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After years of living with older dogs, you have decided to adopt a rambunctious younger pup. While you are delighted about your new family member, you know that you have some work to do to get your place as young pet-proofed as possible. Before your beloved pup can get into too much trouble either indoors or outside, set aside some time and get busy making your home and yard as safe as you can. Consider the following ideas:
Dogs are naturally attracted to the yummy-to-them smells emanating from your trash cans. To prevent your new family member from knocking over the trash can in the kitchen and/or bathroom and possibly eating chicken bones, old Kleenex or other potentially unsafe things, American Humane suggests keeping your waste baskets securely covered and fastened and, if possible, stored inside a latched cabinet. If you catch your puppy curiously sniffing the can, reply with a sharp “leave it!”
If you work some long hours away from home, your new dog will need a safe way to get outside to do her business; this will also give her a chance to run around your backyard and burn off some of that famous puppy energy. If you do not already have a doggy door, consider installing a “smart” version — for example, Chewy.com sells an Electronic SmartDoor that essentially gives your fur baby a “key” to your home — the door uses radio-frequency technology along with a signal from a SmartKey worn on your pup’s collar to unlock the door. If you are concerned about critters like raccoons getting into your home, the SmartDoor will keep them out. The SmartDoor also operates in two modes: fully locked and unlocked; the former does not allow any pet to enter or exit your home, which is nice if you are concerned about your pup going outside to bark at the moon and owls at 3 a.m.
Of course, once your pup is outside doing his business, you want him to remain safely there and not escape. Call a local fence company and see about installing a secure fence that looks attractive and is also secure. For example, if you live in Florida, consider giving Florida State Fence a call; the company has a great reputation and takes pride in its positive Angie’s List reviews. To take the backyard security up a notch, you may want to install outdoor security cameras; you can review the footage to check for any potential threats to your precious pooch like snakes, and you can also make sure your dog is not getting into any potential harmful mischief while outside.
Your new family member will undoubtedly want to spend a lot of time with you, so be extra sure popular areas in the home like the living and family rooms are pup-proofed. Move any houseplants out of your dog’s reach and Google the variety of plant to be sure it is not poisonous — if it is, consider giving it to a friend who does not have pets. Cover or hide all wires coming from lamps, TVs, gaming systems and computers — young teething dogs often love chewing on wires and you won’t want her to get shocked and/or to bite through the wires. Put all knickknacks and other breakables up high, out of the reach of curious puppy mouths and strong wagging tails, and if you have kids, ask them to be careful about leaving LEGO and puzzle pieces on the floor or other places your fur baby can find and eat them.