Puppy Proofing 101: Keep Your Pet Safe


The five most common poison dangers for dogs in 2011 included food, insecticide, rat poison, NSAIDs (aspirin) and household cleaners, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. All are common in many homes. As you prepare to welcome a puppy into your home, puppy proof every room to keep your pet happy and healthy.


It’s your call on whether to allow your puppy in your bedroom. If you do, protect your puppy by:

  • Keeping any cosmetics, toiletries, hair accessories, jewelry and other small items on a high dresser so that your pup cannot ingest these.
  • Putting your clothes and shoes away so that puppy won’t grab your favorite heels and chew on them.
  • Hanging your purse on a hook or placing it on a secure dresser so that puppy cannot get into your pocketbook.


Unless it’s bath time, the bathroom is not a place for pups. Puppy-proof this room by:

  • Keeping the toilet lid closed when not in use.
  • Shutting the bathroom door when not in use.
  • Using a bathroom trashcan with a lid.
  • Storing all medication in the bathroom cabinet.


The kitchen contains food and chemicals that could harm your pup. Keep her safe by:

  • Moving food out of reach so that pup won’t get your breakfast.
  • Using childproof locks on low cabinets that may contain chemicals.
  • Tucking appliance cords out of the way in case pup has a chewing habit.
  • Using a covered trash can or keep your trash in the cabinet or pantry if pup shows interest in it.

Living room

While your living room seems safe enough, it may contain animal hazards. Protect your pet by:

  • Checking a directory such as the ASPCA’s Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List, to determine whether your house plants are hazardous. If they are not, they’re fine to remain where they are. If you have toxic plants, place them atop high bookcases where pup cannot get them.
  • Using storage bins to organize family reading material, games, craft supplies, tech toys and other belongings that could tempt your puppy.
  • Hiding light cords, extension cords and other cords or use a plastic cord cover to prevent puppy from chewing your cords.
  • Placing a dog bed and dog toys in this room so your pup has her own things to play with and can spend time with you.


A big yard can be a great place for your pup to stay, if you puppy proof it. Start with these steps:

  • Identify any poisonous yard plants using the ASPCA list. If possible, remove these plants or place a fence around them to keep puppy out.
  • Clean up your garage, moving any chemicals to a high shelf so that pup cannot get them.
  • If you have a hot tub or a pool, cover them when not in use so that puppy cannot get into them, especially if you do not have a backyard fence around the pool. If you have a contoured pool, you can find flexible pool covers that will stretch to fit the shape of your pool.
  • Fence off your yard if you plan to let puppy outside off-leash. If she decides to chase a squirrel, she could end up in the street and at risk.

Creative Commons image by emarquetti

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