If you are a pet owner, you would know the special place these cute little creatures have in our hearts. Pets are more like babies and family members to their owners. If you are not a pet owner yet but intend to become one soon, don’t fret. MyBayut will guide first-timers on how to dog-proof your home in six easy steps.
How to dog-proof your home
Now that you have moved to one of the pet-friendly communities in Dubai, before you bring your pet home it’s important to make sure you are ready for the responsibility. Owning a pet comes with a set of responsibilities, including regular visits to the vet and routine pet grooming and training. Compared to cats, dogs need more intensive training, particularly when they are young. The upkeep that comes with keeping a dog is another factor that will lead you to consider dog-proofing your home. Both puppies and dogs are curious by nature and tend to explore by getting inside everything and through the smallest of openings. A lot of things that you would have considered harmless can actually be a hazard for the small pup.
Dog-proof your home like you would baby-proof
Having a new pet at home is just like having a toddler who has started crawling. Particularly in their growing phase, both babies and pets tend to explore their surroundings. That means, as a pet owner, you have to ensure no serious accidents happen. This includes open electrical sockets. You will have to dog proof electrical outlets at home as part of keeping major hazards at bay. You should also dog proof electrical cords in your house. It’s a good idea to keep them out of your furry friend’s reach by ensuring that they run through the wall and aren’t lying around for your dog to get tangled into. Alternatively, you could get electrical cord covers for dogs which keep them safe from chewing.
You must consider visiting your local pet store to get a few supplies to dog-proof your home. A basic checklist of what to have to dog-proof your home should include the following:
- Child-safety locks: this would definitely help you dog-proof your refrigerator, in addition to sealing easily-accessible cabinets and drawers.
- Electrical wire covers
- Dog opening sliding door
Hide that trash can!
Or better yet, invest in a pull-out trash can. Your basic aim is to have a trash can your dog or pup cannot open. If you own a larger breed, such as the German Shepherd, it will probably try to topple the trash can over. Other dogs also like to look through leftovers for food treats when they feel hungry in your absence.
If you decide to get a pull-out trash can, you’ll have to make space under your kitchen countertops for one. While that could be a hassle, it will be well worth it if your little mutt is a forager. If your dog isn’t particularly aggressive, you could get a nifty metal trashcan with a step-on lid from your local store. That wouldn’t be as expensive but would still help keep your dog away.
Keep the doors closed
Imagine coming home to a ruined bed, scratched couch, a pile of poop and a nasty dried up lake of pee? Not so pleasant now, is it? That’s why it’s important to limit the access your dog has to all the rooms in your house, more so when you are not around to clean up after your dog.
When you have a pet at home, you will have to be smart and proactive. While some people like to keep their toilet doors closed, others like to train their dogs to use the toilet. It’s totally a matter of personal preference and dog-training. Keeping doors shut also ensures you don’t end up in an unexpectedly wet bed at the end of a tiring day.
This one goes without saying. When you bring home a dog, you’ll learn that they love to chew things. That means you’ll have to put away your expensive designer shoes, medicines and makeup. Basically, any item that is not chew-safe for a toddler or a dog must not be easily accessible.
You can check out Japanese lifestyle designer Marie Kondo’s tips to declutter to get going. Kondo is an expert in minimalism. She has invented the ‘KonMari’ technique which focuses on keeping items that make you feel joyous.
Crate-train your pup
Training of all sorts is done best when you have a young pup as they learn more easily. To ensure that you don’t return home to a chewed dog bed, shredded pillows and scratched sofas, make sure you crate-train your pup. Giving limited access to your dog is important, which is why you must crate-train your dog. This helps especially if your dog refuses to spend time in his kennel. This may not work once the pup is older, but by then you should have sufficiently potty trained your dog.
Do a thorough job
Last, but not least, make sure every room in your house is dog-proofed. In bedrooms, make sure you don’t allow easy access to your jewellery or makeup. If you have a basement or garage, make sure you keep all the chemicals and solvents out of your dog’s reach. The same goes for tools.
If you live in a house with a garden, make sure you don’t have any plants that are hazardous to your dog. These little ones are also sensitive to insecticides and pesticides, so these must be kept away too. Keep doors to balconies closed if you have them. If you have a swimming pool, keep it covered properly. To help dog-proofing your yard, you must be picky when you choose flowers.
All in all, you can enjoy a dog-safe home if you take care of the basics. Learning how to puppy-proof your house always pays. It will give you a pet-friendly house, which is a must once you own a pet.
- In addition to these, you must also ensure that small day-to-day items such as rubber bands, paper clips, coins, buttons, batteries and other similar items are inaccessible.
- Plastic wrap has the potential to suffocate your dog too, so keep that away as well. If you have fire-starter sticks, dogs like their sweet taste, so keep those far too.
- Don’t forget to keep mothballs away as they make up another toxic-yet-frequently-overlooked hazard. Dogs and cats are allergic to chocolates, so you might want to remove those too.