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Dachshund puppy on the bed

It’s no secret that puppies are curious little creatures — and sometimes that curiosity leads them to unwanted, even dangerous, situations. If you’re welcoming a puppy into your home, one of the first things you should do is puppy-proof your space. 

Something as simple as an exposed wire or a bowl of candy could easily become the object of Fido’s desire and end up causing serious illness or injury. 

To avoid any mishaps, follow these tips for how to puppy-proof your apartment — or any living space, really.

How to puppy-proof your apartment

Move and hide electrical cords

Puppies love to chew, especially when they’re teething, and they’re not too picky about what they gnaw on. Exposed electrical cords are a tempting chew toy for your pup, and if they happen to get a bite, the consequences can be dire.

Make sure you move or hide any electrical cords so that they’re inaccessible to your puppy. You can do this by tucking them behind furniture or using cord covers. Knowing that these are out of reach of your furry friend will give you peace of mind.

Keep the trash closed

There’s nothing more tempting to a puppy than an open trash can. Their curious nature will take them right over to anything that seems fun to explore, and once they smell the old trash, they’ll feel like they’ve hit the jackpot.

Open trash cans are especially dangerous because they may contain discarded toxic food items or choking hazards like bottle caps and wrappers. Keep trash cans closed or put away when not in use to ensure your puppy’s safety.

Manage space with gates

Letting your puppy have the run of the apartment is asking for trouble. When they’re free to roam, it’s very difficult to monitor their activity. Items like dog gates and playpens can be used to create boundaries and keep your puppy confined to the safest areas, especially when you can’t keep an eye on them.

Dispose of poisonous houseplants

Believe it or not, a lot of houseplants can be toxic to pets. Plants like Aloe, Amaryllis, Lilies, Sago Palm, and Snake plants are just a few that can lead to toxic symptoms in dogs if ingested. If you have one of these in your home and believe that your puppy ate some, look out for signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, nausea, or changes in eating patterns

👉 Contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline if you notice symptoms of toxicity. 

Scan for choking hazards

Unfortunately, many items can easily become choking hazards for a puppy. Small toys, coins, buttons, bones, sticks, rubberbands, and even string can all put them at risk for choking. Perform a thorough sweep of your space and ensure these types of objects are out of paws-reach for your pup. 

Secure medications

Over-the-counter human medications make up the largest portion of reported toxicity cases in pets each year. Ibuprofen, cold and flu medications, and acetaminophen are some of the main culprits, so it’s very important to keep these secure and out of reach. Even when you’re taking the medication, make sure your puppy is in a different room or unable to get to it should any spill on the ground.

Safely store cleaning supplies and other toxins

While having a puppy likely means you’ll be cleaning up quite a few messes, it’s important to keep these supplies out of reach. Many cleaning solutions contain ingredients that are toxic to pets if ingested, so when you use them, wipe up the residue thoroughly and store them securely.

Take inventory of toxic foods

Foods that are common in our diet can be extremely toxic to dogs. Chocolate, avocados, raisins, grapes, Xylitol, and onions are just a few examples of human foods that are unsafe for dogs to ingest

Store these foods away and be cautious when eating them around your furry friend. It goes without saying that keeping a bowl of chocolate candy on your coffee table is a major no-no.

Ensure there are no sharp objects

Scan your entire apartment for any sharp objects and store them away or dispose of them properly. If you’ve just moved into a new space, be especially careful when hanging art on the wall or constructing furniture, as this can leave a lot of non-pet-friendly debris on the floor like screws, nails, and sharp pieces of wood.

Close windows and lock doors

If your pup sees an opening to go explore the outside world, there’s a good chance they’ll take it. Ensure all windows and doors lock and close properly and inform all members of the household to do the same to prevent escapes.

Ultimately, adding a furry friend to the family is an exciting milestone, but with that excitement comes a lot of responsibility and preparation. Puppy-proofing your apartment is the first step to ensuring you have a safe space where your pooch can live a happy, healthy life.