Puppy Proofing for a Yorkshire Terrier

Puppy Proofing for a Yorkshire Terrier    |Published 06-04-2021

Before you bring your canine friend home, make sure your home is safe and secure. Read on to find out how you can remove potential hazards out of your dog’s way. 

Dog-proofing your house is very similar to baby-proofing, which requires careful preparations and removing potential hazards out of your dog’s reach. 

Side view of a Yorkshire TerrierPuppy Proofing for a Yorkshire Terrier

New pets are inquisitive by nature, and due to their curious mind, they may want to sniff around and investigate everything, including the things that could be harmful and dangerous.

Most of the potential problems require common sense, such as keeping small objects and items that can be easily swallowed or eaten out of their way. It is up to you as a pet owner to provide a safe environment for your dog not only in the house but also in your yard.

Yorkshire Terriers, also known as Yorkies, are one of the smallest dog breeds, weighing approximately 7 pounds with a height of 7 to 8 inches.

These compact creatures, though small, are quite tenacious and feisty. Therefore, vigilance is required to keep them safe and away from possible dangers.

Getting Yorkshire Terrier information is a good idea, so you can know more about their personality before bringing one home. That way, you’ll be able to know what makes him tick and how to keep him occupied.

Puppy Proofing for a Yorkshire Terrier in Kitchens and Bathrooms

Use High Shelves and Latch Your Cabinets

Keep medications, cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, plastics of any kind, and other chemicals on high shelves or locked inside cabinets. Use dog-proof latches on the cabinet handles, so their little paws won’t be able to pry the door open.

Cover Trash Bins and Toilet Lids

Use trash bins that come with a tight-fitted lid, so your dog won’t go sniffing around it. You can choose heavy trash bins that your Yorkie cannot knock over and leave you with a messy sight. If you have small trash bins, you can put them in kitchen cabinets with dog-proof latches.

Likewise, cover the toilet lids in your bathroom, so your dog doesn't drown or ingest harmful cleaning chemicals.

Keep Food Away

Food such as coffee, onions, cakes, chocolates, and pastries can make your dog sick. Wrappers, peels, or plastic bags can become a choking hazard for your dog. Therefore, try to ensure that food and related things, even dog food, are kept well away from your dog’s reach.

You can use hanging baskets for your fruits and keep food, snacks, and packaged items in the pantry, refrigerator, or cabinets, ensuring they are kept locked. Quickly clear away food on the table or counter after you’re done with your meal to avoid a mess. 

Install baby gates

You can install gates at certain areas to keep your dog confined while you’re busy cooking, cleaning, or dining. This not only allows you to work without being distracted but also keeps your dog safe. However, avoid keeping your dog confined for more than a few hours.

Unplug and Remove Appliances

When you are done using your washers, dryers, blenders, and coffeemakers, make sure to keep the switches off and unplug the wires. Place the small items inside the cabinets after you’re done, and hide the wires behind big appliances, so your dog won’t get tangled in them. 

Living Room/Bedroom

A Yorkshire Terrier Puppy is shown facing the camera

Keep wires away

As mentioned above, keep cords and wires out of your dog’s sight, preferably behind furniture, secured with a zip tie. Dogs are naturally drawn towards chewing on wires which can become a safety hazard in your home. You can provide them with suitable chew toys to distract and prevent them from chewing wires. 

In addition, use child-proof plugs for electrical outlets and sockets for extra precaution. Yorkies are very curious creatures and are attracted mostly towards the little things. Therefore, make sure you keep away all the little objects such as pen drives, portable chargers, lighters, scissors, and other such things that can pose a potential risk to your dog. 

Install fireplace gates

If you have a fireplace at home, consider installing a gate to keep your dog away from falling into it. When it comes to playing, dogs experience tunnel vision when they are excited. So when they are chasing a ball or playing tug-of-war, they can easily fall into the fireplace.

Tidy up

Dogs are naturally prone to chewing anything they find. So it is essential to tidy up and put away the things that are important to you such as clothes and shoes, kids’ homework, books, medicines, stuffed toys, small plastic toys, such as Legos and board games, cosmetics, jewelry, and anything else that you think your dog may chew on.

If, however, you don’t want to put some things away like picture frames or books on your nightstand, you can close the door to the room, so your dog doesn't go investigating. 

Another important thing is houseplants. Some houseplants, such as dieffenbachia, philodendron, and hyacinth, can be toxic and poisonous to your dog. Therefore, whether toxic or not, it’s best to keep your houseplants up on high shelves or in hanging baskets.


Yorkshire Terrier is resting outside in front of a pond

Lock away chemicals

Your garage or yard may have several chemicals lying about that can pose a serious threat to your dog. Chemicals such as rat poisons, car wash supplies, garden pesticides, and insecticides, etc. are all dangerous for your furry friend. Put them up on high shelves in the garage or basement or lock them up in cabinets. 

Use extra precaution when it comes to using gasoline, antifreeze, solvents, coolants, and oils. Keep these toxic chemicals in the basement, so they can be out of your dog’s reach. Confine your dog in an area when you’re using them to keep him safe and away from harmful chemicals. 

Keep tools away

Dogs are known to knock things over when they are excited or curious about something. They are also prone to eating small objects and breaking things.

Therefore, keep your tools locked in a toolbox, and place sharp objects, such as saws, scissors, knives, nails, screws, and car parts, on high shelves or locked away in a cabinet. 

Secure your gate

Consider installing fences around your yard so that when you leave your dog unsupervised, you can lock the gate and keep him safe inside the yard. As Yorkies are small, check if your fences have gaps or openings that may need to be covered so they don’t wiggle their way out.

Fence your garden

If you have a garden, consider putting high enough fences around it so that your Yorkie cannot jump over them. You can have a gate made for you to pull out the weeds, fertilize your plants, and use pesticides.

However, pesticides, fertilizers, compost, and other garden chemicals are dangerous for your dog, so it is a good idea to store and lock them in cabinets. Also, you can read the labels and select garden products that are safe for pets. 

Be Alert when cooking out

If you’re barbecuing out in the yard, be extra vigilant. Keep an eye on the flame and your dog. If you think it’ll be difficult to do both, you can confine your dog in a small area using baby playpens with their favorite chew toys.

Cover swimming pools

If you have a swimming pool, it is a good idea to keep it covered when you bring your dog outside. Even if he knows how to swim, he can still drown if he can’t get out. 

Long, low steps may help, but it still poses a risk. Therefore, the best approach would be to not let them in the water, cover your pool, or keep them confined inside the house unless they are accompanied by you or someone else. 

Cover a swimming poolWhen puppy proofing for a Yorkshire Terrier, remember to cover your swimming pool

Cover balcony railings 

Balconies may seem safe. However, if the railings are far apart from each other, your small curious dog can go through and get stuck in between. For this, you can either go to the balcony alone, or you can use baby playpens or baby gates in front of the railings, so your dog doesn’t find any openings.

Puppy Proofing for a Yorkshire Terrier:  Consider Universal Hazards

The things that can harm a person can also harm dogs. For instance, lead paint, falling, carbon monoxide poisoning, mosquito repellents, and so on. 

Many other hazards and potential dangers lurk inside and outside your home. It is natural to sometimes forget to pick the paint up from the garage floor, put away food from the counter, or tidy up the room filled with toys. However, you need to keep your house as safe as you would for a child. 

Dog-proofing your house has its benefits too. As you’re putting stuff away, you are guaranteed to have a cleaner house every day. 

Puppy Proofing for a Yorkshire Terrier:  Pin for Future Reference

Yorkshire Terrier Pin ImagePuppy Proofing for a Yorkshire Terrier

Puppy Proofing for a Yorkshire Terrier:  Last Words

Yorkshire Terriers are small, quirky, and inquisitive animals with a big attitude. Therefore, as a pet owner, you need to ensure a healthy and safe environment by locking your things up in cabinets and closets and placing stuff on high shelves.

Cover up gaps or openings in the corners of the room, so they are unable to hide and cause difficulty for you to bring them out. Keep food, plants, and chemicals away from the Yorkie, and most important of all, don’t leave your dog unattended outside for long. 

It’s a lot but taking care of these little things will help keep your dog safe, and you can enjoy a more stress-free time with your canine friend. 

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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