The ultimate list to dog proof your apartment

The ultimate list to dog proof your apartment


Back in the day, when we would bring our family dogs home for the first time,  it was always about ‘puppy proofing the garden’. No holes in the fence, no sharp tools lying around and god forbid no slug bait within reach.

But when I brought Oddy home to my small Berlin apartment, I wasn’t sure what needed to be done to dog proof my place. He couldn’t run away, he could hardly hide anywhere to chew on a shoe…

So after a year of living with a particularly curious pup and heavy chewer, I compiled the ultimate guide on how to dog proof your apartment. Not knowing what your place might look like, I organised the list by ‘areas of concern’.


How to dog proof your apartment

Areas of concern


1. Hazardous materials

Keep all hazardous materials that could be ingested out of reach, ideally locked away. With some items on this list, you should consider giving them away like poisonous house plants.

  • Cleaning products such as bleach, detergents, and disinfectants
  • Medications and vitamins, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs
  • Certain plants, including lilies, daffodils, and azaleas
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Batteries
  • Personal care items such as perfumes, lotions, and nail polish
  • Paint and paint-related products
  • Alcohol

2. Dog-unfriendly / poisonous foods 

In general, I recommend keeping either the kitchen or all food and snacks out of reach, either in closed cabinets or high shelves. If you have a lot of open storage, at least make sure the harmful stuff is really out of reach of your dog, this includes chocolates, grapes and avocados.


3. Cords and outlets

Cover or remove any electrical cords and outlets to prevent your dog from chewing on them. You can use child-proof covers, that will prevent your dog from accessing the outlets and potentially getting shocked. Another option is switching to as many wireless options as possible or hiding cables behind furniture.


4. Personal Items, especially those that smell of you

dog proof your apartment


Anything worn by me is usually in grave danger, underwear, teeth retainer or socks… Really consider what ‘out of reach’ means to your pup, I thought my nightstand was a safe distance, until Oddy really wanted to try on my retainer and chewed the whole thing up.

Same goes for our laundry basket, does the lid really prevent your pup from digging through your laundry?





5. Sharp, breakable or unstable objects

Keep all sharp or breakable objects, such as glass vases or knives, out of reach or behind closed cabinet doors. Oddy has knocked multiple tea mugs off my couch table when playing. We also has a shoe shelf finally fixed to the wall when Oddy moved in, fearing he might knock it over and get hurt.


6. Appliances

Make sure all appliances, such as stoves and ovens, are turned off when not in use to prevent your dog from getting burned or injured. Especially when cooking in the oven, the smell can draw even the smartest dog towards the hot rack.


7. Baby Gates for staircases/ off limit rooms 

Use baby gates or pet barriers to block off areas that you don’t want your dog to access. Especially if you have a staircase or your front door opens into a busy street, the last thing you want is your dog getting injured because they ran out.


8. An extra pair of eyes

Consider getting an extra pair of eyes, in form of a pet camera like a Furbo. If you’re going to be away from your apartment, the gadget will give you some peace of mind. Remember that dogs are curious by nature and they will investigate their environment, so you should be aware of this and keep a close eye on them when they are exploring.


9. Chewing/ Scratching furniture

Some dogs do, some dogs don’t chew furniture. Oddy went through a short phase while teething when he tried to chew on the door frame. We used this bitter spray from amazon. You need to do a fabric test before using it on your beloved couch tho! For severe cases, you can opt for a no scratch / no chew protection like this.

10. Potty, pee and the inevitable accidents

I’ve been there, living on the 4th floor with no elevator and no balcony and a puppy – why we still didn’t opt for pee pads? Because they can really ruin potty training! I wrote an extra article on potty training while apartment living you can find here. But however you potty train, I recommend parting ways with your precious carpets. Sudden upset stomachs happen more often than you think, so might as well opt for a washable carpet.

11. A safe space for them

Most importantly, give your pup a space where they can be space and have options to chew their little hearts out with appropriate toys. Whether you crate train or do another form of place training, a safe and comfortable space for your dog is at the heart of a dog-friendly apartment.



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Charlotte and Oddy


Hi there, my name is Charlotte and I am the founder of pup culture. Together with my dog Oddy, we are a duo on a mission to share dog parenthood in the city. We currently live in Berlin, and while we juggle a busy 9-5 job, we love making life a little extra where we can, travel and infuse mindfulness into everything we do. Follow us on our journey as we explore the city and beyond, all while promoting a culture of holistic pet ownership, (mental) health and wellbeing. 

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