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Puppy Proofing Your Home

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As a responsible dog owner, puppy proofing your home is important to make it safe for the puppy and to protect your belongings. Puppies are filled with energy and curious about everything around them!

Go room to room on your hands and knees. Look at the things in your homefrom your puppy’s perspective.

Think about what is at puppy level that your new dog may find interesting. You may be surprised to find many potentially dangerous things that you never thought of before.

When puppy proofing your home, be aware of the following things:

    • Electrical cords. Limit your puppy’s access to them. Puppies can chew through cords and get electrocuted. Wrap up cords and store them away or lay down rubber or plastic runners that can be purchased at most home supply stores.
    • Stairs. Because small puppies have a hard time going up and down stairs, they could fall down the stairs and injure themselves. The best way to ensure that your puppy stays away from the stairs is to use a baby gate, available at most department and pet supply stores.
    • Cabinets. Puppies are curious about what is inside cabinets, where many people store cleaning supplies and personal care products. These products contain harmful ingredients that can injure or kill your puppy. Make sure to either store these products in cabinets that are out of reach of puppies, or purchase plastic cabinet locks that are available at most department and pet supply stores.
    • Small objects. Be aware of small objects located around the home, on coffee tables and other surfaces accessible to your puppy. Just as with small children, puppies can choke on items like coins, needles, jewelry, and small toys. Make sure to keep these kinds of items out of your puppy’s reach.
    • Shoes and socks. Puppies love to chew on them. Not only does this ruin your favorite shoes, if a puppy were to chew on and swallow a shoelace or a sock, it could get wrapped around the intestines causing serious injury or death. Make sure to store your shoes and socks out of reach of your puppy.
    • Bathroom. Always limit your puppy’s access to the bathroom. Bathroom garbage is tempting to chew on. If your dog were to swallow some dental floss or feminine products, this could be very harmful. (The same can be said for the kitchen and kitchen garbage.) Puppies also are curious about toilets. Small pups could fall in an open toilet and drown. Make sure to keep your bathroom door shut at all times, or install a baby gate at the entrance to your bathroom.
    • Open windows. Puppies are curious about the world around them and could easily fall out of a window, causing serious harm or death. On the ground floor, they could exit out of the window and get lost or run into the street.
  • Houseplants. Most dogs are attracted to plants. Many household plants are toxic to animals and can cause nausea, vomiting, and in some cases, death. Always make sure to keep plants out of your puppy’s reach.

The best way of puppy proofing your home is to crate train your puppy right away. You are providing him with a safe place to go whenever he wants to and a place to be safely kept when you are not able to directly supervise him. If you need more information about puppy proofing your home, consult your veterinarian or pet professional.

For further information, check out Beyond Puppy Proofing Your Home:The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog!.

Updated: November 11, 2012 — 1:44 am

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