Puppy Proofing Your Home
Deciding to bring home a furry new family member should be considered just as seriously as having a new baby of the hairless variety. Puppies are fun, adorable and endlessly amusing, but they can also be loud, messy and mischievous. Plan ahead by teaching everyone in your household what is expected of them when your new pet arrives. From a dog’s eye view there are “goodies” and “toys” to explore in every room, many of which pose health risks to a curious pup.
The Living/Family Room:
This is where we do most of our, well, living. Areas where we congregate tend to collect most of our human debris. Loose change, junk food scraps, and electronic equipment scattered on the floor and between couch cushions could cause intestinal blockages and potentially serious illness. Instruct each family member to pick up their belongings and secure them safely out of puppy’s reach.
Aside from the obvious food temptations, the kitchen poses several other threats to your puppy’s well being. The soaps, detergents and cleansers that most of us keep below our sinks can be fatal if swallowed. Secure all cabinets within your pup’s reach with safety latches found at hardware and baby stores. Make sure the trash is unreachable as well- chicken bones, coffee grounds and chemicals in your trash can harm your pup. Besides, eating trash is just plain gross! I created a short list of dog proof trash cans that you may like to read.
This spot is a virtual cornucopia of mischief for a puppy. Cotton swabs, hair ties, razors, and bath poufs seem like great toys to a bored pup, but can cause big trouble if swallowed. Any of these products could cause a harmful blockage that requires life saving surgery. I once assisted in a surgery to remove a huge blockage of human hair from a very ill Chihuahua. Sweep floors regularly to keep your pet from ingesting hair, dust and debris.
Our canine companions love anything that carries our scent, so make sure your shoes, socks, and other items are secured in a closet or locking hamper. Loose jewelry and change on a bedside table also make easy targets for nosy pups. Many of us charge our laptops, phones and MP3 players in our bedrooms. A chewed cord can cause catastrophic injuries and even death to a puppy. Make sure all electrical cords throughout the entire home are either out of reach or protected with a safety cord cover.
This is probably the most dangerous spot in the home for your pets. Products like antifreeze, weed killer, fertilizer and gasoline pose a variety of risks including burns, organ failure and death. If possible, keep your puppy from entering this area unless supervised. Secure all trash and recycling bins tightly and always remember to check behind your car before backing out.
The mischievous nature of puppies is part of why we love them. However, an unsupervised pup could get into some deadly trouble if exposed to the potential hazards in your home. Caring for your new addition is a responsibility the whole family must share together so you can enjoy the companionship of your dog for years to come.
I started newdogowners.com for one simple reason, to help prepare new dog owners for owning a new puppy. My goal is to help stop the passing around of dogs. The forever home, should be a dog's first home.
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