How to Puppy Proof your House

Your house is full of a bunch of dangers to your Frenchie. Keep them safe with this guide!

~13 minute read
last updated September 13, 2019

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 any and 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 it’s important

The main reason for puppy-proofing your home or apartment is to keep your pup safe and sound when at home. 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.

French Bulldog Cute Eyes
Just look at those eyes

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 a Puppy-Proof your Home

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:

  • Razors
  • Toxic foods
  • Waste
  • 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.

3. Use a Puppy Fence or Gate to keep your Frenchie Secured in One Area

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 fence or 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…

  1. Azalea and Thododendron
  2. Holly
  3. Hydrangea
  4. Ivy
  5. Oleander
  6. Peony
  7. Sago Palm
  8. Black Walnut
  9. Chinaberry
  10. Fruit trees
  11. Horse Chestnut (Buckeye)
  12. Other nut trees such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and hickory nuts
  13. Autumn Crocus
  14. Begonia
  15. Daffodil
  16. Chrysanthemum
  17. Geranium
  18. Foxglove
  19. Iris
  20. Lily & Lily of the Valley
  21. 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 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.

Chlorine (Bleach)

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.

Phthalates

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

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.

Formaldehyde

You may have heard of formaldehyde and its carcinogenic properties before.

1,4-Dioxane

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
  • Windex
  • Laundry detergent

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.

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.

6 More Tips

1. Keep Doors Shut

Want to know the easiest way to puppy-proof your house in just seconds?!

It’s simple.

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:

  1. Toilet bowl cleaners (like the ones you snap onto the bowl) can make the toilet water dangerous if ingested.
  2. The toilet bowl itself can be a drowning hazard.
  3. 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 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!

5 Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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
  • Warm and comfortable
  • Use anywhere! Bedroom, couch, car, or in their crate.

2. Puppy Proof Rugs and Flooring

3. Puppy Proofing your Bedroom

The Solution - A Puppy Bed

4. Puppy Proofing your Backyard

The Solution - Careful Gardening and Fencing

5. Puppy Proofing Cords and Wires

The Solution - Wire Covers


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