Are you planning to take a puppy home? Before you get caught up with the excitement, you must do one thing: puppy proofing electrical cords among other things. Puppies are notorious chewers and they will not spare your expensive TV’s power cable and other precious household items. Pups that are under six months old are still in the teething phase, which makes them eager chewers.
Instead of going home to shredded possessions and an injured pup, it’s important to prepare before you bring the doggo home.
Why puppy proofing is necessary
Electrical cords are one of the most common hazards in homes. It’s dangerous for both pets and children so it’s important to install it strategically. When it comes to puppies, you have to secure your wires to prevent them from getting chewed.
Aside from the physical damage to the cord, chewing a wire exposes a puppy to electrocution. This can cause burns on the mouth and even serious injuries in some instances.
Overall, puppy proofing electrical cords will save you from the hassle and expenses of repairs as well as added vet bills.
Aside from electrical wires, you also have to consider other things like fragile items, trash cans, falling risks, and more. Below, I discussed some of the tips you can follow to fix these problems.
Also, it’s important to perform puppy proofing even before your dog arrives at home. This will give you time and freedom to pinpoint the hazard points and what you can do about them.
Puppy Proofing Electrical Cords & Other Household Items
To ensure that your home is ready for the arrival of your new pup, it’s important to tick these off your checklist.
1. Cover your cables
One of the first things you should do is cover all the exposed cables in your home. Puppies are chewing machines that will gnaw whatever comes their way. Whether it’s your $300 headphones or your dollar store computer mouse, the pooch will not spare anything.
Take note that teething puppies have an insatiable urge to chew. You just can’t train them out of it so waiting until the teething phase finishes are the only solution.
To solve this, you should invest in some durable wire looms or cable channels that will keep the cords away from the pup’s teeth. You can also use spiral wraps if cable channels aren’t possible to install.
No matter what your method is, make sure that the wires are hidden and chew-proof. Also, it must be safe for the puppy.
2. Lift the cables
Aside from covering your electrical cords, you should lift them away from your dog’s reach. Just imagine that you’re proofing your home for a toddler and you’ll know how far the wires should go.
The easy solution here is adhesive-backed clips and hooks that will keep the cords elevated. These are cheap and convenient solutions so there’s no drilling needed.
Moreover, you also need to puppy-proof the sockets that are easy to reach on the floor. I suggest blocking the outlet with furniture so you can plug appliances without the risk of your dog chewing on it.
As much as possible, hide and elevate cords, so your curious puppy won’t yank it when you’re not around. Also, if the cables will ruin the look of your home, you can actually make cable arts out of it. You just need some cable clips, adhesives, and creativity.
3. Consider going wireless
When it comes to owning a puppy, you have to get rid of cables as much as possible. This is especially true if you brought home a notorious chewer like Golden Retrievers, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Beagles.
Consider switching to a wireless mouse, wireless headphones, and the likes. While it will cost you some money, it will save you from the frustration and extra expenses in the future for repairs and replacements.
Of course, other appliances like televisions, fridges, computers, and more can’t be wireless. This is where the other tips here come in handy.
4. Use a deterrent spray on your furniture
Once you’re done puppy proofing electrical cords, you should move to your furniture next. This is a very important part because furniture is expensive and having it chewed will surely drive you crazy.
To prevent your new pup from venting its teeth on your expensive couch or accent chair, you need a bottle of bitter apple spray. This is specially formulated for pets. The formula tastes bitter but totally safe for your furry baby.
Spray this on your furniture, but I suggest taking a patch test on a hidden part to check if the formula will ruin the material. I suggest keeping it light with the spray to prevent a sticky feeling.
If a bitter apple spray isn’t available, you can consider alternatives like vinegar or lemon juice solutions.
5. Lock your poisons and medications
Puppies are like kids. They will put anything in their mouths, even if it’s rat poison. Make sure that all your cleaning agents, poisons, and medications are all locked up in an elevated cabinet. You should also label it well to avoid confusion on your part.
Never trust a thin plastic container because puppies are pretty good at gnawing their way through it. Anything that’s on the floor or low surfaces is easy to access for an over-eager canine.
If you need your medications accessible at all times, keep them in a locked cabinet. You should also lock the room where you store your medications so your puppy won’t get its mouth on it.
6. Hide your vases
There’s no place for vases in a house with a new puppy. Your pooch will just topple it one by one. It’s best to hide the fragile items first until the doggo has settled down and reached its adult age. Proper training will also help an active pup calm down.
If you don’t want to hide your precious vases, make sure that it’s secured on the surface where you’ll place it.
7. Cut your blinds’ cord loops
The cord loops on window blinds are deadly for kids and puppies alike. A curious pup can easily get tangled on these loops and get choked. Is suggest switching to blinds with a straight tie instead of a loop. Still, you should tie up the ends so your pooch won’t yank on it.
Aside from the loops and ties, you should also apply deterrents on your blinds, especially the Venetian type. This is very attractive for bored puppies who want to chew and dig on something.
8. Put up baby gates
As I mentioned above, puppies are like toddlers. You can contain them inside a specific area with the use of high baby gates. Unlike cats, most pups aren’t good jumpers so baby gates work pretty well if you don’t want them to access a specific spot in your home.
For puppies, you’d want to start introducing them to a small area first. From there, you can let the pooch roam the house as you train it.
Baby gates are the cheapest and easiest solutions if you don’t want your dog to topple your vases or chew your cords. Still, this is just a second line of defense. You should still place cord covers and secure fragile items in case the doggo get past through the gates.
9. Choose your indoor plants wisely
Indoor plants have something that many puppies are obsessed with: dirt. Puppies will dig through this and make a mess in your home. Worse, your indoor plant might be toxic to canines. And since puppies love chewing, they are likely to get a lethal dose.
The likes of lilies, Aloe vera, ivies, rubber plant, jade, elephant ear, dumb cane, and pothos are toxic to canines. You shouldn’t place this inside your home or anywhere your puppy can access.
If you’re keen on growing indoor plants, keep them in elevated spaces. I suggest using hanging pots so there’s no way for your doggo to reach them. Just make sure that there are no surrounding platforms that the dog can use as leverage.
10. Seal your trash bin
Before your new puppy goes dumpster diving, it’s best to get a trash bin that a dog can’t access. You should also cover it properly to prevent an eager dog from checking in what you have in your trash.
Dogs have a very strong sense of smell so they can sniff your garbage bin very easily. Aside from the stink, poisonous items and sharp objects can be found in the trash. You wouldn’t want your puppy to be exposed to such risk.
11. Hide your shoes
Almost every dog owner has a story about a chewed shoe. If you don’t want the same to happen to your limited edition Nike, Adidas, and Jordans, you should hide it on a spot your dog can’t reach.
Locking up your room is the best solution if you’re an avid shoe collector. The last thing you’d want is going home to a shredded pair of Air Jordans.
12. Seal your food
Many dogs are highly food-driven so they will spend their time hunting and sniffing where you hide the goodies. This applies to both puppy food and human food.
For dog food, you should invest in an air-tight container instead of just letting the entire bag sitting in your kitchen. Also, you shouldn’t leave human food on countertops, tables, and other areas where your dog can steal it.
Take note that some human food items like chocolate, beer, avocado, onion rings, coffee, and more are not safe for canines. However, your dog doesn’t know or care about that. This is the reason why you should utilize your kitchen cupboards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does my dog lay on electrical cords?
A: Dogs have a heightened sense of smell so they can detect heat from the wires. The smell or feeling of the wires could be warm for them. However, you should watch out as your sneaky pup might only be preparing to chew it once you’re not looking.
Q: Can a dog die from chewing electrical cords?
A: Most of the time, electric shock due to chewing plugged electrical cords are not immediately lethal for puppies. However, if the dog chewed on a high-powered wire, there’s a possibility that your dog may suffer from more than just burns and wounds. This is why you should puppy proof your wires properly.
Q: Can you fix a cord that has been chewed in half?
A: Yes, but you should ask for the help of a professional. This will prevent fires and problems on your appliance, especially high-powered ones. Sometimes, the professional may opt to change the cord entirely to prevent the risks of electrocution should the covering gets unraveled.
Q: Is it safe to put electrical tape over exposed wires?
A: For minor exposures, electrical tape can help seal the wires. This is black in color and made of rubber so it has very low conductivity. However, if the exposure on the wire is large, it’s best to cut off the damaged part and connect the two ends by using wire nuts. I suggest calling a professional to get the job done right.
Q: At what age does a dog stop chewing?
A: Puppies will usually outgrow chewing once they reach a year old. However, some breeds don’t outgrow it at all. It’s important to give your dog enough physical and mental stimulation to at least reduce its chewing tendencies. Also, you should puppy proof all your wires at home.
Q: Can puppies open cabinets?
A: Many dog breeds are smart and they can figure out how to open a cabinet by simply watching you do it many times. This is especially true if the puppy knows that it’s the cabinet where food and toys come from. I suggest locking the cabinets if you have a clever dog.
Puppy proofing electrical cord and other household items is an important part of preparing for a dog. This will keep your dog safe and your possessions away from its teeth. Take note that you should do this even before you bring the doggo home.