There’s nothing more exciting than picking up your first beagle pup and getting them settled in their new home. However, if you’re totally unprepared for what’s to come, you’ll be pulling your hair out before you’ve even managed to flick the light switch on!
Getting your home ready before your new beagle arrives is a fairly simple process when you know exactly what to look out for. Here are our top tips on How to Beagle-Proof Your Home and Yard for a (fairly) stress-free experience.
What We Wished We Had Known
It’s a little embarrassing to say, but when we got our first beagle, we quickly became wise to the fact that we hadn’t beagle-proofed our house (or cleaned it properly in years!)
Whilst having guests around for dinner one day, our beagle began arooing at something underneath the sideboard, going absolutely berserk and scratching at it like a 72oz steak was being grilled right there.
To appease our pup (and prevent damage to the sideboard) we moved it to see what all the fuss was about.
Low and behold, lay the tiniest fragment of a dog treat, dried and shriveled to a crisp, amongst 2 inches of thick dust and dog fur…for everyone to see!
The moral of the story…
If you don’t beagle-proof your home first, your beagle will eventually do it for you!
Had this happened when we were not at home, we’re pretty sure our beagle would have found a way to go through that sideboard, because her nose was totally compelling her to.
And that’s why we’ve created this handy guide on beagle-proofing your home, to help first-time beagle owners get to grips with their obsessive traits and quirks!
What does Beagle-Proofing Mean?
Beagle-proofing is a slang term used to describe the steps taken by people to prevent their beagles from causing utter chaos and destruction.
It may involve preventing beagles from accessing or escaping certain areas, limiting the likelihood of household items being eaten or destroyed, and generally preparing for life with a potentially destructive little chew-monster!
5 Reasons You Should Beagle-Proof Your Home
Beagles are unlike most other dog breeds. Particularly when they are young (and without proper training) they can be quite mischievous and cause a fair amount of destruction. Here are a few reasons why you need to beagle-proof your home:
1. Breed Type
Beagles have an incredibly strong sense of smell and are a hunting breed with a constant desire to seek out food and prey using their noses.
As they are highly inquisitive dogs, they will put anything in their mouths to figure out what it’s all about – just like babies.
The difference here though, is that beagles have strong teeth. Toddlers do not!
2. Keen Escape Artists
Driven by their desire to constantly fill their bellies, beagles can and will try to run off or escape at any opportunity to seek and forage food.
The smell of other animals can also over-power their other senses, causing them to take off without looking back.
READ: No.1 Training Course for Dogs That Love to Escape!
3. Their Safety
Beagle-proofing your home for their safety is the number one priority.
Due to their tendencies to get into trouble, beagles can cause themselves harm by ingesting things they are not supposed to, leading to a variety of health issues.
Older beagles are generally wise to eating hazardous substances, but puppy beagles are still yet to learn which items are best avoided.
As they are classed as aggressive chewers, beagles are capable of biting off large chunks or pieces of material and swallowing them whole, leading to a potential choking hazard or blockage in their intestines.
They may also cause themselves injury by frantically trying to escape from small areas they have got caught in.
4. To Protect Your Home
Taking the right steps to beagle-proof your home and protect your goods from damage is another top priority for all beagle owners.
Just as we would prepare the home for the arrival of a baby, taking a few extra steps to get your home ready for a new beagle will take a lot of stress out of caring for your pup – not to mention saving you thousands in potential damage!
5. To Prevent Burn-Out
One of the top reasons beagles are given up for adoption is due to unruly behavior, many of which can be curbed when they are raised in a suitable environment that has been adequately beagle-proofed.
Although your dog’s health is the number one priority when beagle-proofing your home, taking extra steps to prevent destructive behavior will help bucket loads in ensuring that your relationship with them thrives, and your mental health remains in good shape!
What are ‘High-Value’ Items in the Home?
Basically, anything that your beagle is not supposed to have – can be classed as a high-value item!
Often, they can be seen parading around with forbidden items wedged between their jowls, or demolishing that tissue that fell out of your pocket on the way through the kitchen.
Human possessions are extremely high-value rewards for beagles, and they will find things you never thought possible, thanks to that super-sonic nose.
Examples of common high-value items around the home:
- Food (of any kind, fresh or moldy!)
- Trash Can
- Loose carpets/rugs
- Toilet paper
- Kids Toys
13 Ways to Beagle Proof Your Home and Yard
Beagle-proofing your home shouldn’t be a difficult task, it just requires some thoughtful planning.
You have to get into the mindset of a mischievous little pup who is going to want to explore every inch of your home…and you’ll no doubt be absolutely astonished at what they will find!
Until they have fully adjusted to every inch of your home, they will continue to sniff out and explore every corner.
Here’s what to consider:
1. Don’t Leave Food Lying Around!
This is the number one rule when preparing your home for a new beagle! Beagles are total thieves, and will happily steal food no matter what the consequences may be.
Until they have matured and learned a few house rules, keep all food locked away and out of reach.
Secure dog food in an Airtight Dog Food Vault and ideally place this within a cupboard as a double barrier to prevent your beagle from being able to constantly sniff it out.
This is also one of our top tips for preventing hunger-related drooling in beagles!
2. Access at Their Level
The first place to start would be to get down to their level and have a good look at everything that could become a potential target.
Newspapers, shoes, items on the coffee table, kid’s toys under the couch.
Everything that they shouldn’t have access to should be stashed away and out of reach.
3. Areas You Cannot See (But They Can Smell)
As we mentioned, our first beagle went absolutely berserk at a tiny treat that had rolled under our sideboard some time ago.
They will react in exactly the same way whenever they can smell a treat or toy that’s in an area they cannot reach, often barking or arooing until they have got what they want.
Pull out couches, drawers, sideboards, and anything else that has a small gap underneath, and give it a good clean.
Trust us, you don’t want to skip this step if you value your furniture!
4. Hazardous Items and Substances
Anything that is likely to make your beagle sick or cause injury should be removed and well away from them. Cleaning products should be placed on higher shelves and completely out of reach.
Any plants that are potentially poisonous to dogs should be removed from the ground and placed on high shelves, or better yet – removed altogether.
What may seem like tough or durable items (and of no interest to dogs) can still be destroyed and ingested in large pieces (either intentionally or accidentally) by beagles.
5. Beagle-Proof Trash Can
Did we mention that beagles will do anything for food?
One of the first things you will need to do is ensure that you have a beagle-proof trash can in the home, otherwise, an insecure one will become the source of all entertainment for them!
Choose one that is tall, airtight, and heavy, and ideally place it in the corner of the kitchen to prevent it from being knocked over. These Touchless Trash Cans work a treat for beagles.
6. Wipe Down Surfaces
If you’ve recently prepared or stored food on tables or counters, wipe them down to remove any smell or residue that may be left behind.
This will stop beagles from jumping up at the table or scratching at the counter to see if there’s any treasure left to be had!
7. Remove Temptations
Things that would ordinarily be of no interest to other dogs can be a huge temptation for beagles!
Dangling cables or a fraying edge on the carpet or rug can be enough to get their devious juices flowing.
Batten down or hide cables, and tidy up any loose items on fixtures or fittings around the home.
8. Install Child Gates
A free-roaming beagle in a new environment is more than likely to get up to no good.
Containing them to a smaller area until they have matured is generally the best way to keep them out of trouble.
Child Gates can effectively be used to block off access at the stairs or other areas in the home, and is one of our must-have items for every beagle owner.
9. Close Doors Behind You
Everyone in the household should get into the habit of closing doors behind them to prevent access to restricted rooms.
This alone will prevent a lot of potential destruction when you cannot keep an eye on them at all times, such as drinking out of the toilet or destroying your entire supply of toilet paper!
Note: Generally, most beagles will not be able to figure out how to use a door handle, so play it by ear and see how you go before considering Dog-Proof Locks.
10. Prevent Escape
Whilst your beagle is still becoming familiar with your home, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve covered all means of escape. This includes open windows and doors that they can reach, or gaps in areas they could get stuck behind.
Installing shutters on the windows can be expensive, but it does allow you to keep them open whilst still preventing your beagle from escaping. Plus, beagles do love to have a good nose out of an open window at passers-by!
11. Secure the Yard
If there is anything that definitely needs good beagle-proofing, it’s your yard!
Letting your new beagle roam free in a garden or yard will rarely end well. We guarantee you, it won’t be long before they’ve taken off elsewhere to explore other things they think they are missing out on!
Beagle-proofing the yard involves having a fully-fenced perimeter, ideally, one that is at least six feet high that they cannot dig under, and is in good repair.
Chicken wire should be avoided, as beagles are incredibly tenacious and they could end up getting their paws or teeth stuck in them whilst trying to escape, and it actually makes life easier for them if they have a tendency to climb!
Remove objects near the fence that could be used to gain elevation and subsequently assist in them jumping over and escaping.
12. Pick Up Poop
Beagles are likely to eat their own and other dogs’ feces for a variety of reasons specific to their breed. Picking up poop right away is a must if you want to prevent your beagle from taking advantage of this tasty ‘snack.’
Use a secure dog poop trash can that they cannot knock over or access, and keep an eye on your beagle when they’re outside straight after mealtimes.
Here’s some great information on How to Stop Beagles from Eating Poop.
13. Remove Yard Dangers
It goes without saying, that hazards such as swimming pools, sharp protruding objects, garden tools, and other items should be secured to prevent a curious beagle from getting themselves into trouble.
Dangerous plants for dogs should be entirely removed and is an important step in beagle-proofing your yard or garden.
4 Bonus Tips on Beagle-Proofing Your Home
1. Permissible Destruction
It’s incredibly challenging to stop beagles altogether from pursuing their destructive habits, it is, after all, their natural instinct.
What you can do, is restrict their destructive behaviors to items that they are allowed to destroy, such as dog toys and chews.
This gives them a suitable outlet to release frustration and also keeps them busy whilst providing mental stimulation and exercise.
We’ve put together this list of the 15 Best Long-Lasting Chews for Beagles which they are bound to love. You may also want to consider some of these Dog Training Tools that can help curb destructive behavior.
Important: Do not let your beagles chew on personal items such as old shoes or magazines you were intending to throw out. This will only reinforce to them that these are acceptable items to destroy in the future.
2. Foresee Things That Could Go Wrong
Giving your beagle a Treat Dispenser is a great way of keeping them entertained in the home. However, if they’re not supervised and a treat rolls under the couch, there is a good chance you may have to buy a new one (a couch that is!)
This happened to us many moons ago when our first beagle literally chewed through the side of the couch to get a measly treat. True story.
After this happened, we always tried our best to foresee things that could go wrong in the home with a crazy little beagle around! And that’s why it’s also incredibly important to have adequate insurance in place for your hound.
3. Limit Indoor Zoomies!
Not every beagle will run around the home like a nutter when they want to release some excess energy. However, on occasions when they do, they can cause havoc (normally on a full moon for us!)
In our home, this usually takes place in the form of jumping from couch to couch when no one is sitting on them, creating a muddy mess if they’re coming from outside.
We simply place chairs on top of our couches when they are not in use, which totally stops the urge for indoor zoomies. It may not work for everyone, but it has worked a treat for us over the years – with several beagles in tow!
4. Crate Training
If you’re picking up a new beagle puppy, then it’s highly recommended they are crate trained from day one, which is a great way of beagle-proofing your home when you are not there to supervise.
Not only does this help with potty training, but it also provides much-needed guidance on boundaries within the home until they have earned your trust.
When crate training is delivered consistently and appropriately, it can greatly help towards reducing separation anxiety in beagles, leading to less anxiety-induced destruction.
For further information see:
Wrapping Up Ways To Beagle-Proof Your Home and Yard
Beagle-proofing your home and yard is a simple concept once you understand how their curious minds work.
They are uncontrollably driven by their strong sense of smell and hunting instincts, which can get beagles into trouble when suitable measures are not put into place.
Although it may seem like a getting new beagle is more hassle than it’s worth, there’s one thing we can promise you. They’ll give you plenty of funny stories to tell around the dinner table for years to come…
It’s also worth reading our post on the specific reasons on why you should insure your beagle, as their mischievous antics can lead to costly accidents!