7 Easy Ways to Puppy Proof Your Apartment

Not many things in the world are as cute as a puppy. They draw you in with their puppy breath, chubby bellies and floppy ears. Any mischief is forgiven with a look in their puppy dog eyes. 

Maybe your children have been begging for a puppy for years. Or you’ve finally moved into a place of your own and are looking for a canine companion. Whatever the reason, you’re finally ready to welcome a new puppy into your home. 

As cute as these little balls of fur are, they are also a lot of hard work. 

Know What You’re Getting Into

Raising a puppy is easier if you’re prepared and set clear boundaries that everyone in the home follows. Getting a puppy isn’t all rainbows. First of all, their teeth are as sharp as razors. Potty training is a time-consuming struggle. 

Like children, puppies can become overstimulated from too much going on. They need an area in the home they can have peace and quiet. Therefore, investing in a good dog bed to give them their own place is a great thing you can do for your canine friend.

What else should puppy owners new and experienced know about puppy proofing their new home? 

7 Dos and Don’ts of Puppy Proofing an Apartment

Raising a puppy is a learning curve. You will accidentally forget to move something – a remote, your glasses – to higher ground. Your puppy will likely find the item. Next time you leave the house, you will remember and put the replacement out of reach. 

If you’re new to owning pets, you may be overwhelmed by trying to puppy proof your home. Every room, every corner can be an object of destruction or danger. These 7 do’s and don’ts can ease your mind and keep your new pup safe. 

1. Keep the Floors Clean

Puppies love to explore. They are very curious creatures. They also love to eat. If you leave things on the floor, your puppy will likely eat them or chew them. Dust, paper, trash. 

Dogs have sensitive digestive systems. Ingesting any foreign object poses a danger for blockage. If that happens, your pup will need expensive surgery to remove the blockage. 

Depending on the breed of your puppy, sweeping the floor might be needed twice a day if they shed a lot. Regardless of your pup’s coat, keeping the floor clean can prevent them from eating something they shouldn’t. 

2. Avoid These Essential Oils

We all have that friend on social media who touts the health benefits of the essential oils they are selling. Sure, essential oils may have healing properties…for humans. For dogs and cats, the ingredients in the oils can be toxic. 

Cinnamon, tea tree, and wintergreen are just three of the essential oils the AKC list as dangerous for dogs. A few of the symptoms of toxicity from essential oils include vomiting, lethargy, and generally not acting like themselves.

3. Don’t Leave Shoes Out

Puppies love to chew. It’s not their fault. Similar to babies, puppies find that gnawing on something relieves the pain of teething. If you keep your shoes out, that ‘something’ may be your favorite pair of sandals. 

If you do catch your puppy chewing shoes or something else, experts recommend taking the forbidden item and replacing it with a toy. Positive reinforcement is widely believed to be the best way to train a puppy. 

Replace ‘shoes’ with anything in your home that you don’t want your puppy to chew. Anything essential or expensive should be placed in drawers, out of the pup’s reach. 

4. Cover Up Wires and Cords

Another thing puppies often chew is cords and wires that are on the floor. That can be dangerous for the puppy and the fire safety of a home. When your pup chews a cell phone charger, that can be expensive to replace, not to mention inconvenient. 

But if it’s plugged in at the time, add “dangerous” to the list of potential problems. Plugged in wires are safety hazards and can hurt your dog and/or cause a fire.

If you can’t cover or move the wires, such as in a home office, consider blocking that area off from your puppy to prevent injury or fire. 

5. Put Food Away

Your puppy’s kibble should be kept in a sealed container out of reach. Eating too much, even food specifically for puppies can cause blockage and other health issues. However, puppies should have access to fresh water throughout the day. (Some people remove the water overnight to avoid potty training accidents.)

The urge to feed your puppy human food can be hard to resist when they are staring into your soul with their puppy dog eyes. However, feeding your puppy people food is a bad idea for many reasons. The more people food your puppy gets, the less likely they will be interested in eating kibble. 

Another reason to avoid giving your pup table scraps is that many human foods are dangerous to dogs. Everyone knows that chocolate is bad for dogs. Cyber Pet lists other human foods that aren’t safe for dogs to eat. 

6. Use Baby Gates

Here’s a hack that many people don’t know: Baby gates are just as effective for puppies as more expensive gates for pets. Once the puppy grows bigger, a larger, more secure gate may be necessary. However, for puppyhood, a baby gate will keep your pup contained to one designated area. 

And hey, baby gates can be repurposed if you add a human child to keep your fur kid company. 

7. Have Emergency Vet Contact Number Handy

Number 7 on puppy proofing a home is an outlier compared to the rest of the list, but just as essential. Puppies can find themselves in trouble in the blink of an eye. In your panicked state, you may not have the presence of mind to locate the number for the emergency vet. 

As a pet owner, you will quickly find out that your pup prefers to get in trouble during the evenings or weekends when their normal vet is closed for business. Having that emergency contact number handy can save your puppy’s life. 

Puppies Are a Toddler Crash Course

Lonely puppy

One thing human parents hate hearing is that raising a puppy is “just like” raising a child. No, it’s not, but there are some similarities. Puppies and toddlers both like to explore, have cute faces that are impossible to stay mad at, and eat things they find on the floor. 

Puppy proofing your apartment can save you from racking up expensive pet bills and prevent your keepsakes from turning into chew toys. 


Leo Wilson graduated from a university major in animal health and behavior. He had over a decade of experience working in the pet industry and has contributed many dogs and pet-related articles to several websites before he decided to start sharing his knowledge on his own blog. And when he is not busy working, he and his wonderful wife love spending time at home with their 3 dogs and 2 cats.

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