Small puppies are just like small children and will investigate everything. Of course this means that you need to keep them out of harm's way by eliminating the dangers in and around your home. Here's a guide to some of the puppy proofing precautions you should take.

Inside your home

While your puppy is small, keep everything in your home that might be dangerous to them out of their reach. A puppy may tug or chew anything they find including plants and electrical cords. Candles, burners and similar objects can also be fire hazards. Look around your home and think of anything that your puppy could chew or get their paws on. Bear in mind that puppies are quite ingenious when they want to get to things so don't think that merely hiding items will dampen their curiosity. Do not leave hazardous items, including poisonous plants and cleaning agents, where your puppy can get to them.

Keep cupboard doors closed as your puppy may find their way into any available space and pull out the contents for chewing. If you have opened doors and then left them, check inside before closing them as your puppy may be hiding or sleeping inside.

Make sure that everyone in your household knows where your puppy is and that they don't leave your front or back door open. Puppies are often very skilled at sneaking through doors that haven't been secured.

If you have other pets in your house, do not leave your puppy with them unsupervised until they have got used to each other. A resident dog or cat could cause the new puppy some harm, especially if they are confined to one room. If you have very young children, don't leave them alone with your puppy as they could unwittingly cause them some damage. Always teach children to be gentle and mindful around pets.

Outside your home

If your puppy has not yet been vaccinated, they should not be allowed out for walks with other dogs. However, if you have a friend with a fully vaccinated, well socialised and gentle dog, you might allow them to visit to help with your puppy's socialisation. Puppy proof your yard before you let your puppy outside. Check your yard to see that the fencing is secure and that there are no small holes through which your puppy could disappear. Make sure that all gates shut securely and that your puppy will not be able to squeeze through or under your gate. Pools and ponds must also be covered to prevent accidents.

Puppies soon learn that not everything in and around your home is for playing with and that some things are just not safe. In the meantime, do everything you can to ensure your puppy has a safe environment to grow up in.