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Prairie Dog Proofing Ideas

By Gena Seaberg, Ph.D. © 2012 All Rights Reserved

Below are recommendations to keep your prairie dog(s) safe in a captive setting. It is strongly encouraged that you take time in advance to prepare each room of your home where you intend to allow your prairie dog to explore to make it safe for your pet. It is recommended that you crawl around the room for best results, observing the room from the prairie dog’s perspective and not from a standing position, as you will miss many safety points if you don’t observe the room from their vantage point. Please let us know if you have other recommendations, and we’ll surely add them.

Corner guards help keep your walls from being damaged.

prairie dog proofing corner tile kicker plate cord wrap

Kicker plates

*Note* Place the kicker plate closer to the bottom edge of the door, which helps prevent damage by gnawing and their construction behaviors.

Another kicker plate option

Be mindful of the note above about placement at the bottom edge of the door.

Cord wrap options that are more permanent along baseboards help prevent electrical burns or electrocution if your prairie dog chews on wires or cables.

Prairie Dog Protection Wiring cord wrap protection
                                                                        Another cord wrap option that can sit on your floor.
Prairie Dog Protection Wiring cord wrap protection

Some wire covers can mount to the wall and be painted the colors of your walls. These are most often used with those that use flat-screen televisions.

Prairie Dog Protection Wiring cord wrap protection

Some choose to use plain PVC pipe as cord/wire wrap, which is a less expensive option overall.

PVC for tunnels and wiring protection

PVC is also helpful to use in wider diameters when modifying cage ramps. If you are using PVC for ramps in a cage, they can be permeated with urine and may need to be replaced for health and safety purposes over time and wear.

See caging/enclosure information for more details on this topic.

Prairie Dog Proofing Walls

Typically, tile wainscoting is used in bathrooms, but you can design beautiful patterns in other areas of your home that keep chewing on your walls to a minimum.

Different tile types, sizes, and styles can be used, or even metal ceiling tiles like the one below.

Prairie Dog Proofing Walls

Plastic office chair mats can be cut and modified to seal up the underside of your couch or other furniture to keep them from climbing inside by using some screws and a screw gun or an industrial-style staple gun. They can also be used to prevent your prairie dog from digging carpet by placing sections under your furniture when they get under something and are out of arm’s reach digging.

Prairie Dog Mat Under Cages for Quick Cleaning and to Protect Carpet

Some people have great success using a playpen that sits on top of sections of office mats as shown above to prevent carpet digging and chewing.

Note that you’ll want a playpen that is at least 48+ inches high to prevent them from easily jumping out. You also want to make sure the bars are vertical or constructed so that they can’t climb them to get out or fall from the top.

Prairie Dog Play Pen Add Plexiglass

Some people create fantastic playpens or reinforce metal ones using…

Plexiglas to reinforce for cage bar chewing and to reinforce playpen for prevention of climbing

Plexiglass. Plexiglass is also useful in helping prevent cage bar chewing IF SAFELY AND SECURELY INSTALLED assuring adequate ventilation while preventing humidity and mold, which can be deadly to a prairie dog. Contact us for more guidance on best installation practices.

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