Puppy-Proofing Your Home; Deciding to bring a new puppy into your life can require quite a few lifestyle changes. Puppies require a lot of responsibility, time, energy and especially supervision. Puppies are incredibly curious and have the tendency to get into everything as they explore. It is important to make sure your puppy isn’t harmed by what’s in your home by taking the time to properly puppy-proof your new dog’s living environment. Prepare your home before you even bring your new puppy there to ensure you and your pooch don’t end up making an expensive trip to a vet because of a hazard he or she encountered.
When your puppy reaches maturity and have been taught obedience skills, you can be more lax about keeping your home dog-friendly because your dog will know what is acceptable and unacceptable to explore or eat. Make sure you are vigilant during your dog’s first stages of life because you would be surprised about what hazards they can easily find.
There are a lot of hazards in the bathroom that your inquisitive puppy could possibly encounter. Before you bring him or her home, use child-proof locks on cabinets that contain any threats like cleaning chemicals, cotton balls, razors, soaps and medicines. Make sure you keep the toilet seat closed to prevent a small pup from falling in and drowning, and to prevent any chemicals that are used to clean the toilet from being ingested. It is also a good idea to use trash cans with covers so an exploring puppy doesn’t dig through it and encounter any life-threatening objects you’ve thrown away. Discuss with your family the importance of cleaning up after themselves and any messes they make to avoid a trip to see a veterinarian.
Any object that smells like you is incredibly appealing for your curious pup which puts your clothes, shoes and accessories at risk for being destroyed or ingested. Prevent your puppy from ruining your clothes and shoes by keeping everything off the floor and locked away in a closet or up high and out of reach on a shelf. Make sure things that are small and easily digested like coins, hair accessories and jewelry are properly secured and stored. Electrical cords for your TV and electronics can also be hazardous so secure them out of sight or with an electrical cord cover.
Garage and Yard
There are probably more things in your garage and yard that are hazardous to your pooch then things that are safe, which is why you must be diligent in removing any dangerous items from theses areas and making them secure and safe places for your four-legged friend to explore. In the garage keep products and chemicals like insecticides, pesticides, antifreeze, paint, and gasoline on high shelves or locked away in cabinets that can’t be pried open. Even just a small amount of one of these hazards, especially antifreeze, can be life-threatening or fatal to a small puppy.
When it comes to your yard, make sure you avoid planting any plants that can be toxic or poisonous to a puppy like bird-of-paradise and morning glory. Also if you have a fenced in yard and plan on letting your pup explore it, make sure there are no places for him or her to escape from. It may also be a good idea to cover or fence off your swimming pool, Jacuzzi, pond or lake to prevent your puppy from falling in and drowning.
Your puppy could end up spending a lot of time in the kitchen- whether he or she is attracted to all the smells and food or just following you around. It is a good idea to use child-proof locks on the cabinets or pantry your pup could have access to in order to prevent any illnesses that can be caused by people food. There are certain foods, like raisins or garlic, that can be extremely toxic to a small puppy. For this reason, it is also a good idea to have a garbage can with a lid so your pooch doesn’t help himself or herself to any of the scraps you’ve thrown away.
Make sure that the hazards that can await your puppy in your family’s living areas are properly addresses before you bring your new dog home. Fireplaces should be secured and puppies should never be allowed near the open flame of a candle. Make sure the cords used for blinds are out of your puppy’s reach to avoid strangulation and make sure all electrical cords are secured to prevent electrocution. If there are stairs in your living areas, or other places throughout your home, use a gate to block them off until you’re sure your puppy is confident enough and able to maneuver the stairs without injury. Lastly, certain furniture can also pose a threat to your puppy. He or she could get hurt underneath a rocking chair or may hide underneath a open recliner or sofa bed.