Puppy Proof Your Home

10 Easy Ways To Puppy Proof Your Home & Yard

Updated 09/29/2023 by Ava Jaine

Adopting a new puppy always feels like an awesome idea… That is, as long as you do your research and properly prepare for your new pup’s arrival first.

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Bringing home a new puppy is a lot like bringing home a new baby. You and your family need to prepare for the arrival of this special new addition. Puppy Proofing your home and yard is the first step.

Puppy Fact: A newborn puppy cannot see or hear when they are born. In the first week or two, the puppies eyes and ears start to open up.

Don’t forget to check out our printable puppy proofing checklist below.

Puppy Proof Your Home

Puppy-Proofing Checklist

  • Hide the Chewables

  • Puppy Gates

  • Designate Puppy Area

  • Secure Baking Ingredients

  • Lock up Cleaning Chemicals

  • Educate Family on Puppy Rules

  • Secure Garbage Can


1. Hide the Chewables:

Get down on the floor and take a look through your new puppy’s eyes, what can they get into?… because they will.

  • Cords and Strings:

    Hide all Electrical cords and secure strings hanging from window blinds. Too many deadly incidents with puppies chewing dangerous electrical cords or choking on strings.  Puppy proof your cords with Pet Cord Protectors (From Amazon), they actually work!

  • Small Kid Toys:

    Bouncy Balls or small kids toys are objects that can easily be confused with a small dog toy and can be choked on, keep them away from your new pup.  School Supplies like pencils and colorful erasers are attractive, toxic, and choking hazards for dogs.

  • Household Items:

    Puppies love to grab, run, and chew anything on the floor to get some attention.  They also love to chew on furniture (especially while teething).  Some pet supply stores sell a non-toxic bitter tasting spray that can deter some dogs from chewing the special items you want to protect.
    Guard the following items:

    • Socks
    • Shoes
    • Tv remote controls or video game controllers
    • Jewelry
    • Furniture and pillows
    • Houseplants
    • Cat litter
    • Dryer sheets

2. Use Puppy Gates:

If there are rooms in your house where there are way too many things to hide, put up a puppy gate in the doorway.  In my house, we have the Easy Step Extra Tall Gate (from Amazon) in each of our doorways.  We love these gates for small or large dogs.

Don’t allow your dog into the garage or the shed where there are a lot of dangerous objects that are hard to avoid.


3. Designated Puppy Area:

The area that is designated for the puppy should have an easy to clean floor (like tile or vinyl). Take a look at some of the vinyl scraps they have at Home Depot, they are usually cheap.

For my set up at home: I use a strong puppy gate in all of the doorways.  I have my puppy in the kitchen, so I use a playpen for his designated area.  This doggie playpen from Amazon is similar to the one I use at home for my puppy, Eko.  It is secure and tall enough to keep him from climbing out.  If my puppy has an accident, it is easy to clean up on the vinyl floor.

Keep the designated puppy area away from the walls, cords, or any wooden corners.  All puppies love to chew…. Everything.  Your puppy area is only temporary while you are in the training and introduction phase.

Kennels: Choosing the correct kennel is crucial for your dog. They will try to get out, so you need to learn how to safely keep them in. Some metal kennels are bendable, so your dog’s strong teeth can bend the bars too easily.

The most important features of a kennel that will keep your pup safe is a “gorilla tough” locking mechanism on the main kennel door. I have also had to add extra clipping locks or carabiners to some kennels.

4. Baking Ingredients:

Dogs are attracted to the smell of chocolate.  Put all baking chocolate way up high. It is a deadly toxic poison to dogs.

puppy proof your home

5. Lock Up the Chemicals:

Install some child locks on your bathroom or kitchen cleaning product cabinets. Puppies are exploring the world for the first time, so they are super curious. If your dog ever consumes any chemicals, call your vet or the Pet Poison Hotline ASAP.

6. New Puppy Rules For The Family:

How to Treat the New Puppy:

If you have small children or grandchildren, have a heart to heart about being gentle with the new puppy.  Children need to be reminded to treat the puppy with kindness, if the puppy is teased or bothered by anyone, they will adapt to defending themselves in a not so friendly way.

Being Helpful and Responsible:

Have your child help with feeding and watering the dog.  It is a really easy chore to start kids off on the right track with helping around the house and earning some allowance.

People Food:

Feeding your dog table scraps during a meal will quickly become a horrible habit for your dog. Dogs will learn to beg when they want something, and they have no trouble continuing to bark for a Very Long Time.

Table scraps are also a big no-no in general for your dog. Some dogs have extremely sensitive stomachs, so any table scraps may result in vomiting or diarrhea in the middle of the night.  Check out this list of toxic foods your dog should never eat from the ASPCA.

Push in Your Chairs:

You and your family need to push in your chairs at the dining room table. If your puppy is small, you may think there is no way he will get on the table. WRONGO!… Dogs are clever.  They will use your chair and anything close to the table to get to the ultimate goal.. your food scraps (or your wrapped foot-long Italian sub… yep, that happened).


7. Garbage:

Secure your garbage can.  Dogs will sniff out your garbage in the kitchen and the bathroom.  Your garbage will need to be in a place where the dog can’t reach it or has a secure top in case the dog knocks it over.

8-10. Puppy Proofing Tips for Your Yard:

  • Objects in the Yard:

    Pick up any toys or garden tools laying in your yard.

  • Fence in the Hazards:

    Plants and Flowers: Keep your dog leashed up in the yard to avoid taking a bite out of your beautiful gardens. If they roam loose in your yard, consider putting up a small garden fence to keep them away from your plants. Some plants that are extremely toxic to dogs including daffodils, mistletoe, english ivy, holly, nightshade, azalea, and baby’s breath.

  • Swimming Pools:

    Lock up the perimeter of your pool. Some dogs love to swim, but sometimes can’t determine a safe exit from the water.  Allow your pup to wear a life jacket and swim with you, but never by themselves.

  • Fences:

    Make it a routine to check your entire fence line to check for any holes. If you see a hole, your pup is on his way to escaping.  Fill it in with some bulky rocks and dirt. Dogs can dig under the fence or if it is a wooden fence, they could chew their way through. To avoid the digging under issue, you can line the bottom of the fence with rocks.

Puppy Proof Your Home

Click on the image below to Print your Puppy Proof Checklist (PDF File):

Puppy Proof Your Home

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  • Lunis, Natalie. 2009. Dachshund the Hot Dogger. New York, NY: Bearport Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Schweitzer, Karen. 2010. Our Best Friends the Dachshund. Pittsburg, PA: Eldorado Ink.