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22 Ways to Dog-Proof Your Home

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

dogproof home

Getting ready to bring a new pet into your home means many things. Most of them are exciting, like having a pup as a companion and getting to show off their cuteness to friends and family.

However, a certain amount of preparation needs to be done when you bring a new animal into your home. Just like you need to childproof a home, a house also requires pet-proofing. Read through these tips and tricks to ensure that your place is safe for a puppy or even an adult dog, especially those that are more curious.

Divider 8Dog Proofing Your House (22 Ways)


1. Install Childproof Latches

child safety lock holding two cabinet doors together
Image Credit: Meredith Heil, Shutterstock

Start by picking up childproof latches to keep your dog from being able to paw open cabinets that contain dangerous materials and chemicals.

2. Place Unsafe Items Out Of Reach

If you have cleaners with harmful chemicals, you must place them in high areas that your dog can’t reach. Do the same with any kind of laundry supplies or medications.

3. Make Trash Inaccessible

Trash Bin
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Everybody produces trash. To paraphrase a bit, “one man’s trash is another dog’s treasure.” If you throw out something that seems exciting or smells enticing to your pup, there is a possibility that they will try to search it out. Use a trash can with a lid, or put it inside of a cabinet.

A recent survey from This Old House found that 70% of dog owners reduced puppy accidents with the help of a crate and sufficient crate training.

4. Block Off Access To Places Deemed Unsafe

Not all cabinet spaces in a kitchen or other places around your home are designed with family pets in mind. If there are slots and holes that your dog could crawl into and get stuck, block these off.

5. Keep All Food Out Of Reach

Although not all food that humans eat is harmful to a dog, in theory, it isn’t healthy for a dog to have more than 10% of its diet come from treats. Keep food out of reach for your pup, storing it high, and keeping it secure.

a dog looking on the kitchen counter
Image Credit: SillyDogPhotos, Shutterstock

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Bathrooms and Washing Rooms

6. Cover or Mount Trash Cans

Just like there are trash cans in your kitchen that need to be protected, you might also want to protect the can in your bathroom. Try to use one with a lid. If that doesn’t work, try this mounted trash can DIY plan.

7. Keep The Toilet Lids Closed & Install A Cover For The Toilet Paper

Typically, keeping your toilet lid closed will be enough to keep your dog out of it. (They seem to be especially fond of drinking from it.) If your pup likes to play with the toilet paper, consider putting it in an enclosure or keeping a metal plate over the top. It is easy enough for you to unroll it, but it will stop them from using their nose or paw to do it.

Golden retriever dog playing with toilet paper or tissue on messy sofa
Image Credit: Muk Photo, Shutterstock

8. Prevent Access to Laundry Machines

Always check in the washer and dryer for your pup if they are small enough to fit in it. These are attractive places for a nap, especially if there are nice warm clothes inside. It can present a considerable hazard to be trapped inside.Divider 3

Family Rooms

9. Tie Up Cords & Push Tables Against Walls

TV Wire
Image Credit By: Sawangkaew, shutterstock

Although a living room can seem like a comfy place for your dog to hang out, you need to check for any dangling wires or things that are easy to tip over. Make sure tables and stands are secured to the floor or propped against a wall.

10. Keep House Plants Out Of Reach

House plants are a common addition to central family rooms, yet many are poisonous to animals. Before bringing your puppy in, do your research. Dogs often like to chew on plants, so put them out of reach if you want to keep both plant and pup healthy.

11. Install Proper Vent Covers

installing mounting skin covered by metalic ventilation cover
Image Credit: ungva, Shutterstock

Keep all air vents and heaters covered in a way that keeps your pet safe and stops them from crawling inside. Doing so can cause them terrible burns that are easily avoided.

12. Tape Down Or Cover Exposed Cords & Wires

The Dog Clinic recommends that if you have a dog that likes to chew, cover any wires and cords with tape or something that is less chewable. If possible, remove access to these wires and cords. Eliminating this hazard completely will prevent possible electrocution and destruction of your valuables.

13. Store Chocking Hazards Away

Rubber Band
Image Credit: JumpStory

If you like to do crafts with string or thread and needles, like knitting or crochet, always store these out of reach after you finish. They present a choking hazard or a play toy. An animal can quickly ruin your work while simultaneously hurting themselves.Divider 2


14. Keep Clothing, Shoes & Other Accessories Out Of Reach

Keeping guests out of your bedroom is normal. However, a new puppy isn’t going to understand the delineation unless the door stops them. Keep your clothes and shoes off the floor and out of reach. It prevents them from destroying things that you love and takes away the danger of them swallowing a zipper or a button.

15. This Includes Jewelry & Other Valuables

Keep all your jewelry high enough that even a tall dog cannot reach it. Any jewelry is a significant choking hazard. Don’t forget items you might like to keep on your nightstand, such as earphones, charging stations, and other potentially dangerous electronics.

elegant jewelry box with different jewelries
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

16. Before Closing Doors/Cabinets/Closets Make Sure Your Dog Is Not Inside

When you are in a rush, or simply focused on a task, you might bustle in and out of your bedroom and other areas of your home. Be careful not to close your pup inside of rooms, cabinets, and drawers while you open and close them. This point is especially applicable for small dogs or puppies.Divider 7

Garage and Backyard

17. Keep A Clean & Organised Garage (Or Keep Your Pup Out!)

A garage is generally a large conglomerate of tools, vehicles, and storage items. Ensure that you safely store any sharp objects that your dog could get ahold of and make sure they are not going to fall. Secure all shelving and make sure all containers have proper lids!

18. Lock Up Or Store Unsafe Products Out Of Reach

Place all chemicals (this could include paints, liquids for vehicle maintenance, ice melt, weed killers, pest control sprays, fertilizer, antifreeze, etc.) up high or in secured cabinets and drawers.

19. Make Sure The Plants In Your Garden Are Pet Friendly

Just like houseplants can be a danger to your pup’s health, your garden plants might also be poisonous. Check around your yard that there are no plants they might snack on that will make them feel ill or even worse. Install garden fencing or replace any questionable plants with pet-friendly greens!

abruzzese mastiff dog lying on the grass outdoor
Image Credit: Fiery Phoenix, Shutterstock

20. Clean Harmful Chemicals From Floor & Driveway

Ensure that there is no antifreeze, oils, or paint (or any like substances) spilled anywhere on the floor of the garage or a driveway since they can be incredibly lethal for pets. If you do have staining and spills, be sure to clean these up before allowing your pet to have access to your garage or driveway.

21. Install Practical & Efficient Fencing 

Put up fencing that is secure and extends all the way to the ground. It should also be high enough that your pup can’t jump over it. If you are adopting a breed that is renowned for digging, you might also want to bury it into the ground so they can’t easily dig underneath it.

22. Before Driving Off  – Check Your Surroundings For Pets!

Always check to make sure that you don’t have a pet or another animal under the hood of your car. They can sneak up there for warmth, and driving away with them inside can kill them.

white dog is resting under the car on the green grass
Image Credit: Zapylaiev Kostiantyn, Shutterstock

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Conclusion: Dog Proof Home

There you have it! A simple guide to pet-proofing your home to ensure that your new furry baby will be safe in their new surroundings. Be mindful that it will be your responsibility to set boundaries, teach your pup good behaviors, and coach them on the areas of your home that are acceptable for them to play in!

Featured image credit: Winsker, Pixabay

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