Puppy Proofing Your Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Dog-Proofing

Posted by Jackie Ly on

dog lying inside the house

Having a dog as part of the family can instantly make any living space brighter. Prepping your home is more than just storing all the shoes behind cabinet doors. It also means prepping the house for zoomies and curious noses.  In general, you want to keep your house warzone-proof.

This helps you avoid accidents until your dog is properly trained. It’s all about creating a space where your canine companion can thrive without turning your place into a chaotic playground!

How to dog-proof your house

A puppy will want to be close to you and will follow you around. Baby gates are convenient, but it’s better if you let your puppy have the entire house. Let him follow you around and take this opportunity to teach him manners instead of physically fencing him in. This would soon give him confidence and prevent anxiety. An anxious dog also poses a risk to your items in the house.

Letting your dog roam the house is good for instilling confidence alongside boundaries. This is where dog-proofing comes in. Prepare the house for your dog, instead of corralling your dog somewhere. 

Use crate training and house training

Number one in dog-proofing the house is to prep a place for your dog to go to rest and take a break, and to go potty. Potty-training and crate training are both entirely different topics. When it comes to dog-proofing, potty and crate training work several ways. 

Crate training: You can tell the pup to go to the crate when you need to clean up a dangerous mess, like broken pottery or crockery. It’s important, however, that you make sure it doesn’t seem like going to the crate is a punishment. Your dog’s crate should be their safe place, so, make their interactions with it a positive one!

House training: You should start potty training as early and as simply as possible, with a pee pad in the house. After that, you can gradually move it to the desired spot outside the house. In the meantime, if your puppy is small, your puppy can be taught to go to the pad, and you can also use the pad to easily clean up accidents.


Chances are your dog will be most excited about your kitchen. After all, it is where most of the good smells are coming from. That said, your kitchen is one of the most important places to dog-proof.

Keep ingredients and chemicals out of reach: Keep toxic ingredients and food items out of your pup’s reach, such as in high places or hard-to-open surfaces. This goes for cleaning agents like dish soap and bleach, of course.

Install locks and gates: Never underestimate your puppy’s ingenuity when it comes to getting into places they aren’t supposed to be! To be safe, invest in cabinet locks and little gates to block off certain areas. This way, you keep your cabinet or pantry contents safe as much as your pup.

Block any narrow spaces: Especially the ones near the oven. These are not only dangerous places for your dog, but also places you’ll likely have trouble finding them.

Invest in pet-safe garbage disposals: Having your garbage strewn around is never a pretty sight to come home to. Keep your pet scavenger at bay with pet-safe garbage disposals, or the ones you can lock.

Bathroom / Laundry

Only let them in when supervised. They want to follow you inside? Go ahead. Say no when they start to nose things they shouldn’t. Make the bathroom a friendly place for future bath times. 

Put laundry away: That means keeping your sweaters, t-shirts, and jeans in a laundry basket you can close, or somewhere else your pup won’t be able to reach. This keeps them from swallowing any small items, like coins and loose buttons, and from letting your dog use your tighty-whities as a chew toy.

Keep laundry detergents, other cleaning products, and personal care products away: It’s best if your canine companion doesn’t participate in the Tide Pod challenge, so put those and detergents, fabric conditioners, and other laundry items away.

This goes for personal care products like soap and shampoo, too, especially if they’re stored in fragile containers. You don’t want your pup knocking over your new body wash, or mistaking the bath bombs you got for Christmas as a chew toy.

Keep the toilet lid down: Your toilet’s not exactly your dog’s water bowl, though they may think of it as one! Whenever you’re not using it, make it a habit to keep your toilet lid down to keep your pup from either drinking from it or taking an unexpected dip. For persistent dogs, use a baby latch for the bowl. 

Bedroom / Living Room

It’s up to you to establish rules about your furniture. Start as early as possible. For most of their lives, your bedroom and living room are also where your dogs live, so dog-proof these rooms so everyone can enjoy them without accidents or messes.

Keep dangling wires out of reach: And make sure to cover outlets as well. This is a must, especially if you’re bringing home a puppy who enjoys gnawing on just about anything, as it involves the safety of everyone at home.

Donate and avoid keeping plants poisonous to dogs in the house: Plants like aloe vera, jade plant, dieffenbachia, and philodendron shouldn’t be anywhere near dogs. Consider giving them away or avoid owning them.

Bump-proof the room: Just assume your puppy might bump into your coffee table or your shelves. Secure and/or store items that can topple over. 


Ideally, this is off-limits. But just in case the dog gets in there:

Routinely check your car for any oil leaks: Dogs may lap up just about any puddle they can find. If you find that your car is leaking oil, clean up the leak and get it checked as soon as you can.

Keep chemicals out of reach: Paint, gasoline, chlorine for the swimming pool, grease…all substances you won’t want your dog to come in contact with. Keep these out of their reach.

Check for any sharp objects on the floor: The garage is likely where you keep a lot of your construction materials, such as nails, tacks, and other tools. As these can cause injuries, always make sure to put them away or throw them out if they are no longer of use.

Your dog is a valued member of your family. They should also enjoy the comforts of your home, free from any harm. From securing trash cans to keeping toiletries out of reach, every step is a journey towards a safe haven for both you and your loyal companion.

Remember, the goal is to create a harmonious home, where mischief meets mindfulness, and every day is a harmonious one with tails wagging to high heaven.

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