Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

How to puppy proof the tech in your home

A new puppy is great fun and all sorts of adorable, but the tech in your home is at risk from claws and teeth. How do you puppy proof gadgets in our tech-filled homes?

When our dog Maisie passed away suddenly, it was an unexpected snatching of a family member. In an instant, the furry sister to two little humans disappeared, snores and tongue wagging and happy faces and all.

Getting over the passing of a furry family member is difficult at any time, but it can lead you to the path with a new family member. They’ll never be replaced, but that hole in your life can be eased somewhat with a new furry member.

In our life, that’s Daisy, our new fur sister to her human sisters, super sharp puppy teeth and all.

It’s easy to forget just how sharp puppy teeth are as you gaze at the adorable puppy face and fur, its symmetry and cuteness and JUST STOP IT’S SO CUTE.

But then the back of your mind creeps in and you think to yourself: “wait, puppies love exploring, and they have sharp teeth and claws, and we have so much technology”.

Which is exactly when it hits you, hopefully before the new puppy comes home…

How exactly do you puppy proof the technology in your home?!

Puppies and kittens and teeth and claws, oh my!

Puppies are like drones.

They can only be taken out in specific places, they’re expensive, they make a lot of noise, and you’ll end up taking a lot of photos of or with them.

Like drones, they have small parts that can be sharp at times. Unlike drones, however, these sharp and small parts can actually affect other gadgets in your life, and they in turn might harm themselves on these gadgets.

It’s a bit of a double-edged sword: you need to protect your technology from your pets, and in turn protect your pets from the technology. Some of these things might have electricity running through them, which when chewed on may produce shock or death, while others might come with parts that no animal should ingest.

Animals will learn over time, but that shouldn’t come with severe risk to them or your technology, so where do you start when puppy proofing your technology at home?

Keeping cords from sharp puppy teeth

Let’s start with the obvious target: cords.

They’re windy. They’re curly. They’re straight and shaped and appear everywhere in our digital world, because we need them for data and sound and most importantly, power.

All cords represent a potential problem for puppies, dogs, cats, and kittens, because they’re easy to chew and may look like a toy or animal ready for them to sink their teeth and paws into.

That’s bad for you, because no one likes replacing cables simply because they need to, but it can be worse if the cable is plugged into a power supply. Wires with power behind them can be dangerous, especially if an animal decides to attack them, so protecting them is important.

This is what we woke up to in the first few days of Daisy. It was only a surprise because we thought they were all hidden. Turns out they weren’t.

Hide the cords

First up, do as much as you can to hide the cords that you can hide. That’ll include tucking them away, storing them in cable management boxes, and using cord wrap to keep them out of obvious view.

Accessories and peripherals can help you here — we use several cable boxes at home for managing power strips and the various cables that come into them — while cable wraps can help you tie the loose cords around objects, as can 3M hooks and straps of Velcro.

New animals to any home — not just puppies, really — will happily go searching for anything that looks like it would be fun to play with, which means it’s time to hide everything, tucking away what you can.

Protect those cords

Of course, there are going to be cords you can’t hide, such as the length of cord going from your power strip to the wall, or even the length of power cord going from the fridge to the power point.

Protecting cords that you can’t hide is critical, because they’re perfect targets for teeth and paws, and can make for both a dangerous situation and a hefty repair bill. No one wants either, so accounting for both is important.

Consider using plastic cable wrap to cover your cords, as it provides an stiff extra layer for your pets to need to chew through, which gives you enough time to work out what they’re doing without damaging the cord, appliance, and risking their life.

We used a rigid black plastic that we could cut lengths of for our cord protection and cable proofing, but depending on how much you want to spend, you may be able to find heavy duty PVC with even more resistance.

Cables and cords like the one from behind the fridge make easy targets. Layer them in cord wrap and you’ll protect an appliance with a hard-to-replace power cord.

Subtle scratches and screen protection

It’s not just an issue with cords. While they undoubtedly present a danger for mischievous puppies keen to chew and gnaw on anything that looks remotely like a snake (or just anything in general), they’re not the only powered devices puppies will struggle with.

Phones and tablets are chewing hazards, and they can be problems for claws, too.

Puppies are less aware of personal space than toddlers, and so they will typically get up in your face regardless of what you’re doing without any second thought, or a third or fourth. It’s just going to happen.

Protecting your phone and tablet with a screen protector is a must have, as is using a case to reduce the chances of little teeth and claws doing serious damage to the devices in your life.

Quick with the claws

Those claws are going to get into other places, as well, and some of them can be costly.

If you rely on your laptop regularly, and your new pride and joy has just learned to jump on your lap, you might want to quicken those reaction times and move your laptop quickly.

Animals don’t exactly know how much you paid for that screen and keys, and a second or two late could see a scratch or gnaw in the wrong place, followed by a potential trip to the Genius Bar.

Make sure to be quick, or if you need to, grab a laptop case that can cover the outside of your laptop and protect it from adorable harm.

Put aside your gear and spend time with the pets

Your gear is important, but so are your pets. So when you can spend time with them, do that instead.

When your dog bops your head or tries to not-so-tactfully force their head under your hand, it’s a sign they want affection and pats, and you can put your laptop or tablet or phone down. Do that.

Spend some time with them, and it might just give you the ten minute break you felt you needed, too.

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