If you’re expecting a new addition to your family – whether that’s a baby or a puppy – you’ll want to make sure that your home is safe for them. There is a lot of overlap between baby-proofing and puppy-proofing, from adding covered storage to anchoring furniture to walls. But if the thought of unsightly outlet covers and clunky cabinet locks makes you cringe, these 15 simple renos and decor suggestions will show you how to baby-proof and puppy-proof your home without sacrificing your stylish interior.
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Repaint Old, Cracked Paint
A fresh coat of paint is an easy way to refresh your space, but it should also be high up on your new puppy checklist. Preparing for puppy or baby is a great time to repair and paint old or cracking walls, as fallen paint chips can be dangerous for curious little ones. Use this as an opportunity to try new paint trends or add a pop of colour to your space.
Anchor Furniture to Walls
Many large pieces of furniture, like dressers and bookcases, come with instructions saying they should be anchored to walls for security. If you skipped this step when you first moved in, now is the time to puppy-proof that furniture. Securing heavy or tall furniture – like this tower bookshelf Mike Holmes Sr. showcased in this Holmes and Holmes reno – to the nearest wall makes it harder to tip over if a curious pup or toddler decides to try jumping or climbing on it. Adjustable Anti-Tip Furniture Anchor Set, Amazon, $25.
Mount Your TV to the Wall
Big screen televisions are great for movie marathons, but their slim form means they’re usually pretty easy for energetic kids and puppies to tip over. Keep your beloved family members and your TV safe by mounting it to a wall, as Jonathan and Drew Scott did with this sleek Property Brothers design. As an added bonus, getting rid of the TV stand console frees up some space for puppy and baby to play.
Invest in Easy-to-Clean Furniture
When it comes to prepping your space for puppy or baby, easy-to-clean surfaces and decor – like those used in this Property Brothers: Forever Home design from Jonathan and Drew Scott – are guaranteed to make your life easier. A stylish, washable rug or sofa cover will make cleaning up easier after the occasional accident.
Anchor Rugs With a Non-Slip Rug Pad
Although a stylish rug can add warmth and tie a space together, it’s easy for busy pups and tots to slip and slide around on them. Adding a non-slip rug pad underneath is an inexpensive and easy way to ensure that your little ones don’t slip and hurt themselves.
Non-Slip Rug Pad, Simons, from $3.
Get Creative With Covered Storage
Finding covered storage solutions should be high up on your new puppy checklist and baby-proofing checklist alike. Keep curious pups and toddlers away from your odds and ends by adding bins or baskets to the lower shelves on bookcases and shelving units. Measure your shelves before going shopping to ensure you get baskets that fit flush against your shelves.
Convert Existing Shelves Into Cabinets
If bins and baskets aren’t your style, adding a cabinet door and handle to a shelving unit is an easy DIY way to puppy-proof your home. A cabinet door of a different colour or print, like this sleek marble, can add fun texture and visual interest to your space.
Add Magnetic Locks to Cupboards
Gone are the days of chunky plastic locks as the only option to baby-proof your cabinets. With a magnetic cabinet lock system, doors are held shut by magnets until you open them with a magnetic key. This solution keeps exploring little ones out of your cupboards without adding any visible bulk. Magnetic Cabinet Locks, Amazon, $25.
Mount Kitchen Garbage Can Underneath Sink
Puppies are notoriously curious about strong scents… including ones that might come from your garbage. If your household kitchen garbage can sits out in the open, mounting it to the inside of the cupboard under your sink is a great way hide it from curious pups.
Swap Existing Outlets for Self-Closing Outlets
Plastic outlet covers are a tried and true baby-proofing option. However, they can look a little clunky – and you have to remove the cover to use the outlet each time. Self-closing outlets, which have the outlet cover built in, are an increasingly popular option for homeowners looking for a sleek and convenient baby-proof alternative.
Secure a Baby Gate to Walls
When it comes to puppies and babies, baby gates are a must-have for keeping them from exploring other areas of your home unsupervised. Although it can be tempting to mount the baby gate temporarily, affixing them to your walls and bannisters is a much more secure option. This is especially important if you’ll be placing a baby gate anywhere near stairs. Luckily enough, there are many baby gates that offer both style and function. Opt for one that matches your hardwood floors or wrought iron accents.
Replace Your Rectangular Coffee Table With a Round One
Sharp corners on tables can pose a hazard to baby as they learn to walk or to rambunctious and playful pups, especially on coffee tables that are low to the ground. One way to dog-proof furniture is to swap conventional rectangular tables for a chic round version, as shown in this cozy family living from Jesse Tyler Ferguson and the team at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Add Corner Guards to Coffee Tables
If your coffee table is just perfect for your space or you can’t bear to part with it, corner guards are a baby-proofing staple that can keep wee ones and puppies safe from sharp corners.
Add a Fence and Gate to the Backyard Pool
If you have a pool in your yard, but haven’t fenced off the pool area already, it’s worth looking into as you get your space ready for puppy or baby. Fencing off the pool area separate from the rest of the yard ensures that your roaming puppy or toddler doesn’t fall in accidentally.
Swap Pull-String Blinds for Cordless Blinds
Dangling strings can be very tempting for curious new puppies and toddlers and can be dangerous if they get tangled in them. Swap conventional pull-string blinds for a chic cordless alternative, which you can raise and lower by hand.