Just like preparing for a new baby in the family, it is important to puppy proof your home. If this is your first puppy, I will tell you – they are like toddlers. If they see it, they will get into it. And they are pretty keen on waiting to make sure you walk out of the room before getting into something! That being said, we don’t want something terrible to happen to the little nugget (or your property), so we decided to get some helpful information together to help you with puppy proofing your home.
Puppy Proofing And Danger Awareness
- CORDS: I am putting cords on top of the list, because they are the most overlooked and most dangerous because they are so overlooked. Cords can not only cause electrocution and strangulation, if chewed and swallowed they can cause intestinal obstruction. Intestinal obstructions are a medical emergency and can be fatal without surgery. It is best to crawl on the floor (to match the same eye level as a puppy) to scope out the puppy’s view of the surrounding, and to get an idea of what they will see and what you may overlook. If some cords cannot be put out of a puppy’s reach, it is important to make that area off limits with things like baby gates, play pens or even furniture. If using furniture to conceal cords, make sure it is furniture the puppy cannot get behind or under. I will note, this can also be applied to all cords – such as, but not limited cords on blinds, curtains, and non-electric wiring. I have had at least 3 friends in the last year lose puppies or dogs due to cord chewing, so it is a very common occurrence which is why I have this on top of my puppy proofing list.
- WATER BASINS: Water is extremely dangerous for a puppy. Things like toilets, low sinks, and bathtubs are a drowning hazard. Puppies are top heavy and clumsy. If they fall in a toilet head first (or a low sink or bucket), they cannot gain leverage to get back out. A filled bathtub is dangerous because they cannot gain traction to climb out. They will exhaust themselves trying to do so. If you have a pool or hot tub, it is especially important to keep doors closed, be watchful of your puppy when walking into those rooms. If you own a pool or hot tub, you may also want to go ahead and purchase a life jacket for your puppy to wear if there is a lot of inside/outside traffic in the home.
- HOUSE PLANTS: Your house plants (and outdoor plants) may be toxic to your puppy. Research your plants to see if they are toxic to your puppy. Additionally, switch to fertilizers, pest control, and plant supplements that are pet friendly. Keep all plants up and away from your new puppy when puppy proofing your home.
- SUGAR FREE FOODS AND BEVERAGES: Some human foods, candy, and beverages contain a chemical called Xylitol that can be toxic to your puppy. Symptoms can range from stomach upset to death. The more severe symptoms are seen more in small breeds and puppies. It is especially important to make sure waste cans are in an area the puppy is off limits to. Even if you are being strict with not allowing your puppy to have human food, they can (and will) swipe it from the trash can.
- CHOCOLATE: Chocolate contains a chemical called Theobromine. While it may usually cause stomach upset if ingested by your puppy, large doses can cause tremor, seizures, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, internal bleeding, and even death.
- ONIONS AND GARLIC: While a small bite of onions or garlic (or things containing such) will not harm a puppy. However, a small pan of either will damage red blood cells (red blood cells carry oxygen) which and cause poisoning and possibly death.
- CHEMICALS AND MEDICATIONS: Chemicals are everywhere in the home, even when you are thinking about it. Toilet water may contain a monthly toilet bowl cleaner. Trash cans may contain empty chemical containers. Cabinets (yes they will watch you and learn to open them) may contain pest control, drain cleaner, and other things of that nature. All medicines and vitamins (some vitamins, or a high dose of a normally safe vitamin, are toxic to dogs) should be put up and away. This includes dog medicines and supplements which can become toxic at high doses. This includes products containing nicotine, such as cigarettes and all brands of gum used to quit smoking.