Before you bring home your new puppy, look at your house through a dog’s eyes. If you’ve ever had a baby, puppy-proofing is similar to baby-proofing your home. Objects that may look uninteresting to you may enthrall your new furry pal, and if they aren’t nailed down, they likely will end up in your pup’s mouth. Since puppies are not discerning about chew toys, they can quickly end up in danger, especially in the kitchen or playroom. Let’s go room by room looking for the most common pet hazards, and learn how to best puppy-proof your home.
#1: Kitchen and dining room disasters for your puppy
Your new pup will likely follow their nose to the delicious aromas wafting from your kitchen and dining room and try to snag a bite of anything they can reach. However, a puppy’s gastrointestinal tract is sensitive, and many “people foods” can upset their stomach, with some downright deadly. If your puppy follows you into the kitchen or dining room, ensure the following foods are kept well out of reach:
- Macadamia nuts
- Garlic, onions, leeks, and chives
- Grapes and raisins
- Unbaked yeast dough
- Fatty foods
Although resisting your puppy’s begging eyes can be tough, refrain from feeding them table scraps, since many foods can be harmful. Some foods can cause toxicity, some can lead to pancreatitis, and others, such as chicken and steak bones, can create gastrointestinal obstructions. All these conditions can rapidly become life-threatening, so stick to puppy food for your furry pal.
#2: Living room casualties for your puppy
Your living room is likely full of electronic devices, and those cords that plug them in can be too tempting for your puppy to resist. Purchase cord covers to hide these electrifying chew toys, or run them under rugs or behind furniture. Unplug phone, laptop, and tablet chargers when not in use, and place them out of your puppy’s reach. Don’t let your living room be a catch-all for shoes, jackets, backpacks, purses, and other items—designate a closet for these tempting objects. By picking things up off the floor, the furniture, and low coffee tables, your kids won’t be able to use the excuse that their puppy ate their homework.
#3: Playroom problems for your puppy
Kids and puppies go together better than peanut butter and jelly, and your pup will naturally follow your kids around as they play. However, children are notorious for dropping items—especially food—or not picking up their belongings, which can create a treasure trove of disaster for a puppy. To minimize the risk of your puppy chewing, choking on, or swallowing a small toy, barricade the playroom with a baby gate in the doorway that blocks your pup’s access to the room but still allows them to keep a close eye on your children. Also, keep the door shut when the room is empty.
#4: Bedroom catastrophes for your puppy
The bedroom typically has the fewest hazards and may be the safest place for your puppy. However, many people have phone chargers or lamps by their bed, and the power cords can prove irresistible. Your bed can also be a health hazard for your puppy. Snuggling your puppy each night while you sleep may seem like a great idea, but they can wake up and fall off the bed, which can be a huge distance to a tiny puppy. Avoid broken bones or soft-tissue injuries by teaching your puppy to sleep happily, quietly, and safely in their crate.
#5: Bathroom calamities for your puppy
The bathroom is a dangerous place for an inquisitive puppy if chemicals and medications aren’t locked up tightly. Bathroom cleaning products often contain bleach, which is incredibly caustic and can cause toxicity. Household cleaners can be equally dangerous for pets as the products found in the medicine cabinet. Over-the-counter and prescription medications may seem safely out of reach in a cabinet, but pills often fall on the floor, where a puppy sniffs them out. Keep all products tightly secured in the bathroom, and always look for—and find—any missing pills to keep your puppy safe.
Congratulations on your new puppy! We hope your new furry pal can stay out of trouble, but if your puppy finds their way into mischief, our WesVet Animal Hospital team is standing by. Whether your new pup needs routine vaccines, or treatment for a misadventure, our team is here for you—give us a call.