There’s a reason dogs are called man’s best friend, their charm is hard to resist. Whether you’re adopting a pocket-sized pup to cuddle with or a guard dog to look after your apartment, you need to make sure your new home is ready for a puppy. Use this go-to guide for seven quick and easy ways to puppy proof your apartment before Fido arrives.
Designate a Dog Space
In a cozy apartment, your puppy needs a space to relax and feel safe. Dedicate a corner of a room for your puppy’s bed and toys. Choose an area that has vinyl or tile flooring so it’s easier to clean up messes. If you plan to keep your dog in a crate while you’re gone, this dedicated space is a good spot to keep it.
Sweep for Clutter
Thoroughly inspect your apartment for food and small items your puppy could ingest. Vacuum carpets, mop hard floors, and toss trash. Put away items you don’t want your dog to damage or chew on, like blankets, decorative baskets, remotes, and other gadgets. Get in the habit of regularly cleaning so your puppy doesn’t accidentally eat something they shouldn’t.
Clean the Kitchen
Puppies love to hunt for snacks, so swap open trash cans for tall, covered bins your dog can’t dig through. Avoid keeping food out on tables or counters, and store items like fruit or homemade cookies in covered containers. Keep a list of dog-unfriendly foods as a reminder of what to never leave out or feed your puppy.
Lock Up Cabinets
Puppies are known for being curious, and that includes getting into rooms and spaces they shouldn’t be in. Add child-safe latches and locks to doors so your puppy can’t access the pantry or cabinets that contain cleaning products. Some dogs can learn to open doors with lever handles, so you may want to replace them with knobs if your landlord allows it.
Invest in Baby Gates
Baby gates can be a dog owner’s saving grace. Invest in one or two to use when you don’t want your puppy in a particular room that doesn’t have a door. These are ideal when you don’t want your pup in the kitchen while you cook, but you still want to watch over him.
Cover Cords and Hide Wires
Especially when they’re teething, puppies are prone to chewing on electrical wires and cords. Keep phone chargers and other small cords off the ground and out of your pup’s reach. Cover wires you can’t hide or remove—such as television, computer, or lamp cords—with PVC or another type of chew-proof tube.
Create a Dog Emergency List
Think about what you would do with your puppy if you were suddenly called away for a few days, or if they ate something toxic. Keep a list with emergency contacts for your dog, with numbers for the vet, an emergency pet ER, a dog walker, and a dog sitter. Store the list somewhere easily accessible, like on the refrigerator or in a desk drawer.
Along with following these tips, double-check your lease agreement to see if your landlord requires a pet deposit or written notification, and take care of this before bringing your puppy home. Take the time to puppy proof your apartment, and keep it clean! This will establish a safe and welcoming environment that your new best friend will appreciate!