Animal-Proofing Your Home

Animals are curious creatures.  Many are capable of jumping onto high surfaces or squeezing into the smallest of spaces.

To protect your foster dog/puppy in its new environment and to safeguard your belongings, it is necessary to animal-proof your house.


  • Use childproof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets.
  • Keep medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves.
  • Keep trashcans covered or inside a latched cabinet.
  • Check for and block any small spaces, nooks, or holes inside cabinetry, between cabinets and floors, under bathroom cabinets or dishwashers or behind washer/dryer units.
  • Make sure animals haven’t jumped into the dryer before you turn it on.
  • Keep foods out of reach (even if the food isn’t harmful, the wrapper could be).
  • Keep toilet lids closed

Living/Family Room

  • Place dangling wires from lamps, computers, DVDs, TVs, stereos, and phones out of reach.
  • Keep children’s toys put away.
  • Put away knickknacks until your dog/puppy has the coordination and/or understanding not to knock them over.
  • Remove dangerous items, like string and pins.
  • Move houseplants – which can be poisonous – out of reach, including hanging plants that can be jumped onto from other nearby surfaces.
  • Put away all sewing and craft notions, especially thread.
  • Secure aquariums or cages that house small animals, like hamsters or fish, to prevent harm from another animal.
  • Make sure all heating/air vents have a cover.


  • A garage usually contains many dangerous chemicals and unsafe items to be an acceptable foster care site.  Foster dogs/puppies should never be housed in a garage unless pre-approved by a Foster Care Coordinator.
  • Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors.
  • Clean up all antifreeze from the floor and driveway, as one taste can be lethal to an animal.
  • Bang on your car hood to ensure that your animal has not sought the warmth of the engine for a nap.


  • Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors (drawstrings and loose buttons can cause major problems).
  • Keep any medications, lotions or cosmetics off accessible surfaces (like the bedside table).
  • Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing.

Potentially Dangerous Situations

  • Closet and bedroom doors
  • Open doors to the outdoors (escape)
  • Open dryer doors
  • Open cabinet drawers
  • Computer wires (electrocution or strangulation)
  • Folding chairs
  • Potted plants (possible poisoning or pulling plant off shelf onto animal)

Never underestimate your foster animal’s abilities.
Accidents happen!