How to Dog Proof Your Home

Dog behind a gate

Bringing home a new dog is always an exciting process. But unless you're bringing home a pet that has already been house trained, there are quite a few steps into getting your home prepared for the arrival of a new puppy. If you want to find out how to “dog proof” your house or apartment before you bring the new canine home check out the article below to find a few simple steps you can take to make the process of becoming a new dog owner quite a bit more comfortable for yourself.

Step One: Teach The Puppy Where To Pee

Good Boys Know Where To Go

The hardest dogs to bring back to your new apartment is a brand new puppy, but there can be issues with a dog of any age. Especially if the dog hasn’t been house trained yet. So if your dog doesn’t know to wait and go outside then the first thing you’ll want to do is get some Puppy Pads. The best way to dog proof your house is to housebreak your dog as soon as possible. This should be your number one priority the first few days. However, there are bound to be accidents. These pads are large absorbent tear resistant pads that will absorb pee when your dog goes in the house. They come in a variety of sizes so even if you’ve gotten a larger dog you can find the size that’s right for how big your dog is. 

You just simply place the pad on the floor with the plastic side down and the absorbent side face up. It’s a good idea to take these over by the door that you want the dog to go to when they will be going outside. Then even if your dog has an accident you have pads placed by where you want them to remember to go to when they want to show you they need to go. You don’t want to just teach the dog to go inside. So teaching them at least to go to the door gives you a step up right away. If you have a young puppy it's a good idea to place these with your puppy wherever they are confined at.

Two dogs behind a gate
Gates make for good pets whether they’re indoors or outdoors.

Step Two: Gates Make Good Pets

Confine Your Canine To Dog Friendly Areas of the House.

Which brings us to the second way you can dog proof your house. Gates, kennels, and barriers. When a dog is young and you have to leave the house or you just can’t keep an eye on them, it's a good idea to put them in a room with a non carpeted floor with a puppy pad. And then use a gate or barrier to keep them confined to one room. You’ll want the gate or barrier to be wide enough to cover both sides of the doorway and tall enough that your dog can’t jump over it. This can be especially good if you work during the day. You can keep your dog somewhere that even if they have an accident it is to a lesser degree. And you can keep them near a pee pad when you are still house training them. 

If you are going to confine your dog in one area it is a good idea to make sure you pick up anything that you don’t want them to chew on. This will include things like cords, shoes, and paper products. You’ll want to take my word for this one since we tragically lost my sister’s Harry Potter book one summer when we first brought our new German Shepherd puppy home. Dogs naturally love to chew on things. So there is no point to confining them if you leave them surrounded with only your things to chew on.

dog chewing on stick
Dogs love to chew on things so if you leave all your stuff out some of it will inevitably get chewed on.

Step Three: Chew Toys Are A Dog's Best Friend

Taking Care of Your Dog's Basic Necessities Is Essential When Dog Proofing

Which brings us to our third way to dog proof your home. If you bring a dog home you will have to make sure their basic needs have been met. One way to make sure their need to chew on things is met is by providing them with their own chew toys. It's almost impossible to teach a dog not to chew on anything, especially when they are home alone all day bored waiting for you to get home. So if you want them to not chew up your prized possessions get them something to chew on in their free time. There are a million different types of toys and treats for your dogs that they will love to chew on. It is very possible to teach a dog what they are allowed to chew on and this will save a lot of your stuff especially early on before your dog knows the rules.

On top of toys you’ll want to keep your dog well fed and exercised to keep them in a good mood. This is especially true of puppies and young dogs who have excess energy. If you aren’t going to have any time to play with your new pet they are going to have a hard time adjusting to your new home regardless of what else you do. And burning off their energy with play not only helps you bond with the dog but also helps them be more relaxed the rest of the time. 

You’ll also want to keep your dog well groomed. This is especially true if you have multiple dogs or a long hair dog. As adorable as your fuzzy friends are, they are going to shed around your house if you don’t brush them. So get used to brushing your dog or vacuuming frequently if they have longer hair. If not then every time you wear dark clothes they’ll be covered in dog hair and you’ll have to spend time lint rolling them every time your dog has been nearby.  

happy dog outdoors
Taking care of and exercising your dog will help keep them well behaved and happy.

If you follow the steps in this article you’ll find it possible to dog proof your home in some pretty simple, yet effective, ways. However, no matter how well dog proofed your home is, I can say from personal experience that if you leave food anywhere a dog can get to it when you are gone they will try to. So just make sure you put things up and away from where they can get at it when you leave home. Especially over the holidays when you are gone for multiple days. And don’t leave laundry out where they can get to it because you’ll never get the dog hair off of it. Not even a sweater on the couch because if they can, they’ll snuggle up on something that smells like their person when you are gone!

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