Babies and puppies have more in common than you might think. Both are curious, can get into trouble very quickly, and need a safe environment to play and grow. When you baby-proof and puppy-proof your apartment, you’ll need to think about the endless curiosity both babies and puppies have, and strive to stay one step ahead of those little feet, hands and paws.
Here are five tips you can use to baby-proof and puppy-proof your apartment to provide a safe environment for all of the little ones in your life:
1. Use Barricades
Puppies and babies find lots of things that might hurt them—like garbage cans, cabinet doors, dishes, food, pots/pans and shoes. Although some of those items might seem harmless, other items, such as household chemicals, cleaners and some houseplants, are harmful or even fatal to puppies and babies if swallowed.
Barricading some parts of your apartment is a crucial step that will keep a baby or puppy from wandering into a dangerous area. A childproof gate can be attached to any doorway or hallway to keep the baby and the puppy out of a room that contains harmful substances.
A baby gate will also effectively cut off access to stairways. Like babies, puppies are also still developing good motor ans can inadvertently take a spill down an open stairway, which could prove dangerous or fatal. Fortunately, gates and barriers are sold at baby department and pet supply stores.
Remember to get your landlord’s approval before attaching anything with screws to the doorframe of your apartment. Some apartment complexes have rules and regulations that govern what you can do to the walls and doorways of your home, and not following the rules could mean losing your security deposit.
2. Provide a Safe Play Area
Containment is an excellent way to baby-proof and puppy-proof your rental without having to worry about putting screws in the apartment’s walls. You can put your puppy into a dog crate or a dog exercise pen with a few dog and chew toys. Of course, you would never place your baby in a dog crate, but a baby playpen provides a safe place for your baby to play with his/her favorite toys.
3. Make Bathroom Safety a Priority
A puppy or baby can easily fall into in a toilet bowl or bathtub. Attaching a child latch to the lid of the toilet will keep not only your baby out of the toilet bowl; it will also keep your puppy out of the dirty water. Standing water in sinks or tubs can pose a danger to both puppies and babies. Always make sure you drain the bathtub so neither your puppy nor baby can inadvertently fall into it. If the bathtub or sink drains slowly, call your apartment complex’s maintenance department and ask them to check for a possible clog in the pipes.
4. Secure Cabinets and Windows
Childproof locks should be installed on all cabinets within baby or puppy reach. Some childproof locks require screws, but others attach with double-stick tape. Puppies can easily get into kitchen cabinets that may contain food or other desirable treats.
Apartments that are located on the second, third, or higher floors are extremely dangerous for both puppies and babies. An open window—even one with a screen—is attractive to puppies and babies alike. These young ones can push the screen out of the window and lose their balance. Affixing window barriers or window locks to the window itself will protect both your baby and your pet from a possibly fatal fall.
5. Cover Electrical Outlets
Electrical outlets that are usually located close to the floor pose a serious danger to crawling babies and puppies. If your loved one sticks a tongue, finger, or toe into an electrical outlet, he or she could receive a strong electrical shock. Covering outlets will protect the baby and also the inquisitive puppy. Most of the covers simply pop on over the outlets for quick and convenient installation.
Here is a quick checklist to help you remember what to baby-proof and puppy-proof in your apartment rental:
- Harmful chemicals
- Water that poses a drowning hazard
- Open stairwells
- Open windows
- Electrical outlets
If you have any more ideas about how to baby-proof and puppy-proof an apartment, we would love to hear from you @AptGuide.
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Photo Credit: Lance McCord