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Dog-proofing Your Home Will Become Natural

  You’ve thought about this and waited for months and months. The day has FINALLY come for you to bring this bundle of joy home to meet the family. As soon as you get through your front door, they immediately knock over an antique lamp. Then, they bite open a container of hand lotion. No, you clearly didn’t bring home a newborn baby; this is day one of your new fur family getting used to the homestead.


   Dogs definitely have a knack for finding trouble, and ESPECIALLY in a new home. But DON’T WORRY! Step 1 is don’t freak out. In Step 2, try to understand the dogs’ behavior. Discourage or encourage as needed. Sometimes a delicious Riker’s treat can be very helpful. Even experienced dog owners can deal with this from time to time. Being aware of potential troubles for your dog at home is key to preventing health accidents.


Dog Proofing for Aesthetics

   To dog-proof your home for aesthetics, you will have to think like a dog, and you will thank yourself later. Let’s go back to our example from above. This family could have saved themselves a lot of trouble. They could have simply moved or adjusted the antique lamp their new fur-fam knocked over. It sounds way too simple, but by taking the time to do the small things, your pup will be safer, and you much happier.


   If you have knick-knack tables or displays, fragile lamps, glass decorations, or other similar items, they need to be protected. Alternatively, limit their accessibility. The goal here is to minimize the chances of an accident occurring, even if you can’t eliminate them. Also, these types of household items aren’t just precious to you; they can also be dangerous for your dog. Broken glass isn’t good for anyone, regardless of species, and a dog won’t deal with it quite as intelligently as you. If a dog gets cut by broken glass, especially on a leg or paw, they will most definitely track that through your entire home. This will exponentially increase your problems.

Here are some examples of decorations, knick-knacks, and special items to consider:

·         Lamp / Vase

·         Small and fragile knick-knacks

·         Glass decorations (figurines, dinnerware, etc.)

·         Glass tabletop

·         Portraits / Paintings

·         One of a kind children’s projects


   The other aspect to dog-proofing for aesthetics is furniture and larger home furnishings. These items can be somewhat tricky. Many, like couches or beds, are typically shared with the dog. Shared household items are less about dog-proofing and more about maintenance and cleaning. Things like changing bedding more frequently and keeping a good vacuum regimen can be the keys to a clean space. Using your dogs’ favorite locally made treats as a reward can be very effective in training them. It teaches them what is acceptable in shared areas.

Dog Proofing for Safety

   With your fur-family, safety needs to be a high priority. Your home has many things your dog could seriously hurt themselves with. It can make your head spin. It can also deter some people from owning a dog. They simply don’t want to accidentally hurt a dog by bringing it into their home. Rest assured that everyone is capable of caring for a dog right in the comfort of their own home! Again, think like a dog, and thank yourself later.


   Let’s start in the kitchen, where the main thing to deal with is going to be food. Food that's easy for your dog to get to may disappear. It could also pose health risks, depending on what it is. Packaging is also a main concern because well, it’s not meant to be eaten. Put away leftovers after dinner, and do your best to put snack foods in a cabinet or pantry. Some folks even install child-proof latches because dogs can be quite clever.


   Also typically found in a kitchen is the trash. Keep your trash cans put away or at least with a secure lid. Don’t make it easy for you fur-pal to scavenge while you’re sleeping! Some people like to keep their cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink. This is fine, but you must take extra care to ensure that a dog or child cannot open that cabinet.


It’s not just cleaning supplies under your kitchen sink to worry about. You also need to consider all kinds of personal care items throughout your home. Here is a list of example items to keep out of reach:

·         Glass Cleaner

·         Floor Cleaner

·         Bleach (bleach-enriched cleaners)

·         Soap

·         Hair products

·         Makeup

·         Deodorant

·         Perfume / Cologne

·         Skin Lotion

·         Petroleum Jelly

·         Personal Lubricants


Many homes have many electrical cords. They power everyday items like televisions, stereos, CPUs, game systems, and printers. Tuck away these cords as best as possible, and keep them out of reach of your dog. Dogs can get a little chew-happy, and leaving these dangling or in an enticing way can lead to needing a new cord. The shock (if they are plugged in) shouldn’t be too bad, but we don’t want to test that if we can avoid it. Biting and tugging on cords can lead to pulling things off of a shelf or stand. This could fall on them, causing serious injury.


The home itself can be pretty vast in terms of potential risks. However, the garage is probably the most dangerous part of a dog owner’s home. We do work in our garage right? We might paint something, or cut something, or solder something. It’s where we tend to do our most deep cleanings of tools, and ironically where we tend to get the dirtiest. All of that contributes to why it’s such a danger for your dog. Things we need to consider in the garage:

·         Keep the floor as clean as possible, at least free of harsh chemical spills

·         Store cleaners and harsh chemicals up high and out of reach

·         Keep tools, heavy objects, and sharp objects secured and not able to fall on them


   I know there can be quite a few things to consider in keeping your dog safe from your own home. Honestly, you probably won’t cover all the bases on your first go-around. But relax, and don’t be too hard on yourself OR your fur-family. Do your best to dog-proof your home, and keep an eye on them as they assimilate into their new surroundings. You may discover things that need protection. This may not have occurred to you or other dog owners. Each dog is unique! Have fun and enjoy your special new canine relationship!


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