How to Puppy-Proof Your Home
It's a lot easier to puppy-proof your home before your new puppy is underfoot. Regard your home as having the same hazards as you would for a child! There are many things you can do to make your home a puppy-safe one.
IN THE KITCHEN
Open cupboards can contain toxic cleaners. Keep kitchen cupboard doors closed and install childproof catches if the puppy can open them. Store toxic cleaners in high cupboards.
An accessible rubbish bin can contain bad food, bones and plastic wrap that could be swallowed. Place the rubbish bin under the sink or in a cupboard.
An overhanging saucepan handle can be pulled off of a hob. Fit a pan guard.
- Open oven doors can be very hot. Keep puppies out of the kitchen when you're cooking! Alternatively, put them in a dog crate where they can see you but not get under your feet.
Knives and skewers can be licked or swallowed as can plastic bags, wrap and aluminium foil, especially if they taste like the food they were wrapping. Don't leave wrappers or utensils where puppies can reach them.
Plastic canisters can form a deadly airtight seal if a puppy gets his head stuck inside.
IN THE DINING ROOM
A swinging door can swing shut on a tail, or worse, their neck. Remove the door or prop them open.
A hanging tablecloth can easily be pulled down, along with what's on it! Keep your new puppy out of the room when you are eating.
IN THE LOUNGE
A fireplace without a secure firescreen is a real danger to a puppy. Fit a fireguard.
Uncovered electrical outlets should be covered with child safety covers to avoid shocks if licked.
Electric wires should be securely hidden or protected. Puppies like to chew!
An unattached bookcase could fall on top of a puppy.
Sewing or knitting baskets can contain pins and thread, both of which can cause serious problems if swallowed. Craft kits can contain glue, beads, strings and other objects that are dangerous if swallowed.
Place all of these out of reach
Keep sweets such as chocolate out of reach. Human chocolate is toxic to dogs.
Small puppies may not be ready to negotiate steps of an open stairway. Fit a baby gate in front of the stairs.
Don't let the puppy play unsupervised! A playpen or exercise pen is a good place to keep him when you're distracted.
IN THE BEDROOM
Puppies love to chew and toys can be destroyed and some parts can be dangerous if swallowed. Keep toys tidied up or place a baby gate in front of children's rooms.
Coins, such as coppers, are dangerous if swallowed because they contain zinc and can cause zinc poisoning.
Open cupboards are attractive to puppies! Don't blame the puppy if he chews your shoes! Keep doors closed.
Nappy bucket. If swallowed, nappy material can cause impactions or bowel obstructions. Place them out of reach.
Blinds with long cords can choke a puppy if the puppy catches his head in them or chews them. Hang the cord out of reach.
IN THE BATHROOM
Puppies can chew through childproof caps on pills and potions and can overdose on normally safe medications and react adversely to some human medications, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, even in small doses.
Toiletries such as toothpaste, razors, hair colouring, suntan lotions, deodorants and aftershave must all be kept out of reach.
Bathroom cleaners can be deadly if swallowed and can cause severe irritation on contact. Bleach can be blinding or fatal.
Close the bathroom door and keep everything out of reach in medicine cabinets or cupboards.
IN THE GARAGE
Put very simply, keep the puppy out of the garage!
Just one lick of antifreeze containing ethylene glycol can kill. Propylene glycol is less toxic. With either, clean up any spills.
Petrol, diesel, oil, kerosene, brake fluid, carburettor cleaner, windscreen cleaner, paints, paint thinners, acetone, mineral spirits, wood stain, furniture polish, used oil, batteries, glue.
All of these can irritate the skin and will be toxic if swallowed.
Keep your tools secure.
Puppies may fall asleep under a parked car and not move when it starts.
Always be aware of where your puppy is when you open and close your garage door.
Nails, tacks, and screws may be deadly if swallowed and painful for soft paws to tread on.
Herbicides, rodent poisons and slug bait may be enticing to eat but deadly if swallowed.
Fertilisers may also be deadly if swallowed.
IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Decking, balconies and upper level open windows may have open sides that a puppy can fall from. Use a barrier such as chicken wire or keep them off balconies altogether.
Unsealed decking wood: Pressure treated wood contains arsenic and if not sealed regularly it can leach out and be toxic, especially if licked.
Open doors can allow your puppy to escape and may also be caught by the wind and slam on the puppy. Use a door stop or keep doors closed.
Running into a glass door can cause neck injuries and worse!
Weak fencing means that every time the puppy finds a way out it teaches him to keep on trying harder next time. Keep your fencing in good order.
Cocoa mulch has a chocolate taste but contains toxic theobromine.
Swallowed nuts from nut trees may need to be surgically removed.
Pointed twigs or sticks at eye level can poke a running puppy in the eye.
Learn what poisonous plants are in your garden and keep the puppy away. Remove them or fence them off. Keep your puppy off of freshly treated lawns.
Remember, if a toddler could get into it, it's child's play for a puppy!
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