When your puppy arrives home they'll have to get used to a new environment, new people and maybe even other dogs. However before they arrive there are a number of necessary checks and changes that you can make to ensure that your puppy will be safe in their new space.
Puppy-proofing your home
There are a number of hazards inside your home that you may not have initially considered, however by doing some simple ‘puppy-proofing’ in advance you can make sure that you're prepared for your new puppy's arrival.
- Cover electrical sockets - Plug socket covers should be used throughout your home so your puppy can’t access your electrical sockets.
- Remove exposed cords It's important to check for any exposed cords that your new puppy could chew through and tidy them away with cable ties or covers.
- Secure windows, balconies and stairs - Puppies are inquisitive animals who may easily get stuck or fall from high places in their exploration. Check windows and doors to outside are locked, any balconies are secured where possible and that your puppy can't access any stairs.
- Store away medicinal products and dangerous liquids - Put away any products in the kitchen and bathroom that could cause harm. E-cigarette refills and screen wash are known to be particularly harmful to dogs if ingested.
- Put away any small or sharp objects - Take a look around your home and put away any small objects that your puppy could chew or swallow, such as elastic bands or drawing pins, sharp objects or plastic bags.
Securing your garden for your new puppy
Once preparations have been made indoors, checks should be carried out on any outside spaces your puppy will have access to.
- Repair any gaps in the fence - If you have a fence around your garden, or a gate that will protect your puppy from the road, then you need to check it closely for any holes or gaps where your puppy could escape and make sure that these are securely blocked.
- Remove poisonous plants - Check the plants in your garden to make sure they’re not poisonous if your puppy was to ingest them. Some plants which are dangerous to dogs include Ficus, Cyclamen, Holly, Mistletoe, Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, Aloe, Narcissus, Hyacinth, Iris, Azalea, Rhododendron, Oleander, Poinsettia and Sweet Pea.
- Review your fertilisers - It's important to make sure any chemical fertilisers, herbicides and insecticides are out of reach to prevent your puppy from ingesting any of them.
- Store garden tools away - If you use any garden tools, particularly anything sharp, then it's important to store them away somewhere that your puppy wouldn’t be able to reach.
Another important way to prepare your home for the arrival of a new puppy is to make sure you have easy access to the emergency vet number. This could either be displayed somewhere in the house or saved in your mobile phone to ensure you can call them quickly if your puppy becomes ill or hurts themselves in the home.
By carrying out a number of checks in advance and getting your home ready in the right way, you can help your puppy be safe and comfortable in their new environment.