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Dogs & Puppies : Safety Last Updated: Oct 25th, 2006 - 08:57:26

Making your home puppy proof!
By Chester Duke
Jan 7, 2006, 06:42

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Puppies are super cute and so much fun to have around.  They are filled with energy and curious about everything around them.  It is your job as a responsible pet owner to puppy proof your house to make it safe from them and to protect your belongings.

The first thing you should do when puppy proofing your house is to go room to room on your hands and knees.  Look at the things in your home from your puppy’s perspective.  Think about what is at that level that may be interesting to him.  You may be surprised to find many things that are potentially dangerous that you never even thought of before.

One thing you should be aware of in your household is the location of electrical cords.  Make sure to limit your puppy’s access to these areas.  Puppies can chew through cords and get electrocuted causing serious injury or even death.  Wrap cords up and store them away or lay down rubber or plastic runners that can be purchased at most home supply stores.

Another potentially dangerous thing for puppies is your stairs.  Small puppies have a hard time navigating up and down stairs and could fall down them and injure themselves.  Stairs also lead to areas in your house that may be off limits.  The best way to ensure that your puppy stays away from the stairs is to purchase baby gates, available at most department and pet supply stores.

Just as curious toddlers are, puppies are very curious about what is inside cabinets.  Many people store cleaning supplies and personal care products in cabinets that can be accessible to puppies.  These kinds of 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 to puppies, or purchase plastic cabinet locks that are available at most department and pet supply stores.

Be aware of small objects that are located around the home, on coffee tables and other surfaces that are 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.

Puppies seem to be attracted to shoes and socks.  They love to chew on them.  Not only will this ruin your favorite shoes, if a puppy were to chew on and swallow a shoelace or a sock, it could get wrapped around their intestines causing serious injury or death.  Make sure to store your shoes and socks out of reach of your puppy, and NEVER encourage them to chew on these items, no matter how cute it may be.

Always limit your puppy’s access to the bathroom.  Bathroom garbage is very tempting to chew on.  If your dog were to swallow some dental floss or feminine products, this could be very harmful to them.  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.  The same can be said for the kitchen and kitchen garbage.

Open windows are another potential hazard to your puppy.  Being very curious about the world around them, they 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.  Be mindful of open windows when you are not directly supervising your puppy.

House plants are another concern when it comes to puppies.  Most dogs are very attracted to plants and many household plants are toxic to animals and can cause nausea, vomiting, and in some cases, death.  Always make sure to keep house plants away from your puppy’s reach.

The best way to puppy proof your house is to crate train your puppy right away.  You are providing him with a safe place to go whenever he wants to as well as a place to be safely contained 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.

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