How to puppy-proof your home

Man's best friend: A new puppy requires a great deal of investment in time, potty training, house cleaning and more. Here are some tips to puppy proof your home.
Man's best friend: A new puppy requires a great deal of investment in time, potty training, house cleaning and more. Here are some tips to puppy proof your home.

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There’s a reason why dogs are the most popular household pet in Australia, but settling a puppy into a new home can be a challenge.

Apart from the cuteness overload, a new puppy requires a great deal of attention, potty training, house cleaning and more.

Dr David Neck, spokesperson for the Australian Veterinary Association said there are a few precautions and steps people should follow by puppy proofing their home. He said people could start by checking their backyard area.

“The most important thing you can do is walk the perimeter fence and make sure there are no holes under the fence as you need to bare in mind that dogs can dig.

“That’s why people need to place a collar on them with a name tag and contact details, but to also get them microchipped,” Dr Neck said.

Before a puppy arrives, owners should be wary of any poisonous plants in the backyard and may want to remove them.

According to the Dr Neck another job to add to the checklist is ensuring any electrical cables are out of reach.

“They will have a chew of power cables on the floor so you can cover them with carpet, tape or tuck them in if possible,” he said.

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The AVA spokesperson suggests thinking about where owners want their dog to sleep before it arrives and to consider the no-go zones in the home.

“Ensure you make the rules consistent from day one and from all family members,”

“You want to think of where the dog is going to live and sleep,”

“It may be a good idea to set up their bed where you want them to sleep for the rest of their lives on night one. At first, you'll probably have a few nights of howling but if you stick to one spot, it will be only be a couple of nights,” Dr Neck said.

As for furniture, Dr Neck said there are ways to prevent dogs from chewing it.

“You can't stop them from chewing some things, but you can distract them with lots of chewing toys. Just make sure the toys are durable and pet safe. Most of the clinics will have a range of toys for dogs,” Dr Neck said.

Lastly, he warned dog owners to be careful of balconies as puppies are small and can get through small openings, while fireplaces need to be closed in.

Submit a photo of your pet to be in the running for the Pet of the Month to gill.peet@fairfaxmedia.com.au