Puppy Proofing your House!


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Puppy Proofing your House!

Puppies are very destructive, fun-loving critters. Just accept that if an object is within a puppy’s reach, it is going to get chewed up. Puppies have a deep-set urge to chew on any and everything. So make the decision early on that the puppy will not have free range of your house. Plan on them living temporarily in an enclosed section of your house with a mop-able floor that can be puppy-proofed. The best thing is a puppy playpen about the size of a child’s playpen like in the picture above. Puppies love to chew electrical wires, eat inedible foams, cardboard and plastic, leather and cloth items. Most of these items amazingly pass through the puppy without more than some colic and possible diarrhea. Crayons are a favorite at my house it seems since I’v found my fair share of colorful poop.

Puppies can be very curious. Here’s how to keep your puppy safe in your home.


  • Use childproof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets
  • Place medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves
  • Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet
  • Check for and block any small spaces, nooks, or holes inside cabinets or behind washer/dryer units
  • Keep foods out of reach (even if the food isn’t harmful, the wrapper could be)
  • Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent drowning or drinking of harmful cleaning chemicals
  • Halloween candy & leftovers should be kept up high (especially chocolate, Grapes and Raisins, Moldy Foods, Onions and Garlic, Sugar Free Candy containing the additive Xylitol)
  • Here you will find a list of dangerous foods for dogs… ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center website.

Living/family room

  • Place dangling wires from lamps, electronics, computers, laptops, chargers, televisions, stereos, and telephones out of reach
  • Put away children’s toys and games
  • Put away knick-knacks until your puppy has the coordination not to knock them over
  • Check all those places where your vacuum cleaner doesn’t fit, but your puppy does, for dangerous items, like string
  • Move common houseplants that may be poisonous out of reach. Don’t forget hanging plants that can be jumped onto from nearby surfaces
  • Make sure all heating/air vents have covers
  • Put away all sewing and craft notions, especially thread


  • Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors
  • Clean all antifreeze from the floor and driveway, as one taste can be lethal to animals
  • Keep all sharp objects and tools out of reach
  • Heavy things that might be knocked over by your puppy should be secured like ladders, yard equipment etc.


Dogs are scent-oriented, so they gravitate toward anything that smells like you. Shoes, slippers, and clothing will quickly become toys if you don’t safeguard such items behind a closed closet door. Keep clothing picked up, store shoes out of reach, and put laundry in a tall, closed hamper. Store jewelry, hair ties, coins, and other small ingestible items in containers or drawers, and secure any exposed cords or wires. Many dogs like to den under the bed or wedge themselves behind furniture, so put up temporary blockades to prevent your puppy from hiding where she shouldn’t.

  • Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors (drawstrings and buttons can cause major problems if swallowed)
  • Keep any medications, lotions, or cosmetics off accessible surfaces (like the bedside table)
  • Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing
  • Be careful that you don’t close your puppy in closets before leaving the house
  • And look out for paws, noses, and tails when you shut doors behind you or scoot chairs.

Make sure all your plants and flowers are Puppy Proof as well:

Some plants, such as daffodils, foxglove, bird-of-paradise, and lupine, can be poisonous to your dog and cause varied reactions, ranging from a rash to vomiting and diarrhea. 

Arlo - 8 2k old Cream Multigen Labradoodle Male from Loli and Hershey

Photos of Poisonous Plants and Flowers for Dogs

Keep plenty of rawhide chew sticks thrown about and available for the puppy. When you catch your puppy chewing on something he should reprimand him with a sharp NO! and immediately given one of his chew toys. Then praise him effusively while he chews his approved chew. Children’s toys make exceptionally poor and dangerous puppy toys.

There will be a lot of backsliding because their urge to chew is so great. Don’t criticize the puppy too much. Try to clear non-chewable items from his environment instead. When items cannot be removed (such as doors, etc.) you can spray them with Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray (amazon link) available at most pet supply stores and online. It is a combination of essence of bitter apple, cayenne pepper, and a product I have never identified but which tastes like petrol.

Amazingly, some puppies will still chew objects drenched in this brew so prevention is the best option.

Keep things up you don’t want chewed and be careful when your puppy is running about to keep a close eye on them, small puppies can easily be tripped over and badly hurt and it’s just best until your puppy is fully house trained to always know where your puppy is in the house.

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