Puppy-Proofing Your Home Made Easy

Yorkies are curious by nature and they will run around your home … and they are FAST!!!! And because puppies explore the world with their mouths they will chew on everything within their reach. For the safety of both your Yorkie puppy and your things, it is important that you puppy-proof your home to remove the potential hazards from the areas where your puppy will spend most of their time in the first few months.

How to Puppy Proof Your Home

 

Electrical Cords

I’m sure you know that a dog can be electrocuted if they chew on wires but did you know they can burn themselves too? To prevent both types of injury hide all electrical cords or secure them out of your puppy’s reach. There are cord covers that can be used along the baseboard that don’t just prevent your puppy from chewing the wires but they also look neater than having a bunch of wires running to an outlet. I also use wire clips to prevent computer wires from hanging down from my desk where a puppy can get to them. And I couldn’t live without cord winders … I have them attached to all of my small appliances (like my stand mixer).

Household Chemicals

There are three ways your puppy can be injured by household chemicals: inhalation, contact, and ingestion so it is imperative that you store hazardous items out of your puppy’s reach.

You should also be sure to read the warnings and instructions on the products you use both inside and outside of your home. Some (like the pest sprays we use in our yard for example) are only hazardous while they are wet. Other products (like some floor cleaners) require that you rinse them with water before letting you pup in the area they were used in.

Playpen

It’s a great idea to have a playpen for your puppy that you can put them in to keep them safe and away from cleaning products while you’re using them.

Plants

Many household plants are toxic to pets so be sure to check to see if yours are on that list. Even if your plants are safe, they can be knocked over and the weight of the pot, plant, and soil could be enough to injure a puppy that is as small as our Yorkies so it’s best to remove them from the area your puppy will be spending the most time in.

Furniture

Block your puppy’s access to the back of television cabinets, computer desks, wall units, and other furniture. There are hard plastic guards that work great for smaller pieces of furniture and nylon fabric guards that easily attach to the legs of a sofa with Velcro.

The added benefit of doing this is that you won’t have to spend half your day retrieving your puppy’s favorite toy from under the sofa (IYKYK).

You should also remove or repair any wobbly furniture that could fall on your puppy.

Bathroom

The whole family should get into the habit of closing the toilet lid and bathroom door now so by the time your puppy arrives home it is second nature to avoid having this happen:

Food

How many times have you put a plate of food on your coffee table and then gotten up for just and minute? In that minute your puppy can grab your food (I know you think there’s no way a tiny Yorkie puppy can reach but trust me when I say they can and they will). Not only are some foods toxic to Yorkies and other dogs, but eating something they aren’t used to can upset their stomachs and in extreme cases (depending on what was eaten and how much) it can cause pancreatitis so get into the habit of not leaving any food or drinks where your puppy can reach them.

Install gates

The first thing David and I did when the contractors were done renovating our home a few years ago was to install gates in our doorways. We are not very handy so getting it right was a project for us. When we were done we stood back to admire our work and congratulate ourselves on a job well done. As we were standing there our puppies walked right through the slats!?! It turns out that while I obsessively searched for gates that would fit our doorways, match our color scheme, coordinate with our aesthetic, and that our Yorkies couldn’t climb, I completely forgot to consider the distance between the slats which was clearly much too big (insert eye roll). A quick trip to Home Depot for sheets of plexiglass fixed the problem but don’t make the same mistake we did.

You can also attach mesh to your gates. The advantage of this is that the mesh is attached with zip ties and can easily be removed when your puppy grows and can no longer fit through the gate.

Stairs, Balconies, and Decks

Yorkies can fit through the railings on most staircases, balconies, and decks. To prevent them from falling, a mesh barrier can easily be attached to the railings without damaging them.

And don’t forget to put safety gates at both the top and bottom of your stairs.

Kids Toys

Many children’s toys have small pieces that can be a choking hazard and cause intestinal obstructions for our Yorkies of all ages. Therefore, it’s important that children are taught to keep their toys away from their puppy.

When you think you have completely puppy-proofed your home, lie on the floor and look around once more from a puppy’s-eye-view to be sure. You should also look for items that could fall off of a table or counter top and injure your puppy and items they can reach if they climb onto a sofa or chair. And don’t forget the things you have stashed under the bed!

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