherine has had several years of experience developing and executing multichannel marketing campaigns, but actually started her career path in journalism. Though she switched gears, she continues to be driven by the need to deliver information that can be helpful for individuals. As an owner of two rescue dogs, she is most interested in technology and products that allow her to keep a close eye on her pets when she’s away.

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