Are you getting ready to bring a puppy home to your apartment for the first time? If you are, you’re in for a treat. The joys you’re about to experience will certainly be balanced by a set of new responsibilities, but hard work and quality time spent with the newest member of your family should make your efforts well worth it.
Your responsibilities as a new pet owner include keeping your furry friend safe and protecting your apartment from your pet’s curious and sometimes destructive capacity. Here are some tips to help you with the puppy proofing process.
Designate a Pet Zone
One of the best ways to make your puppy feel at home is to designate a little nook specifically for him or her. This doesn’t have to be an entire room. It can be a corner in the living room or your bedroom. A pet bed, a couple of beloved toys, and a fully pet-proofed environment are all this space really needs. You should still go to lengths to pet proof the rest of your apartment, but by making this space especially pet-friendly you can help your furry friend stay safe and feel comfortable.
Hide Cords and Wires
Puppies are drawn to extension cords and electrical wires, especially during the teething phase. Hide your cords with creative protective covers like chew-proof PVC tube to keep them out of reach and off-limits to your pup.
Identify and Eliminate Dangers
Besides covering electrical wires, there are other potential puppy dangers in your apartment that definitely need attention. Before you bring a puppy home, scour your apartment with an eye to potential dangers. Identify hazards ranging from razors and toiletries to cleaning supplies and food items that can be dangerous. Clean your apartment and arrange your pantry, kitchen drawers, and medicine cabinet accordingly.
Lid Those Cans
Puppies are undeniably cute, but boy can they be drawn to trouble! Get in the habit of keeping your toilet lid down whenever it’s not in use. This will keep your puppy from using the toilet bowl as his or her primary source of drinking water.
Other “cans” to keep covered at all times: Waste bins, especially those in the kitchen. Your puppy’s keen sense of smell and unbridled curiosity make trash cans natural places of exploration. The only way to prevent trash from getting all over your apartment is to keep your waste bins securely closed.
Store Food Wisely
If puppies have a penchant for accessible trash, they have a magnetic attraction to perfectly good human food. Use the same tactics you’d use to keep pests away from your partially consumed foods to keep pets away from them. Airtight lids keep smells at bay. Child-safe latches, locks, gates, and straps work well for puppy proofing.
You’ll want to keep your puppy out of food stored in your kitchen or pantry, but should take particular care to keep foods that are toxic to dogs away. Most dogs can’t tolerate avocados, chocolate, fish, grapes, mushrooms, and onions. Consult your vet to learn more about your puppy’s dietary restrictions.
Put Clutter Away
No matter what type of policy you plan to adopt regarding couch use and your pet, it’s a smart idea to stow your pillows, throw blankets, remotes, iPods, coasters…really any items you don’t want your pup to use as a chew toy, in decorative bins. You may want to also consider covering nice upholstery in your apartment at least until your puppy is well-trained to protect sofas and reclining chairs from damage caused by gnawing, slobber, and pet pee. inexpensive rugs can protect wood floors and nice carpet you wish to protect until your puppy is done teething and has been potty-trained. Low-pile rugs tend to draw less attention from pets, generally lasting longer than their plush, high-pile counterparts.
Along the same line, your clothes, shoes, slippers…anything that smells like you can become a toy to your new pup. If you don’t keep them behind a closed door, put them away in a closet, hamper with a lid, or in containers and drawers.
Pet-Safe Household Plants
Plants are a great way to bring nature into your apartment, but several common indoor plants are toxic to canines. The corn plant, elephant ear, jade plant, and aloe plant are a few examples. Research houseplants and any others you’d like to introduce to your apartment in the future, and avoid the ones that are toxic to canines. While we’re on the subject, it’s important to keep fragile, soil-filled planters out of your pet’s reach.
For the pet-lover, an amenity-rich, pet-friendly apartment is a true luxury. Be mindful of elements of your apartment that present dangers to your pet, and puppy proof accordingly. Puppy proofing takes some work initially, but is fairly easy once you get the hang of it.
What steps do you take to keep your pet safe in your apartment?
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