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There’s no place like home
Puppies are notorious for getting into anything and everything they set their little eyes on.
Puppies are notorious for chewing everything around the house bar none. Whatever they find left on the ground is fair play in their eyes.
Your shoes? Don’t worry, already chewed ’em.
The lamp? Knocked it over.
Your dinner? Devoured it.
Does any of this sound familiar? Well, I hope it doesn’t. And if you want to prevent such crimes, then you must puppy-proof your home.
What is Puppy-Proofing?
Puppy-proofing is the process in which you remove all hazards on the floor or in reach that could potentially harm your pup.
This isn’t a one-time thing either puppy-proofing requires you to keep a hawk’s eye out for any dangers that could arise.
If something drops on the floor, pick it up. When plugging electronics in, keep your Frenchie in mind. Don’t leave food sitting out in plain sight.
Once you learn the essentials of puppy-proofing your house, these things will become second nature. You don’t need to worry about having a perfectly puppy-proofed house at first.
Why Puppy-Proofing is important
The main reason for puppy-proofing your home or apartment is to keep your pup safe and sound when at home.
- Keep your puppy & belongings safe
- You’ll clean your house in the process
If you are just bringing home your Frenchie puppy, then you’ll probably want to puppy-proof every inch of your house the puppy will be around.
We don’t want anything that could make your Frenchie sick, do we?! When it comes to puppy proofing, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
8 Ways to Puppy-Proof your Home or Apartment
- Puppy Proofing your Home
- Puppy Proofing your Bathroom
- Puppy Proofing your Backyard
1. Keep your trash secured
If you’re anything like me, your trash cans are probably full of things that your Frenchie shouldn’t be getting into.
Think of all the things that we toss in the bin without giving it a second though:
- Toxic foods
- Cosmetic products
If you are worried about your Frenchie getting into your bathroom trash can, the simplest thing you can do is shut the door.
2. Relocate low-hanging power cords that could be tripped over or chewed
Secure all electrical wiring around your house in areas that your Frenchie will be.
Electrical cords are a huge shock, burn, and choking hazard.
Not only do you need to worry about them chewing on the cords themselves, you also should place your wires in a place that your Frenchie won’t caught up in.
You can make this job easier on yourself by using a puppy gate to keep your pup’s area as small as you’d like.
I recommend dedicating an area of your house solely for your Frenchie, preferably one that you and your family frequent.
If you want to section off parts of your house to keep your Frenchie secured, then what you need is a puppy gate.
Not only does this keep your puppy in a secure, safe area, it also helps from overwhelming them.
If you are opposed to this idea, instead, you can use a dog fence to restrict access to certain areas of your house such as the upstairs.
The smaller the area your puppy has to roam around, the less puppy-proofing to worry about.
I really can’t recommend them enough… they make the entire puppy-proofing process a lot simpler/quicker.
4. Keep all medications and supplements far out of your pup’s reach
Our bathrooms are probably the most dangerous parts of our homes for our Frenchies.
If you have a habit of leaving medications beside your bed or on the bathroom counter,
5. Make sure your house is free of any poisonous plants or other dangers
Puppy proofing isn’t limited to your house… your yard must be puppy-proofed too!
If you have any of the following plants in your yard, you might want to think about removing them…
- Azalea and Thododendron
- Sago Palm
- Black Walnut
- Fruit trees
- Horse Chestnut (Buckeye)
- Other nut trees such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and hickory nuts
- Autumn Crocus
- Lily & Lily of the Valley
- Tulip and Hyacinth
Phew, that was a long list. How can anybody actually remember all of that?!
Well, you probably can’t. But thankfully someone makes neat little magnets that you can hang up on your fridge with all the dangers you might run across.
This one specifically comes with 3 stickers: toxic foods, toxic plants, and safe foods. Check it out on Amazon!
6. Use non-toxic cleaning products around your house (especially areas they frequent)
Most cleaning products found on the market nowadays are chock full of chemicals your Frenchie (and you!) shouldn’t be exposed to.
Not only do you need to be concerned about direct exposure to these toxins, the fumes they give off are just as dangerous, if not more!
Avoid These Cleaning Products
- Pine-Sol or Mr. Clean Floor Cleaners
- Clorox Bathroom Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles
- Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Spray and Formula 409
- Toxic Drain Cleaners
- Laundry detergent
Avoid These Cleaning Product Ingredients
Ammonia (Ammonium Hydroxide)
Ammonia is a toxic ingredient commonly found in oven cleaners, window cleaners, stainless steel cleaners, and wax for hardwood floors.
Be sure to double-check the ingredients list for ammonium hydroxide.
While bleach may be the only way to get the job done sometimes, it’s also a highly dangerous chemical for you and your pup to be exposed to.
If you are going to be working with bleach, take all necessary safety precautions.
This ingredient is commonly used in deodorizers and all-purpose cleaners to make things smell good.
You might not see it explicitly listed in the ingredients list, however, if “Fragrance” is listed there is a good chance the product contains phthalates.
Glycol ethers are an ingredient commonly found in “natural” cleaning products.
- All purpose cleaners
- Liquid soaps
- Glass cleaners
- Spot removers
- Carpet cleaners
Similar to the previous ingredients, these have been found to be harmful in both humans and animals.
You may have heard of formaldehyde and its carcinogenic properties before.
7. Clean your floor! Make sure there’s no small objects that could be pose a choking hazard lying around.
Congratulations, you’re hired.
Your new job is to be on alert 24/7 for any small objects that make their way onto your home’s floor. It’s exhausting, but the job must be done.
If you think your Frenchie is unlike the rest and won’t eat random stuff off the floor, you’re probably wrong. They’re little vacuum cleaners when it comes to crumbs and other small objects.
Seriously though, you need to constantly be picking up trash off your floor.
8. If you have an outdoor patio/balcony, make sure the gaps between the railings are small enough to keep your Frenchie from squeezing through!
This is especially important to keep in mind if your Frenchie is just a puppy.
One time I let my dog out and she slipped through the cracks of our fence and took off running down the side of the neighbor’s house. Learn from my mistakes.
1. Puppy Proofing a Balcony or Gate
This is one that many dog owners often completely forget about.
The railings on the gates of our fences and balconies found in our backyards and apartments are often wide enough for your puppy to squeeze through.
The Solution – A Puppy Fence
The solution to this problem is simple: you need a puppy fence. Unless you are certain that your puppy is too big to squeeze through, they won’t be safe outside unattended.
This specific puppy fence comes in 16 ft and 30 ft rolls and comes with everything you need to mount the fence to your fence or balcony.
2. Puppy Proofing Furniture
Are you worried about your puppy chewing up, scratching, shedding, or in anyway ruining your beautiful furniture?!
When your Frenchie is shedding a ton, it can be really frustrating to clean your furniture, bedding, and other household objects just to have them be covered in pet hair just moments after your Frenchie gets ahold of them.
One option is to not allow your Frenchie on the couch, in the bedroom, and anywhere else you don’t want their fur and whatever they bring in from outside… but this is easier said than done. Good luck convincing me to keep my Frenchie away from where I spend most of my time.
Or you might be worried about your new puppy chewing up or scratching your stuff. Always remember that there’s always a risk that your Frenchie gets into trouble, and it might be best to keep them secured away from the furniture, or move the furniture somewhere else until you trust your puppy’s behavior enough to be around your valuables.
The Solution – A Puppy Blanket
Thankfully there are other options that don’t involve telling your Frenchie to stay away.
To protect your furniture from pet fur, urine, scratching, and chewing, I recommend looking into a waterproof blanket that is designed to protect your furniture like this PetAmi blanket found on Amazon.
- Protect against scratching, chewing, fur, and shedding
- Waterproof– no need to worry about this blanket!
- Warm and comfortable– promotes calmness
- Use anywhere! Bedroom, couch, car, or in their crate.
3. Puppy Proof Rugs and Flooring
- Close off the area– if you are really worried about your dog ruining your rugs/carpet/flooring, the best thing to do is just close off the area with a puppy fence… you can designate another area of your house to be for your dog(s)
- Hard floors can be slippery– I sometimes will throw down a carpet or workout-mat in areas of my house that have hard floors… sometimes my Frenchie will run too fast & have no traction with the ground
4. Puppy Proofing your Bedroom and Bathroom
- Keep medications secure– leaving a pill bottle on your nightstand is never a good idea; your dog can easily chew through the plastic bottle & eat whatever is inside
- Keep toilet lid closed– you don’t want your dog drinking the water, or worse, falling in
The Solution – A Puppy Bed
Here’s a list of our favorite beds.
3 Comfy & Cozy Beds
5. Puppy Proofing your Backyard
- Fence your yard– you can also keep your dog on a leash
- Beware of– dangers such as poisonous plants and animals (like Bufo toads). Be mindful of recent pest control treatments as well… don’t allow them on the grass if there was a recent treatment
- Keep an eye on them– don’t just let your dog stay outside unattended
- Be mindful of the heat– if possible, set up a shaded area for your dog
- Access to water– make sure your dog always has a bowl of clean water while they’re outside
- Keep your lawn well-maintained– make sure you take care of anything like ant hills before letting your dog roam the backyard
6. Puppy Proofing Cords and Wires
- Hide exposed wires– keep everything out of your dog’s reach. Wire covers are a convenient way to hide your wires.
The Solution – Wire Covers
Keep wires safe ‘n sound from a curious Frenchie with these wire covers.
6 More Puppy-Proofing Tips
1. Keep Doors Shut
Want to know the easiest way to puppy-proof your house in just seconds?!
Just shut your doors. Minimal puppy-proofing required.
2. Keep Toilet Lids Closed
Dogs will be dogs… and drink toilet water.
Gross, I know.
If you happen to leave your bathroom door open, at least try to make sure the seat is down.
There’s a few reasons why the toilet is something to worry about:
- Toilet bowl cleaners (like the ones you snap onto the bowl) can make the toilet water dangerous if ingested.
- The toilet bowl itself can be a drowning hazard.
- Frankly, it’s kinda gross (ya I’m talking to you, Frenchie)
3. Keep Windows Shut
If your Frenchie is anything like mine, I’m sure they love staring out the window for hours just watching anything that goes by.
Unless you plan on looking out the window with your Frenchie, it’s probably a good idea to keep that window shut. You wouldn’t want them pushing the window’s screen out if they wanted to chase a squirrel.
4. Don’t Feed Them Human Food
While some human food is okay to share, sometimes it’s just best not to share.
Chances are, even if the food is “safe” to eat, it might cause some dangerous gas… and nothing is more dangerous than smelly Frenchie farts.
5. Stay Current on Your Yard’s Pest Control
If you have any kind of pest control work done around your house, make sure the chemicals they use are safe around animals or you keep your Frenchie away for a few days until it’s safe.
6. Fence Off Pools
Did you know Frenchies are some of the worst swimmers around?
Really. Frenchies’ bodies have too much muscle which makes floating for them pretty much impossible.
While they may not be the best swimmers, they can still have tons of fun in a kiddie pool like this one that is specifically designed to be resistant to punctures from your dog’s claws.
It’s the best way stay cool during the summer too!