12 Ways To Dog-Proof Your Kitchen
Bringing a new dog into the home is a special and joyful experience. Dogs bring companionship, laughter, and endless entertainment to any household. There are so many benefits to having a dog around. But taking care of a dog is no small responsibility. As you embark on training your dog and getting it acclimated to your home, one of the biggest areas of concern is the kitchen. With harmful chemicals, sharp objects, and tempting smells, a kitchen can be a dangerous place for your pup if you aren’t careful. This is why dog-proofing your kitchen is essential.
In order to dog-proof your kitchen, make sure you have a trash can that securely locks shut, and install child locks for cabinets containing harmful chemicals. Make sure you use deterrents that prevent your dog from chewing furniture. Keep your dishwasher closed, and keep food items sealed and out of reach of your dog. Remember that training is important to keep your dog from acting unruly in the kitchen.
If you purchased the dog as a puppy or adopted a rescue, then you likely have your work cut out for you. There are commands to teach, crate training to accomplish, and you need to get the dog to understand the rules of the house. This can all feel overwhelming at times, which is why taking preventative steps is so helpful when you first get a dog.
Dog-proofing the kitchen is a great way to minimize the potential for disaster. If you want to know exactly what steps you need to take to have a properly dog-proof kitchen, then read the 12 top ways to do so listed below.
1. Use Trash Cans With Locking Lids
Food scraps might be trash to humans, but they are treasures for your furry friend. While it is possible to train your dog to respectfully keep its distance from the trash, this will take time. In the meantime, make sure you have a trash can with a lid that firmly latches. This will prevent your dog from getting into food items that can be harmful and also helps prevent the risk of choking.
Pro Tip: If you have a heavier dog, consider hiding the trash, or buying a heavy, sturdy trash can. This will keep the dog from accidentally knocking it over.
2. Keep Toxic Chemicals On High Or Secure Shelves
One of the most important measures you need to take when dog-proofing your kitchen is to keep harmful chemicals out of reach of your pets. Many people store things like bleach and cleaning products under the kitchen sink. In most cases, this is perfectly fine, but if you have a dog, you should take some precautions.
If you have additional storage space in your kitchen that is located higher up, use the elevated area for the potentially-harmful chemicals. That way, there is no chance your pooch will ingest them.
3. Install Child-Safety Locks On Lower Cabinets
If you don’t want to rearrange all of your cabinets, you might want to consider installing some safeguards instead. The best devices out there tend to be locks that are made to keep things toddler-proof.
Treat having a dog like having a toddler, as they are equally curious. Install child-proof locks on all your lower cabinets, especially ones that are likely to store harmful chemicals or anything else a dog shouldn’t come in contact with.
4. Use Sprays To Prevent Chewing On Corners
In addition to keeping your pet safe, you also want to keep your property safe. This means making sure your dog doesn’t chew on your walls, chairs, and other wooden furniture pieces. Part of dog-proofing your kitchen means you need to keep your furnishings safe. In some cases, this may mean removing tempting items from within the reach of your dog's mouth. In other cases, adding protective tape, or spraying non-toxic spray meant to inhibit dogs from chewing where they shouldn’t can be helpful.
5. Place Barriers By Vulnerable Windows
Dogs are curious creatures. They are also natural protectors. While this makes for a great alarm system, it can mean danger for your home’s windows and window screens. There are several ways to keep pets away from window screens. But consider placing a natural barrier between your dog and your kitchen window screen. This will help your dog resist the temptation to leap up on any of your kitchen windows.
6. Use Gates To Control Where Your Dog Can (And Cannot) Go
Having gates at the entrance to your kitchen is a fantastic way to keep the space dog-proof. It allows you to let the dog roam free at certain times, but keeps the dog out of the kitchen when you are using sharp objects, or cooking tempting foods.
Actually, having a curious dog in the kitchen while you are cooking is almost never a good idea. The dog can get burned, cut, or eat something it shouldn’t. A barrier, like a simple child gate, can go a long way to protect both your dog and your kitchen.
7. Practice Crate Training Outside The Kitchen
Another way to dog-proof your kitchen is through crate training. Crate training is an effective way to get your dog to behave properly. It is also a way to keep your kitchen dog-proof. When your dog is jumping on counters, knocking over the trash can, or being otherwise unruly in the kitchen, putting the dog in the crate (outside the kitchen) is a great way to establish right and wrong behavior.
8. Invest In Washable Rugs
Accidents happen. If you get a new puppy, then you will be all too familiar with this. Dogs tend to make messes from time to time throughout the house . Removing nice throw rugs from the kitchen and replacing them with durable washable ones is a great idea. That way, if a dog chews on the edges, or has an accident, you can clean it. There are lots of affordable rugs out there. Choose one that is washable, able to endure some chewing, and hides stains well.
9. Keep Your Dishwasher Securely Closed
If you have a dishwasher, you need to make sure it is pet-proof. In most cases, your dog can’t open up your dishwasher on its own. But if you have a dishwasher that is challenging to latch, you need to take steps to ensure it is always closed. A dishwasher with dirty dishes can tempt a dog, but a door falling on it can cause harm to your pet. It can also damage the dishwasher. Therefore, ensure your dishwasher is easy to close and always stays closed.
10. Create A Nook or “Safe Zone” For Your Pet
It is always nice to give your pet its own little nook in the house. Whether this is a large crate or a big dog bed somewhere in your home, this is a great way to give the dog its own territory. Consider putting a little nook right near the kitchen. This way you can allow your dog near the action when you are cooking, but it has a zone that's out of reach of food and potential harm.
11. Keep Food Items Out Of Reach
The best way to help keep your dog off the counters in the kitchen is to keep food out of reach. This means getting in the habit of placing food far from the edge of the counters. You also should refrain from leaving food out, including fruit. If you do need to leave some produce out, leave it above the fridge, or somewhere else very far out of reach.
12. Use Pet-Friendly Cleaners
Keeping a clean kitchen is important. It keeps your kitchen looking great and helps keep pests away. But when you have a dog, some cleaners are harmful. Rather than skip cleaning, or going through a belabored process of keeping your dog away from the kitchen for hours after you clean, get new cleaners. Luckily, there are tons of pet-friendly cleaners on the market that clean just as well as the harmful ones.
Final Notes On Dog-Proofing Your Kitchen
Dog-proofing your kitchen is a great thing to do before you welcome a new puppy or grown dog into the home. It ensures the dog will be safe, and your kitchen will maintain its integrity. Make sure you have a trash can that shuts securely, as well as a dishwasher that does the same. Use child-proof locks on lower cabinets, especially those that have items that can harm your pet. Consider buying quick-dry rugs, and a spray that helps prevent your dog from chewing on furniture. Keep food out of reach, and remember, crate training is important when you are teaching your dog how to behave in the kitchen.
Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.
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