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5 Tips for Puppy-Proofing Your Home

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/2/2006 | Pets and Animals
Ah, puppies...so adorable, filled with boundless energy and curious about any-and-everything around them. That's why taking steps to puppy-proof your home will go a long way in protecting these little ones from harm. And on the flip side, your precautions will also safeguard your belongings from possible damage.

Your first task is to get a puppy's point of view. How? By going from room to room, getting down on your hands and knees and taking a good look at what your puppy might be enticed by. Remember, they are new to the world and like toddlers, puppies are inclined to explore their surroundings by putting things in their mouths and poking around in nooks and crannies.


Be mindful of cleaning supplies and personal care items that are stored in low storage areas like kitchen and under-sink bathroom cabinets. Needless to say, the ingredients in these products are extremely harmful and can even cause death. If the cabinet doors can be easily pried open, think about storing these items in some other place. Another option is to purchase plastic child-proof cabinet locks that can be temporarily attached to the handles or knobs. These safety locks can usually be found online or in local pet supply (or baby) stores.

Electrical Cords

How tantalizing is an electrical cord especially when it's looping down from a table or desk? "I can jump at it, pull on it, wrestle with it and even gnaw on it," Puppy thinks to himself. Well, the dangers are obvious: a falling lamp or electrocution can cause serious injury or worse. Wrap up loose hanging electrical cords or at least block access to them. And for cords that need to run across the floor, use rubber or plastic cord/cable runners that can be purchased at an office supply outlet or home improvement store.


Household plants are attractive to most puppies but they are toxic. Ingesting a bite or two can cause nausea, vomiting and in some cases death. So re-position your plants so that they are out of reach.

Small Objects Around the House

Be alert to small items around the house that can be swallowed or cause choking such as coins, jewelry, sewing supplies, batteries, medication and miniature knick-knacks left on low surfaces. And don't forget to block access to trash receptacles in the kitchen, your home office and even the bathroom. Now speaking of bathrooms...

Toilet (Or, "Beyond the Great Rim")

To an adventurous puppy, the challenge of climbing up, up and over the rim of your toilet is a tail-wagging delight. Unfortunately, falling head first into this big, slippery bowl of water is not so delightful especially for a smaller-sized pup. Simple solution: make it a house rule to keep the bathroom door closed at all times.

Puppy-proofing your home may seem like a hassle but providing the safest environment possible is a necessity. After all, your lovable, four-legged bundle of joy is worth it.