Who doesn’t like to save money? I know I always get a charge knowing I did something good, but also was able to save a bit of money in the process. Are you the same way? It’s almost a game. Or maybe it’s a disease. The verdict is out on that one. Have you dog proofed your home? Did you know that this simple act can save you money? Did I just shock you? Today, let’s dig into how I can dog proof my home and save money. I think you’ll like this one.
Spoiler – it doesn’t matter if your dog is new to you or an old family member, you can still benefit from dog proofing your home.
Budget tip: By doing simple things around your home like putting away chemicals, food, trash, breakables, chewablables, and sharp objects, you limit the injuries that can occur with your dog. Thus, you minimize the injury vet visits due to home accidents. Therefore, when you reduce the obvious accidents your dog could get into at home, you immediately reduce your future vet bill. This also means making adjustments to your dog proofing as your dog matures. These simple acts allows your dog to be safer while you save money. That is an amazing win-win for your dog and your dog’s budget!
What does it mean to dog proof my home?
Simply put dog proofing your home, means that your home is safe for your dog, puppy, or other pet. Thus, they won’t get hurt or cause unforeseen damage to themselves or your home. Basically, you’ve been proactive and mediated any issues within your home. This is very much like how you childproof your home when you have a new baby or toddler.
Will I be able to dog proof my home once and then forget about it?
It would be great if you could dog proof your home once and be done with it. But much like you have to adjust for your child’s growth, you need to adjust for your dog’s growth and needs. In other words, how you dog proof your home for a puppy may differ from how you dog proof your home for an adult, blind, or special needs dog in a wheelchair.
How do I dog or puppy proof my home on a budget?
Remember puppies are generally very curious and like to explore everything. Dogs can be curious as well, especially if your home is new to your dog. Here’s a general list you’ll want to go through when dog or puppy proofing your home:
1. Dog proof cabinets
This means locking cabinet doors so that your dog can’t easily access them and get into any dangers that may lurk within them.
There are a couple of ways you can latch cabinets away from your puppy or dog. The first is to install baby latches. The second is to use the DIY and free approach that Child-Guard Child Resistant Slider recommends, which is to lock cabinets with looped rubber bands. Of course, if you’ve got a very determined or high-energy dog, this might not be a good option. You’ll need to make the decision of what is best for your dog.
Some dogs are so well-behaved that they may sniff a cabinet but never attempt to open one. This is the category that my dog, Henry falls into.
Cost: Free – $
2. Trash covered
Make sure you keep your trash cans covered and locked away. Additionally, when you have something highly smelly like chicken skins or spoiled food, always take it outside to the garbage to deter your dog. Even the most well-behaved dog will like to try to get into a stinky trash can if you don’t put it away.
3. Chemicals up
Put all medications, chemicals, laundry accessories, and cleaning supplies in high out-of-the-way cabinets or shelves. All of these can look like food or appear so since humans use them, but can quickly become a potential hazard. It’s easy to lock or put them away out of any dogs reach and prevent an accident.
4. Food away
Make sure you don’t have any food out that would entice your puppy or dog. Remember many human foods are toxic to dogs. Often when you leave food out on counters it encourages a dog to become a “counter surfer”. Not only will they overeat, but they don’t know what’s toxic to their system. It should be easy to put your food out of your dog’s reach in locking cabinets or high shelves. This will deter even a jumper. Remember that chairs can be used as leverage to reach high positions and move them to different locations.
5. Bathroom etiquette
You may not be able to keep your puppy or dog from following you into the bathroom. For some reason, most pets like to make sure we’re okay in that room. With this in mind, always make sure you put the seat down on the toilet, so they can’t drink in any chemicals or accidentally drown. (It’s also good Feng Shui to put the seat down).
Additionally, make sure cords are out of the way cords and can’t be chewed, and all makeup and other supplies are out of reach. Also look for items that can be easily chewed or eaten such as sponges, toothbrushes, household cleaners, and even toothpaste (with is toxic to your dog). Put these products in dog proof cabinets or out of your dog’s reach.
6. Fragile items
Make sure you put any fragile items up high and out of the reach of jumps and furry paws. Again, remember that tables, chairs, and bookshelves can be used as leverage to reach higher locations. Move items and block bookshelf access with poster board or even a baby gate.
Don’t forget phones, chargers, tablets, and computers are often very interesting to pets. Even the electrical cord can look like a chew toy. Thus, don’t leave them down in the range of your dog for easy inspection. Even Henry has tried to take a look at my laptop when I’ve forgotten to put it up out of his reach.
Remember a lot of houseplants are toxic plants to dogs and pets. If you’re not sure if yours are toxic simply go here and take a look at the list with photos. Either way, move your plants to a location where they won’t be knocked over, chewed, or eaten and you don’t need to stress about whether they are poisonous plant.
If you have a puppy, try to go from room to room and look at everything from his or her perspective. Look for anything that is soft or even not so soft but possibly chewable. Then remove it from easy reach. Of course, some puppies and even dogs love to try to chew their own beds. Even Henry will try to dig a hole in one of his beds on occasion. This is generally to let me know he didn’t get enough exercise throughout the day. Make any adjustments that you find are needed.
This is kind of a weird one and doesn’t happen too often, but does occur on occasion and is definitely easy to fix. For some reason, puppies will lick an outlet. I can’t imagine it tastes good. Naturally, it can cause a heck of a shock. To avoid this simply put outlet covers in the open outlets. While you may be tempted to use electrical or duct tape it’s not recommended. Besides you can get 60 covers for a bit over $6, which is well worth it to be safe for your home and dog.
NOTE: Even Henry will sniff a few of my outlets. I have no idea why. I suppose he must think there’s some kind of smell coming from them. But he’s never licked or come close to licking one.
11. Sharp objects
Look around in each room for sharp objects. These may not be obvious to you. Get down on your dog’s level and look for anything that appears sharp. Remember furniture can be used as leverage for a puppy’s reach. Then remove it to a higher level or lock it away in a dog proof cabinet.
12. Small objects
Keep in mind how curious a puppy can be and even a dog can be at times. I’m always amazed at what some dogs will think is a chew toy but is much too small. Like a pen top or an earring.
Another example of choking objects is dust bunnies. Do I hear you laughing? Fair enough. Well, I have to admit Henry has this knack for chasing and trying to eat dust bunnies. Why, I don’t know. Then, of course, he coughs and gags. While dust bunnies may not be toxic to dogs, they can result in choking or coughing. Usually, this will resolve easily enough as long as you don’t have anything hiding in those dust bunnies like escaped RX pills or sewing needles.
As for Henry, he’s been safe. But the funny part is he seems to be a magnet for dust magnets. I can thoroughly clean and then turn around and low and behold he’s found a litter of dust bunnies that were hiding. I suppose it’s the Henry inspection instead of the white glove inspection.
13. Close doors
Keep bedroom and room doors closed so snoopy pups can’t explore on their own and get into trouble. This is an easy one, but one that can save a lot of mystery accidents from happening. For instance, Henry knocked out one of his front teeth when he was exploring on his own. I have no idea what he did or where, but now he’s got a toothless smile. After that incident I keep all the doors shut so he has to explore or play within my sight line.
14. Off limits
If you have a large home or stairs, you may want to not allow your puppy, dog, or even special needs pup easy access to all areas. You can close off areas with a baby gate, or more appropriately called a pet gate. If you want to save a bit more money, then try one of these great DIY baby gate ideas from Mom in the Six.
Most of the time garages store our yard chemicals, car, and other household cleaners, not to mention our cars. Don’t forget about paint supplies, anti-freeze, and sharp yard tools. While it may be impossible to put everything up out of your dogs reach, I recommend you supervise your dog in the garage. Or better yet, make the garage off-limits unless with supervision. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to put as many poisons and sharp objects up safely out of your dog’s or puppy’s reach as possible.
16. Safe place
If you’re bringing a new dog or puppy into a home with other pets, make sure you give your other pets a safe space to escape from the new furry family member. It may take a while for a cat or other pets to adjust to a new dog. Also, make sure you give your new dog a safe place to retreat.
Even Henry has his “condo” or kennel he loves to escape to when he’s had enough. Although, you can easily set up a dog bed in a corner of a room and let that be a safe place. I even have a bed for Henry in a box for another safe place. It’s his “cave” and he loves to escape there as well for another safe space.
My dog recently became blind, how do I dog proof my home?
This can be so challenging. Both for your dog and for you. The best way to tackle dog proofing a home for a recently blind dog, is to get down on all fours and look or feel her or his world. Then make adjustments. What may have worked a few months ago, may not work now. So, you may need to move his or her food bowl closer to the wall and the bed closer to yours. It will undoubtedly be a period of trial and error.
But you’ll get there in time. The good news is that if you’ve had your dog in your home and has since developed blindness, then it will be a bit easier. Your dog trusts you. A home is a safe place for your dog or should be at least. Although, it will be a bit different. You may even want to invest in a halo for your dog so he or she doesn’t accidentally get a bumped head. For inspiration, check out how Layla and her mom are dealing with her blindness.
My dog is a special needs dog. How do I dog proof my home?
This will depend on the type of special needs of your dog. For instance, if your dog has a wheelchair, then make sure your dog can get around easily to all places with it. Try taking the wheelchair throughout your home without your dog in it and make corrections as you find they are needed. Perhaps you may need to move a dresser a bit or move a chair a little. Without your dog in the wheelchair, you can easily make the adjustments and then take your dog throughout your home.
How does dog proofing my home save me money?
Now that you’ve successfully dog proofed your home, pat yourself on your back. Job well done! Do you know that a lot of injuries caused to dogs start in their home? You just reduced that risk. For instance, your dog should now have a lesser chance of injuries at home from:
- Ingesting foreign objects
- Torn nails
- Oral injuries
- Drug toxicity
- Eye trauma
- Plant toxicity poisoning
- Muscle and joint trauma
When you properly dog proof your home, you keep your dog safe and you decrease the chance of an accident and a pricey vet visit, procedure, medications, and recovery time. That alone is reason enough to thoroughly dog proof your home.
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Summary of can I dog proof my home and save money?
While dog proofing your home may seem a bit mundane and even more of a pain in the furry backside, it actually has some great savings for your dog’s budget. By keeping your dog safe and healthy at home, where a majority of dog accidents occur, you reduce your vet visits.
Thus, your future dog expenses are minimized. I dog proofed my home for Henry. Then readjusted for what I saw he was attracted to and could get into within my home. You will or probably have done the same.
Although, you will most likely need to adjust your dog proofing as your dog matures and his or her needs change. For example, Henry was in a “cone of shame” for about 6 months after he was attacked a few years ago. I redid the dog proofing in my home during this time so he could get through rooms, eat, lay down, etc.
Overall, dog proofing your home is a great way to save on your dog costs by being proactive. Your dog is safe, healthy, and you save. So, what could be better than a pet proof home?