Before you bring your little one into their new home, you’ll need to make some changes to your apartment. Our homes are full of hidden dangers that can make your pup very ill, or worse. It’s crucial that you adapt your space with your puppy in mind. To help you get started, here are six tips for puppy proofing your apartment.
1. Keep cords & wires safely out of reach
Puppies love to chew—and unfortunately, cords and wires are almost irresistible to their inquisitive minds. We don’t need to tell you how dangerous it is to gnaw on a live power cable. If your pup manages to reach your electric cords, the consequences could be devastating. Even if the cable doesn’t have a high voltage, this will still be a costly replacement. Be sure to keep all cords and power cables out of reach of your furry friend.
2. Beware of toxic cleaning products, plants & essential oils
If possible, choose non-toxic, pet-friendly cleaning products. Make sure you keep all chemicals locked away out of reach of your dog. Many popular essential oils, such as tea tree, cinnamon and peppermint are also toxic to dogs. So, you must be careful when using natural cleaning products, too. If you love plants, double-check if the species in your apartment could be poisonous. If any of these plants pose a risk, make sure to place them high above the floor where your pup cannot reach them.
3. Lock away food and trash
Keep all of your puppy’s food (as well as your own) in locked cupboards or in high places where your pooch cannot get to it. The same is true of your trash. You may think it’s disgusting, but your puppy will see the trash can as a wonderful selection of tasty delights. If they are able to get into the trash, they could eat all kinds of toxic human foods that may make them ill.
4. Make sure balconies are safe
If your apartment has balconies, you’ll need to secure these so that they don’t pose a danger to your pup. Not only could your little one fall, but if the railings are closely spaced, they could get their head stuck between the rails. On a side note, potty training can be more difficult when living in an apartment without a garden. If you have a balcony, you may want to consider a balcony dog potty. These are often built with real grass, so you can toilet train your pet without needing to leave the apartment. Make sure you check whether these are allowed by your building though.
5. Use gates & crates to control access
Baby gates are a fantastic tool for controlling which areas of the apartment your pup has access to. You can set these up in doorways to block off potentially dangerous rooms, such as the kitchen or bathroom, which makes it much easier to keep your new pet safe. It’s important not to just put your dog inside a crate without training though. Crate training is a gradual process that takes time, patience, and plenty of positive reinforcement. But once your pup is used to it, they should enjoy spending time inside while you’re away or occupied with other tasks.
6. Provide chew toys & clear clutter
Small items like coins, pens or rubber bands are all easy to place within reach of your pup, but they can pose a serious choking hazard.
The same is true of clothing that you may leave on the bedroom floor. Socks and underwear are especially interesting to your pup because they smell like you. But the fabric can block their intestines if they ingest it.
To ensure your furry friend stays safe, you should keep all spaces that your pup can reach clear from small or chewable items. Then redirect chewing urges by giving your little one several puppy-friendly chew toys to keep them occupied.