Dog Proofing Your Home and Yard: Combining Safety and Style

Nov 02, 2023

Dog proofing your home is similar to baby proofing, it involves identifying and eliminating potential hazards that could harm your dog. By taking the time to dog proof your home and yard, you can prevent accidents and create a safe environment for your furry friend to thrive.

dog sitting on the bed covering it's face with it's paw

As a responsible pet owner, ensuring the safety of your beloved furry friend is a top priority. When you bring a new dog, especially a curious puppy, into your home, it's important to take steps to dog-proof your living space. But who says you have to sacrifice style for safety? With a little creativity and planning, you can create a dog-proof home and yard without compromising on aesthetics. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various tips and techniques to dog proof your home and yard, ensuring a safe and stylish environment for your canine companion.

Why Dog Proofing is Important

Dog proofing your home is similar to baby proofing; it involves identifying and eliminating potential hazards that could harm your dog. Puppies, in particular, are naturally curious and prone to exploring their surroundings with their mouths. They may chew on wires, ingest harmful substances, or get into other dangerous situations. By taking the time to dog proof your home and yard, you can prevent accidents and create a safe environment for your furry friend to thrive.

Dog Proofing the Kitchen and Bathroom

The kitchen and bathroom are two areas of the house that often contain potential hazards for dogs. Cleaning supplies, medications, and other chemicals pose a significant risk to your pet's health. To dog proof these areas:

1. Store Hazardous Items Safely

Place cleaning supplies, medications, and laundry detergents on high shelves or in cabinets secured with childproof latches. Keep all food items out of reach, as some human foods can be toxic to dogs. It's essential to be mindful of packaging as well, as it can present a choking hazard.

2. Secure Trash Cans

Cover trash cans securely to prevent your dog from rummaging through the garbage. Consider using pet-proof trash containers with locking mechanisms or storing the trash can in a cabinet. 

3. Prevent Access to Appliances

Ensure that your dog cannot access appliances such as dryers or dishwashers. Always check for your pet's presence before starting these appliances to avoid any accidents. 

4. Close Toilet Lids

Keep toilet lids closed to prevent your dog from drinking harmful chemicals or falling in. Consider installing a toilet seat lock for added safety.

 

Dog Proofing the Living Room 

While the living room may seem like a safe space, there are still potential hazards that need to be addressed. To dog proof your living room:

1. Remove Toxic Plants

Some houseplants can be toxic to dogs if ingested. Research the plants in your home and yard, and ensure they are safe for your furry friend. Keep plants out of reach or consider using hanging planters.

2. Secure Wires and Cords

Dangling wires from lamps, televisions, and other electronics can be tempting for dogs to chew on. Tuck away or cover cords to prevent your dog from getting tangled or electrocuted.

3. Store Fragile Items

Put away breakable items such as vases, glassware, and decor that your dog could knock over and injure themselves with. Opt for sturdier, pet-friendly alternatives whenever possible.

4. Minimize Small Choking Hazards

Keep small objects such as children's toys, remote controls, and small accessories out of your dog's reach. These items can pose a choking hazard if swallowed.

 

Dog Proofing the Bedroom

The bedroom is typically a safe space for dogs, but there are still precautions you can take to ensure their safety. To dog proof your bedroom: 

1. Secure Medications and Cosmetics

Keep medications, lotions, and cosmetics out of your dog's reach by storing them in closed drawers or on high shelves. Dogs are naturally curious and may ingest substances that can be harmful to their health.

2. Protect Electrical Wires

Place electrical wires in areas where your puppy cannot access and chew on them. Exposed wires can pose a risk of electrocution or injury.

3. Store Shoes and Laundry

Prevent your dog from chewing on shoes or ingesting small items like buttons or strings by keeping them out of reach. Ensure that laundry hampers or baskets are securely closed to prevent access.

4. Check for Hidden Spaces

Before closing drawers or closets, double-check to ensure that your dog is not hiding or sleeping inside. Accidentally closing them with your pet inside could lead to injury or distress.

 

German Shepherd Dog sitting on the bed underneath a blanket

 

Dog Proofing the Garage and Yard 

The garage and yard can contain various hazards for dogs, so it's important to take precautions to keep your pet safe in these areas. To dog proof your garage and yard:

1. Secure Chemicals and Tools

Store chemicals such as antifreeze, pesticides, and fertilizers in secure cabinets or high shelves that are inaccessible to pets. Keep tools and sharp objects in areas where dogs cannot access them.

2. Choose Pet-Friendly Plants

Ensure that any plants in your yard are safe for dogs. Some common plants, such as lilies and azaleas, can be toxic if ingested. Research pet-friendly plants and avoid those that pose a risk to your furry friend.

3. Check and Repair Fences

Inspect your fence for any holes or gaps that your dog could escape through. Patch up any openings or consider installing additional barriers to ensure your yard is escape-proof.

4. Create a Safe Play Area

Designate a safe area in your yard for your dog to play and explore. Provide shade, water, and appropriate toys to keep them entertained. Regularly inspect the play area for any potential hazards.

 

Additional Tips for Dog Proofing Your Home and Yard

In addition to the specific areas mentioned above, here are some general tips to help you dog proof your entire home and yard:

1. Use Decorative Barriers

Instead of using bulky plastic gates or wire crates, opt for decorative pet gates or barriers that blend seamlessly with your home's style. This way, you can create a safe and stylish environment without compromising aesthetics.

2. Sweep and Store

Keep floors clear of potential hazards by storing shoes, bags, and small objects out of your dog's reach. Use decorative storage solutions such as wicker bins or stylish baskets to keep items organized and hidden from curious paws.

3. Invest in Washable Rugs

Choose washable rugs for areas where accidents can happen, such as during the potty training phase. Washable rugs are not only easy to clean but also add color and comfort to your home without sacrificing style.

4. Hide Wires and Cords

Use cord concealers or cord wraps to hide electrical wires and cords. This not only prevents your dog from chewing on them but also helps maintain a neat and clutter-free living space.

5. Install Childproof Locks

Childproof locks can be used on cabinets and drawers to prevent your dog from accessing potentially hazardous items. Look for non-invasive magnetic locks or latches that are hidden from view.

6. Choose Pet-Friendly Materials

When selecting furniture and upholstery, opt for pet-friendly fabrics that are durable and stain-resistant. Consider materials like cowhide or fabrics treated with stain resistance technology to withstand the wear and tear of pet ownership.

7. Keep Trash Secure

Use covered trash cans or store them in cabinets to prevent your dog from scavenging through the garbage. This helps eliminate the risk of ingesting harmful substances or choking on discarded items.

8. Create a Dog-Friendly Space

Designate a cozy corner or a special bed for your dog to relax and call their own. Choose stylish pet beds and blankets that complement your home's decor while providing comfort for your furry friend.

 

By following these tips and techniques, you can create a dog-proof home and yard that combines safety and style. Remember, dog proofing is an ongoing process, and it's important to regularly evaluate and update your pet's environment as they grow and explore. With a little effort and creativity, you can provide a safe and aesthetically pleasing space for both you and your furry companion to enjoy.