Are you bringing home a foster dog, a new puppy, or just having a friend’s dog visit? Before your new four-legged friend arrives, it is a good idea to make sure your home is safe for them. Dogs are more motivated to get into trouble than you might think. Here’s how to make sure your home is dog friendly.
1. Choose Trash Cans with Lids
Young and old dogs will both be drawn to trash to search for food or just to find the source of an interesting smell. Make sure that your bathroom and kitchen trash cans have secure lids. If you compost, also check on the compost bin’s lid.
2. Add Furniture Protection
Whether you are thinking of allowing the dog on your furniture or not, they will likely go through a phase of discovery where they hop up onto everything. You should protect your furniture while you teach your dog that his or her place is not on the couch. If you plan on letting your dog up on furniture all of the time, you may want to invest in high-quality covers. When they get damaged by the inevitable scratch, you can swap them out.
3. Consider Window Screens
With cats, the concern is using screens to keep them in the house. With dogs, the concern is them breaking right through a screen to get to something exciting outside. Remove screens temporarily for short visits. Or, show dogs the screen while they are calm to reduce the odds they break it.
4. Secure Medications
You might keep your medications on a counter or dresser that is well within your dog’s reach. Unlike a child, a determined puppy can chew through a bottle, so the child safety lid isn’t much peace of mind. Keep medications in closed cupboards or medicine cabinets so your dog can never access them.
5. Move Foods Off Counters
Do you keep fruit, bread and snacks on your kitchen counter or table? A curious puppy may get into it. An older dog may also consider it if the food is particularly delicious, or if they have developed a taste for human foods. Consider moving your snacks to a spot well out of your new dog’s reach.
6. Check on Houseplant Toxicity
Few adult dogs will chew plants, but it’s a possibility. Puppies are much more likely to chew on a leaf or two. So, it’s a wise idea to check that your plants are not toxic or poisonous to dogs. Move any that are out of the dog’s reach.
7. Look for Choking Hazards
Cords from blinds and lamps, bag handles, cords for electronics and other loose cords may be choking hazards to your dog. Get on dog level and look through your home for potential ropes that could choke your dog. You can use tape and Velcro to secure them so they can’t be caught by the dog’s neck. Or, you can move the cords up out of reach.
8. Remove Auto-Cleaners
If you have devices that auto clean your toilet or shower, it’s wise to remove them. They can spray your dog, or your dog may try to drink from the toilet just after the cleaner has added chemicals to it.