Puppies have a lot of curiosity and extreme amounts of energy. They love to explore their surroundings and experience new things. Though these characteristics of puppies make them fun, they can also lead the puppy to harm. Prior to bringing a puppy into your home, examine your home for potential hazards and try to eliminate them. To learn more about how to keep your puppy safe, check out some of the following tips.
Making Room for Your Puppy
Before you bring your puppy home, make sure that you have all the supplies you will need, including food, a bed, a leash, collar, and a dog crate. Set up a regular place for your puppy to sleep, and give them easy access to their food and water. Puppies like to chew, so consider purchasing a few safe toys. Put other objects that the puppy may chew out of their reach. Use baby gates to keep your pet out of unsafe areas. You can also use a baby gate to prevent him from going to the bathroom in every room while you are housebreaking.
- Dog Owner's Guide
- Preparing for a New Arrival
- Shopping Checklist for a New Dog
- Preparing for Your New Puppy
- Nutrition for a Growing Puppy (PDF)
- Safe Toys for Pets
- Introducing a New Dog to Your Current Dog
Proofing Your Home
If you have toxic plants in your home, get rid of them or put them in places that the puppy cannot access. The most common toxic houseplants are philodendron, calla lily, azalea, and dieffenbachia (a tropical plant also known as “dumb cane”). Move all bathroom garbage cans so that they are out of the puppy's reach or purchase cans with lids that can’t be easily opened by puppies. Puppies may find sanitary napkins or used razors, both of which are potentially harmful. Put away any medication, including those meant for dogs,. A puppy can chew through a plastic container and eat the pills inside, which is very dangerous. Keep in mind that a puppy will find a way to get things off tables or counters, so make sure your medication is in a locked cabinet or extremely high location.
Keep puppies away from open toilets and filled bathtubs and sinks. Put away any cleaning supplies and never use spray or liquid cleaners when your puppy is nearby. Organize electrical cords and keep them out of your puppy’s eager mouth. You could also consider purchasing cord covers, available at most home improvement stores. To find other potential hazards, get down to your puppy’s eye level and look at your home from a puppy’s point of view. You might see other dangerous objects such as dangling drapery cords, low curtains or blinds, and sharp edges on your coffee table. Take any necessary precautions to remove these items or “puppy proof” them by raising them above your puppy’s reach.
- Puppy Proofing Tips for a Happy Home
- Puppy Proofing Your Home
- Five Common Household Toxins
- Deadly Indoor and Outdoor Plants
- Known Toxic Foods to Dogs
- Puppy Proofing Checklist
Proofing the Yard
A safe, secure yard is the perfect place to play with your puppy and give him the exercise he needs. If your puppy will be going into the yard, make sure that you never leave him outside without supervision. Leaving him on a long lead is not ideal, as he could choke on or slip out of the collar. Build a kennel or install a fence to ensure that they cannot leave your property. When he’s old enough, consider an in-ground or wireless fence to give him even more room to play. Look for outdoor plants that are toxic to animals, including oak, lily of the valley, foxglove, morning glories, and potato plants.
In addition, make sure that your puppy has no access to auto supplies, insecticides, paint, oil, or gasoline, whether these items are stored in a tool shed or garage that’s left open. Take precautions to protect your puppy from drowning hazards, such as ponds, hot tubs, and pools. Simply covering your pool may not be enough; animals can jump on the cover and get tangled in it. The best thing to do is to keep the entire area inaccessible to your puppy with a secure fence or a pet barrier. Perform the same puppy eye level walkthrough of your yard as you did in your home to identify other possible dangers.