Puppy Proofing: What You Need To Do Before Bringing Home A New Puppy


Bringing a home a new puppy is super exciting, and also super busy!

There are a number of different things to do before your new little bundle of fur moves in, and one of the most important jobs is to puppy proof your home.

Shih Tzu puppy chewing on dried palm leaves

Your new pal’s safety should be your number one priority, and a big part of ensuring your Shih Tzu stays safe is to properly prepare your house.

Puppy Proofing your home is very much as if you need to safety-proof your home as if you would for a new baby or a curious and energetic toddler.

You need to block areas that are unsafe or where you don’t want your dog to have access, and put proper precautions in place before your new puppy comes home.

As silly as it may sound, you might want to get down on your hands and knees and crawl around your house a bit, basically, as if you’re a puppy

Pay attention to what you see, because you will likely see many things that you hadn’t noticed when you were looking from your (taller) human perspective.

Believe it or not, soon-to-be parents are also encouraged to do something similar before they welcome a new baby, or before their baby starts to become mobile.

Of course, a puppy and a crawling baby are different, but they both possess a thirst for curiosity that means they get into a lot of stuff; so how do you make sure you keep your home safe for your dog?

How To Puppy Proof Your Home

Puppy proofing your house isn’t all about safety; you actually need to have some tools in place to protect your property as well.

Little pups, with their little teeth, love to chew, knock over trash cans, potty where they please until they are properly house-trained, well, you get the picture.

This little ball of fur can cause quite a bit of damage if you don’t take the time to lay the groundwork first.

Therefore, here are a few items you will need to completely puppy proof your home.

Puppy-Proofing Items for Your Home

Some of the items that you need to keep your dog safe and to help protect your home from puppy mischief are objects that you will actually use in your house such as room dividers, cleaning products, and other safety implements.

Here are the things you will definitely want to have at the ready in and around your home:

  • Puppy Gate(s)

A safety gate is a great way to limit your pup’s access to certain areas of your house.

You can place gates in doorways or near staircases to either keep your puppy in a certain room or to keep her from venturing where you don’t want her to go.

You can also get gates that connect together to form a restricted space that is specifically for your pup.

There a variety of different types of gates, such as ones that you need to step over to others that can open and close so you can easily walk through them.

When selecting a gate, consider your pup’s habits.

For example, if your pup is a strong chewer, you might want to opt for a metal gate as opposed to one with mesh that your dog can chew an escape hole into; and if your pup is a jumper, then select a gate that is tall enough to keep her from leaping over it.

  • Bitter Apple Spray

Puppies like to chew; especially when they are teething.

Although you ultimately want to train your pup that chewing on your shoes and furniture is not okay; bitter apple spray is a great temporary solution.

Pups can’t stand the smell (or taste), yet the odor is undetectable to humans.

  • Potty Pads

When you’re house training your pup, accidents are inevitable.

Potty pads shouldn’t necessarily be your go-to since ideally, you want your pup to learn to do her business outside, but training pads have several advantages.

Potty pads are very absorbent, so clean up is simple, plus many include a built-in scent to attract your pup to pee on the pad instead of on your floor.

  • Stain/Odor Remover

Speaking of accidents, when they do happen, pet stains and odors can linger if not cleaned properly.

Opt for an enzyme cleaner that is designed to specifically target pesky pet odors and stains, and avoid ones with ammonia.  Ammonia has a scent that resembles urine, making it very confusing for your puppy.

  • Pet Hair Remover

If your pooch sheds, then pick up a lint roller when you’re grabbing your cleaning supplies.

There are several products on the market specifically geared toward tackling pet hair, so it’s a good idea to have one on hand to help keep hair from accumulating on your furniture and clothing.

  • Cable Ties or Cord Keepers

Again, it bears repeating that puppies love to chew, including on electrical cords.  Keep cords out of reach using ties or covers so that your pup doesn’t chew herself into a very dangerous situation.

Puppy-Proofing Items for Your Puppy

Tan dog lying on its back on a white background

There are other items that will actually be used by your pup, and can help keep her safe, as well as keep her stimulated and properly engaged, so she is less likely to get into trouble.

Here are the items your puppy should have at her disposal:


A sturdy, appropriately-sized kennel, or crate, can become your puppy’s security blanket.

Find one that is large enough so your pup can stand and turn around comfortably, but not so big that she’s tempted to use it as her bathroom. Also, never use your pup’s crate as punishment.

Dog Toys

When you pick out your puppy’s toys, select a variety of items that can encourage your pup to try different things.

She should have toys for cuddling, ones that encourage her to run and play, toys that engage and stimulate, and of course, toys and chews for teething.

Dog Bed

Where your pup will sleep is entirely up to you, but it needs to be defined from the beginning.

Get a soft dog bed or warm blanket for your pup and set it up in an area that you have reserved as her`special, safe zone.

You can also include one of your T-shirts, a scrap of a blanket from another dog in the family, or pieces of clothing from other members of the household (basically, anything soft that carries a scent) to help your new arrival feel more comfortable and get used to everyone.

Puppy Proofing, What's next...

How to puppy-proof your homePuppy proof

Getting a new puppy is such fun, and it is also a huge responsibility.  If you’re up for the challenge, though, it is also an absolutely wonderful and rewarding experience.

Knowing the steps to prepare your home for your new canine companion is a great first step to keeping both your puppy and your home protected.

The next step is preparing everything before the arrival of your new puppy, and then carefully and closely watching your new pup.

Make training a top priority, because it’s an essential part of keeping your dog well-behaved and safe, and also make sure to give your new Shih Tzu all of the attention and love that she deserves.

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