How can I dog proof my home? is a question that many pet owners have before bringing home their new dog. Although bringing home a new dog is an exciting prospect, unlike many cats, dogs can be easily excitable, prone to chewing, and in need of a lot of exercise. Because of this, it’s important to dog proof your home as well as possible before bringing home your new four-legged friend. If you have been asking yourself, how can I dog proof my house here are five things that you should keep in mind.
1. Consider Your Living Room
Your living room is one place that your dog will likely be during the day, and because of this, it is one of the first places you should consider when asking yourself, how can I dog proof my house.
First off, you should be mindful if you have indoor plants. Many of the most common indoor plants can be toxic to pets, so it’s important that you double check the types that you have to ensure that your dog won’t become ill if they accidently eat a leaf. The ASPCA has a handy list of both toxic and non-toxic plants that you can use to help you identify the best ones to have around your home.
You should also be mindful of interior plant maintenance, such as fertilizing. Some plant fertilizers can be toxic to dogs, and fertilizer poisoning is something that affects many dogs every year. When possible, try to do all indoor plant maintenance outside or in an area where your dog cannot access.
Secondly, when considering how can I dog proof my house, you should consider your window coverings. While this may not sound like something that would be a problem, energetic puppies can tear down long curtains if they are able to get to them. If your window blinds are accessible, they may also tear into those, provided they are low enough to the ground. This is especially true if they get over excited about something they see outside.
One of the best ways to prevent this is by ensuring that there are no cords that the dog can get a hold of and chew on. You should also consider pinning the curtains closed, if you have them, to ensure that they can’t be excited by that squirrel wandering by. Heavy curtains that they can’t easily open are also an option, or you can always install a window guard to prevent them from getting too close to the window.
Thirdly, if you have to leave your dog home alone during the day, it may be worth creating a room for them to have to themselves, instead of keeping them in a crate or loose in your home. If you have the space, a home remodeling company can create a small separate room in your home that can be dedicated specifically to your dog. Here you can place their bed, toys, and food so that they begin to associate it as their own personal area. By doing this you can save yourself a lot of cleanup, and you won’t have to feel bad about keeping them caged up when you’re not home.
2. Watch Out In The Bathroom
When asking yourself, how can I dog proof my home? you should consider your bathroom next. While you can always leave the door closed when you’re not using it, sometimes you may forget giving your dog the perfect opportunity to sneak in and explore. This can be potentially dangerous as many people store medication and cleaning products in their bathrooms that a dog can potentially get into. You may also dispose of hygiene products in your waste bin that a dog will unfortunately go after.
To keep your bathroom as safe as possible, always store medications out of reach, and if you have chemicals under the skin, keep a child lock on the door to prevent a curious pup from being able to nudge it open.
To keep them out of your waste bin, you should consider investing in one with a closed lid and a foot pedal that you need to step on in order to open. This can provide a bit more security, and prevent your new dog from being able to knock open the lid. Bins like this can also stay closed if your dog knocks them over, helping to keep them from spreading the contents all over the house.
3. Tidy Up Your Bedroom
After your living room and your bathroom, your bedroom should also be considered when asking yourself, how can I dog proof my house. Dogs love sniffing out new and exciting things to chew on, and your bedroom will provide them with plenty of things to get into.
For instance, you probably keep your shoes tucked away in your closet. However, if your dog finds this out, you can bet that they will have fun making every shoe that they can find a new chew toy. Try and keep your closet closed when you’re not using it, and you may even want to install a child lock to help keep it from being pushed open.
All cosmetics, lotions, perfumes, and hair products should also be kept out of your dog’s reach, as they can be knocked over, chewed, and possibly ingested. Jewelry items are also notorious for being swallowed by dogs, and you don’t want to find out that your wedding ring is missing, only to find it later in your yard when cleaning up after Fido.
Additionally, you should try to keep any laundry items off the floor and out of reach of your dog. Dogs love chewing up socks, underwear, and really anything else that smells good to them. However, this can not only ruin your clothes, but some clothing items, such as those with buttons, can pose a choking hazard.
Similarly, if you use mothballs, you should always keep them in a place where your dog cannot reach. Mothballs are toxic to pets and, if ingested, can lead to a lot of serious problems.
4. Fix Up Your Yard to Dog Proof My House
Having an outdoor space for your dog is essential. This is why, when asking yourself, how can I dog proof my house you should always consider the outside as well as the inside.
Firstly, if you don’t have a fence surrounding your yard, you should consider investing in one. This can give your dog space to roam without you having to put them on a lease or worry about them getting loose. A fence contractor can inspect your yard and tell you the different fencing options that you can consider.
If you already have a fence, you should check it for weak spots or gaps which a dog could take advantage of. If your new dog is going to grow up to be large, you should also make sure that the fence is high enough that they can’t jump over it.
Secondly, if you have a pool in your yard, you should also take care to ensure that your dog cannot get into it. Some pools, especially those that need a ladder to get in and out of, can be difficult for a dog to get out of if they fall in. Installing a pool cover can help prevent this.
Thirdly, if you have flowers in your yard, you’ll want to make sure that they are the kind that is safe for dogs. Tulips, daffodils, amaryllis, and azaleas can be poisonous to dogs, and if you have any in your yard, you may want to remove them and replace them with another pet-friendly variety. A landscaping company may be able to help with this, and they can take care of the removal and planting so that you don’t have to.
Lastly, if you have any dead or dying trees in your yard, you may want to get them removed to avoid any accidents. Dead tree limbs can easily snap unpredictably, and you don’t want one to end up falling and hurting your dog. A local tree service can easily remove these hazards and inspect the remaining trees on your property to let you know if any of them have any problems that you’ll need to watch out for.
When asking yourself, how can I dog proof my house, these outdoor steps can be some of the most important, even though they are the most overlooked.
5. Repair Your Roof
When asking yourself, how can I dog proof my house you probably would never think of considering your roof. However, the condition of your roof can actually play a huge part when it comes to keeping your new dog safe and comfortable.
A weak or damaged roof can be one of the best ways for pests and rodents to get into your home. Dogs can contract rabies from mice, and if a mouse bites them it can be a problem, especially if you’re unaware of it. Bites can often be difficult to see, and if you weren’t around when the accident occurred, your dog may be in danger without you knowing it. Thankfully, pest control is easier if you take care of your roof and attic insulation, as well as gaps around doors and windows.
A roofer can inspect your roof for any signs of weakness or damage — something that is recommended to be done at least once a year — and repair the issue so that it doesn’t become a larger problem in the future.
Weak roof spots can also cause problems with water, and water damage cleanup can be both expensive and difficult. If water gets in, it can also contribute to mold growth, which can be hazardous to the health of both your dog and you.
Additionally, inadequate roof insulation can also be one of the leading ways for energy to escape. This can make it harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If your new dog has long hair, this can be particularly difficult during the hot summers, as they can be more prone to overheating if the home isn’t being cooled enough. Checking your roof and the insulation in your attic can be essential for keeping your pet safe and comfortable when considering the answer to the question of how can I dog proof my house.
Creating the Perfect Forever Home By Dog Proofing Your House
When asking yourself, how can I dog proof my house, there are a lot of things that you need to consider. Dogs are kind of like hyper-active toddlers, except they can run a lot faster and have a higher likelihood of chewing up your favorite shoes. Because of this, you’ll need to approach dog-proofing your home, similar to the way you would approach child-proofing a home.
Take time to go through each room in your home and think about what a dog could get into or what could potentially harm your new dog. Remove the things that are dangerous, such as toxic plants, and move the things you don’t want them to get into to a place they can’t reach. You may even consider having high shelves installed to give you more storage options that your dog can’t get into.
Outside, you should consider similar things, and remove anything that could be dangerous. Whether you are installing fencing or already have fencing installed, make sure that it is sturdy enough to contain your dog, and high enough that they can’t jump over it.
When asking the question, how can I dog proof my house these five tips can help save you a lot of time and give you a great starting point for fixing up your home. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your home is as safe and as comfortable as possible for your newest family addition.