How to Dog Proof Your Kitchen Space
Trying to keep your dog outside the kitchen, but nothing seems to work? Well, this is natural as dogs are highly food motivated, and any space that provides food will become their favorite spot where they hang out. You can teach them to stay out of the kitchen in several ways. You should also pet-proof the kitchen in case they try to find food there in your absence.
Here are a few tips that will help pet-proof your kitchen space for the safety of the dog.
1. Consider Pet Gates:
Pet gates are not only about restricting the pet forcefully from entering an area, but it helps them understand some boundaries. Depending on your need, you can choose between a permanent or a portable gate. This helps them obey commands easily, and some boundaries always help. We suggest you get a portable gate which is a cost-effective solution as you can restrict your pets in the corridor so that they do not enter the living area if you are entertaining guests who are not comfortable being around pets.
Check the strange of the door, as it is mostly used to restrict small to medium dogs that are calm and have limited energy, like the Boston Bulldog. But if you own a large breed, such as a Labrador Retriever or a Pitbull, then such gates might be useless, and you should focus on training them better.
2. Teach Them Virtual Boundaries:
When you get the puppy home, start training them by creating a virtual boundary near the kitchen door so that they know this is a restricted place that cannot be entered frequently. Teaching them virtual boundaries is tough, especially when the place smells like food, but this takes a lot of practice and patience. Especially when you have an open kitchen plan, then adding a dog gate might not be feasible.
Create a spot outside the kitchen area for the pet and teach them to stay there if they want more treats. Do not feed them inside the kitchen, or else they will never understand the boundary. If they enter the kitchen, encourage them to stay outside and give them treats when they again reach their spot and stay there for a while. This will help them understand that staying at the spot is beneficial for them. Continue this training for a few weeks; your dog will understand to stay out of the kitchen if you do not call it inside.
3. Place a Dog Feeding Station:
Your pet often comes inside the kitchen as it likes to stay close to you. The other reason can be that it is looking for food, which is why you may find the pet next to your feet most of the time while preparing meals. But that is unsafe for the dog and can be hazardous for you as you work in the kitchen. Also, if you feed the dog while cooking, it will soon gain extra pounds and have obesity issues.
A simple solution to this could be setting up a feeding station outside the kitchen, the only location where you feed the dog. This way, the dog learns that this is the spot where it will get food, and hence will wait there rather than waiting next to your feet. Whenever you are inside the kitchen, and the dog waits at the feeding station, you can give them treats there so that they know staying there is beneficial for them.
4. Use Dog-Proof Kitchen Cabinet Locks:
In your absence, if your pet still tends to enter the kitchen in search of food, then it makes sense to secure the cabinets until your dog is well-trained. The spices and other ingredients in the kitchen may be toxic for the dog; hence, it is better to secure the cabinets to avoid any serious consequences. Use pet-proof locks to help secure the cabinets so your pet cannot access them.
5. Keep Food Out of Reach:
Securing kitchen cabinets is not enough, as your dog can reach out for food placed on the counter. When you leave the house, do not keep the food on the counter but place it inside the refrigerator, oven, or cabinet. The food should be out of sight so that your dog does not try to reach out for it.
6. Lock up Garbage and Compost:
Trash is one place where your pet might search for food, too, when you are not looking. Especially if the food you throw in the trash is moldy, it imposes more danger and can be highly toxic for the pet. Some dogs, especially larger breeds, can easily access the garbage bin; hence it should be locked away in the utility area where the dog cannot reach them. You should also lock the compost properly to ensure your dog does not have access to it.
7. Choose Easy-Clean Materials:
The durability of your kitchen depends on the quality of the material you choose. With pets in the house, this becomes more important as the chances of the kitchen getting dirty are high. When you choose the kitchen flooring, go for one which is easier to clean even if your pet soils it. Choose a finish that you can easily wipe clean with a damp cloth and soapy water. If you choose high gloss units, they will tend to show nose smudges, so better to stay clear of this if you have a dog. Picking a tiled floor or one with laminate is wise, as it can be quickly swept and mopped. If you plan on adding a rug, go for a washable one that can be cleaned easily.
The Bottom Line:
Even with pets around, you can maintain a clean home and offer a safe environment for your pet at the same time. The right training and installing pet-proof locks help your kitchen be a dog-proof space.