Dachshunds are one of the most recognizable dog breeds, and they’re beloved for their unique body shape and loyal personalities. If you’re considering bringing one of these small dogs home, here are five ways to ensure your house is safe for your new pet.
1. Are Stairs Dangerous for Your Puppy?
The dachshund’s body proportions make stairs a little more difficult to navigate, and they can be prone to falls. It’s best to block off large staircases in your house with baby gates — at least until you can teach your dog to navigate them safely, but possibly even forever. Smaller stairs, such as those off the back porch, can be fixed up easily with a homemade ramp on the side that lets your puppy run down instead of trying the stairs or possibly even jumping, which can lead to injuries.
2. Getting Down to Your Dogs Level
Small dogs have a whole different perspective on the world, and they can often get themselves into tight spots (literally) that you don’t even realize are there. Before you bring your puppy home, get down on their level and go through your house looking for hazards such as furniture they could get stuck under or cords they could chew through. Don’t forget to think about tabletops as well. Dachshunds are short but long, which means if they can get up on their hind legs, they may be able to reach knickknacks or papers you have on tables or bookcases.
3. Get a Dachshund Dog Ramp
If you’re going to allow your puppy on the furniture or in your bed, you’ll need to make it easy to access with ramps. Dog ramps are widely available at pet stores, but you can also make your own fairly cheaply and easily with some sheets of plywood and a 2×4. Set up ramps anywhere your dog can’t easily walk up to. Dachshunds aren’t aware of their short legs and long body and will try to jump, body proportions not considered, so start ramp training when they first come home and be consistent so they learn always go up the ramp and never jump.
4. Give Your Pet an Appropriate Place to Dig
While you can try to teach these dogs that digging is off limits, it’s built into their DNA. You’ll probably have better success giving them appropriate areas and materials to dig and scratch on than trying to stem the activity entirely. For outside, you can set up a kiddie pool filled with sand where you can hide treats or toys so they can dig for treasure. Extra carpet squares — which you can often pick up for free or very cheap at carpet stores — can give them a safe scratching space inside so they don’t tear up furniture.
5. Puppy-proofing Your Home
Small dogs can do a lot of damage if you don’t puppy-proof and aren’t supervising. Even with a little dog like a dachshund, you’ll still have to keep items like shoes and books put up to avoid them getting chewed on or destroyed — especially during those first puppy months. When your puppy gets older and past the initial destruction phase, you’ll be able to train them to leave your things alone.