How to puppy-proof your home

January 18, 2022 - 3 min read
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.

This article was written for the United Kingdom market and the advice provided may not be accurate for those in the United States.

You’re about to get a puppy; you’re probably excited and anxious in equal measure.

You can help settle those new-owner nerves by making sure you’re as thoroughly prepared as possible before you bring home your new puppy for the first time.

Follow our step-by-step guide to make sure you’re home is safe and ready for day one with your new puppy.

Follow these three simple steps to make sure your home is ready for anything your new puppy throws at it.

Remove dangerous items

Take a look at your home through your puppy’s eyes. If it’s new and interesting, you want to chew on it or eat it. Poisoning and eating things they shouldn’t are some of the most common reasons puppies end up visiting the vet.

It’s like having a toddler. Everything will be new, exciting, and very chewable, so make your home a safe space for them.

With that in mind, go room to room and tidy away toxic cleaning products and dangerous items like smaller toys and sharp items. We recommend buying only non-toxic cleaning products from now on as well.

Check your plants, too. Some plants, including a selection of garden flowers, can be poisonous to puppies and cause upset tummies or worse.

Even things like a pack of chewing gum in a bag on the floor could be a danger for your puppy, so keep the floors clear wherever your puppy will be.

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Create a safe space for puppy

Having a crate, puppy pen, or gated-off area for your puppy will let you focus on training and getting to know them while keeping them and your shoes, furniture, and other possessions safe.

A dedicated puppy space makes it easier for your puppy to explore their world by themselves. You’ll know where they are all the time, so you’ll be able to keep doing what you’d normally do around the house without worrying about puppy proofing every room right away.

“Make a safe space you can puppy proof (e.g., separate a room off with a child gate, or use a pen), where your puppy can't do anything wrong, so you can focus on having positive interactions with them rather than telling them off all the time,” says Adam S, super pet parent to a two-year-old Cocker Spaniel.

Shop for your puppy before they arrive

Before your puppy gets through your door, you need to get all those little puppy purchases done so you can spend your time with your newest family member.

Here are some of our top priorities to buy before you get your pup:

  • Dog crate: When introduced alongside crate training, a dog crate provides a safe space for your pet at night and also helps you transport them.

  • Stairgate/fencing: Gates around the house will help create restricted zones to help your puppy settle, and having fencing in the garden will allow them to explore any outdoor space you have freely.

  • Collar/harness and lead: Getting a collar and a lead early gives them a chance to get used to wearing the collar and walking on a lead before you go out into the wild to socialize.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste: It’s very important to keep your dog's dental health as good as you possibly can. Read our articles on the best dental products and why you should clean your dog’s teeth.

  • Puppy insurance: aim to take out a policy on the day you get your puppy so you're covered as soon as possible.

For a complete list of what to buy for your puppy, check out our puppy shopping list for more ideas.

Remember to take a blanket that’s been in your home when you go and visit your pup for the last time before bringing them home. The familiar smell will help them settle in more quickly with you in their new home.

Overall, the most important thing is to make your home a safe space to help them settle. As they grow with you, they will get used to their surroundings and what's right and wrong. Make those first few days easy for yourself too, so you can focus on the really fun stuff.

Oliver Smith
Marketing executive

Oliver is our multi-media wizard. He has worked in pet insurance since 2020 and since joining ManyPets, has built up a relationship with our veterinary relationship team, trainers, behaviourists and a whole host of pet experts to create articles, video and social media posts for pet parents and veterinary experts alike.