Puppies are naturally curious, but that curiosity can lead them into hazardous situations. It’s easy to overlook things in your home that may be harmful to your new puppy or that might get chewed up. Before bringing your puppy home, it is important to puppy proof it to make it safe for your new pet.

Check your plants.

Puppies like toddlers put things in their mouths, check your plants to make sure you do not have any plants are toxic that your puppy can eat. Either replace them with non-toxic plants or make sure they are far out of reach. Toxic plants commonly found indoors include dieffenbachia, azalea, Calla lily, and philodendron. You should also check your backyard for any dangerous plants. (a vet should be able to provide a complete list)

While you are checking for plants, check your fence. If you plan on letting your dog run free check for any holes in your fence that the puppy could get through. And be sure to keep your puppy away from a location where you have used fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides for at least 48 to 72 hours.

Make sure any meds or chemicals cannot be accessed

Keep all medications, including any dog supplements, in a safe area the puppy cannot access. Do not leave vitamins or other pills out on the kitchen counter or table. A determined chewer can make short work of a plastic container. Puppies are surprisingly quick at pulling things off of end tables or other low surfaces. And Keep cleaning supplies in high cupboards or use childproof latches to secure lower cupboards. Remove the puppy from the area when you are using liquid or spray cleaners. They can get into the eyes of a curious puppy, and the vapors can be harmful to lungs and eyes.

Take out the trash

A puppy will be attracted to the smell and if it manages to knock it over it will chew or swallow what was in the garbage. Put bathroom trash cans up high where your dog cannot get into them. Sanitary supplies and used razors are only two of the hazards here.

Full sinks, bathtubs, or toilets with open lids can be a drowning hazard. If you have a swimming pool, be sure to make sure your puppy cannot access it, not all puppys can swim.

Be careful of your puppy around furniture. A rocking chair can harm a puppy’s tail or leg, and a curious puppy may crawl under an open recliner or sofa bed.

Protect your cords AND your puppy

Electrical cords are a big danger to puppies, who often chew on them while playing. Chewing on an electrical cord can cause anything from burns to the mouth to death. Tie up and/or hide loose cords and run exposed cords through purchased spiral cable wrap, cord concealers, or even PVC to keep them away from your puppy.

Any type of fire can be dangerous. Screen off fireplaces and wood stoves. Never leave your puppy unattended in a room with an open flame or space heater.

Make sure your puppy cannot access small items or clothing that they can swallow. Jewelry and coins are easily swallowed and can contain metals that are toxic. Swallowed clothing may cause a dangerous intestinal blockage. Keep socks, nylons, underwear, and other clothing put away.

Most importantly…

make sure you have time to be there with your new puppy. It is impossible to completely puppy proof your home. The best way to keep your puppy safe as they adjust and learn what they should and shouldn’t do is simply to have you there to prevent them from getting into things they shouldn’t.