Many people compare owning a puppy to having a human toddler and they aren’t far wrong. While they may be adorable, affectionate and a great deal of fun, they also have bundles of energy and a natural curiosity with no awareness of danger that means that they often put themselves in harmful situations with no concept of the risks that they face. While many owners realize that the big wide world is full of hazards for their precious pup, far fewer have recognized the risks posed by their own home until it is too late and their furbaby has been hurt.
If you are planning on becoming a puppy parent, preparing your property should be one of your first priorities. To do this you need to assess your home critically in the same way that you would for a small human! Here are our 5 top tips for puppy-proofing your home ahead of your furry friend’s arrival.
1. Keeping your puppy contained
While your furbaby is still a puppy, you may want to limit the rooms that he has access too. This is because pups tend to leave a trail of destruction in their wake while they are still learning. This includes toilet training as well as learning and understanding the rules of their behavior – for example, that chewing furniture is not acceptable! Doing so will also ensure that your pooch doesn’t have access to areas that might not yet have been made safe for him. There are various ways of keeping your puppy contained, from using crates and baby gates to remembering to close doors to various rooms.
2. Remove/tidy away the hazards from inside your home
The list of potential dangers to you puppy that can be found inside your home can be extensive. Nevertheless, you should do everything that you can to ensure that as many of these hazards are possible are removed to help keep your puppy safe:
- Exposed electrical wires which may look tempting to chew.
- Dangling cords for blinds and drapes, which can be a strangulation risk.
- Chemicals and cleaning products should be locked away.
- All human medications should be out of reach. Don’t forget any which are in bags and purses within reach.
- All small toys and general clutters. Puppies cannot help but chew so make sure you pet anything away that could pose a choking risk such as socks, paperclips, rubber bands, hair ties, coins, jewelry and pens.
You will also need to consider limiting access to rooms that could be dangerous to your puppy, such as the bathroom. A full bath or sink, or even an open toilet could pose a drowning risk to a small puppy so make sure your furbaby can’t access any bathrooms you have.
3. Know your toxic foods
While many of enjoy sharing our favorite foods with our pets, some of what you are giving him could be causing him more harm than good. There are lots of different humans that are unsuitable for dogs including:
- Candy and products containing xylitol
- Onions and garlic
- Grapes and raisins
- Anything containing caffeine
- Uncooked or undercooked meat
Do your research about what human foods are safe for your puppy to consume, and if you aren’t sure about something, check with your veterinarian before sharing it. Any foods that are potentially hazardous to your pet should be kept well out of reach. Similarly, make sure your garbage is inaccessible to your pup’s curious nose and paws!
4. Check the safety and security of your yard
There may be just as many hazards in your back yard as there are inside your home. Many types of plant are highly toxic to animals, including very popular varieties such as Azaleas, Daffodils, Tulips and Sago Palms. Some herbs have also shown to be poisonous if consumed by your pup including Pennyroyal, Comfrey, Tarragon, Wormwood and Yucca.
As well as checking for poisonous plants and flowers, you should also assess the security of yard in terms of potential escape routes for your pup. In addition to preventing access under fence/walls, you should make sure that there are no ways over the top such as compost bins or tables pushed up against them. Ensure that gates close properly and that people in your home know the importance of securing them. If you have a pond, pool or hot tub, make sure that this is covered or fenced off so that your four-legged friend can’t fall in and drown.
5. Register with a vet
Not only can your vet give you valuable advice and support when it comes to puppy-proofing your home, but by registering with your vet you can also be sure that you have a professional that can get your puppy the medical attention that he needs in the event that he does still become injured or poisoned. Accidents and injuries still happen, even to pets of the most conscientious owners. Being prepared can make all the difference to the outcome for your pet.
If you would like further information on the best way to puppy proof your home, please contact our vets in Cleveland TN at 423-763-1638 today.