Puppy Proofing Your Home

Harlequin DaneYour Great Dane puppy is coming home soon and you are so excited! You have already purchased chew toys and puppy food, a lovely new collar and even engraved her name on a bone-shaped dog tag. You can not wait to bring that little bundle of joy home!

Bringing a new puppy home can be super exciting for you and your family, but before you let your new family member loose in your home it is important to ensure that the environment is safe.

Puppies are naturally curious and they will want to familiarize themselves with every inch of their new home. It is our job as puppy parents to ensure there are no hidden dangers lurking around the corner. Toward that end, we have put together a list of ten things to keep in mind when puppy proofing your home.

1) House Plants

While most house plants are perfectly safe for your new puppy, there are some common house plants that can pose a serious threat. Sago Palm, Desert Rose, Oleander, Azalea, many varieties of Lily, and even common Aloe plants can be toxic to your new puppy. If you have houseplants, it pays to review this list of toxic plants and keep them out of your pet’s reach.

2) Human Foods

There are many human foods that are poisonous to our four-legged family members and some of them might surprise you. Common people foods like¬† chocolate, garlic, macadamia, pecan, grapes, and anything that contains the artificial sweetener Xylitol can all cause serious complications for your pet. Be sure that people foods are stored well out of your new puppiy’s reach.

HINT: Your trash can likely contains food scraps that are very enticing to your pet. Be sure your trash is secure and out of paws reach.

3) Electrical Cords

Some puppies like to chew and those that do are often not very discerning when deciding what to chew.¬†Electrocution from chewing on an electrical cord is the single most common type of electrical injury for household pets. It is important to ensure that your electrical cords are kept out of your puppy’s reach.

4) Air Fresheners and Potpourri

Many aerosol and plug-in air fresheners contain¬†Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). These compounds can be poisonous for your pet. Some of the essential oils commonly used in potpourri are toxic for your pet as well. It is best to keep these items well out of Fido’s reach.

5) Common Household Chemicals

The chemicals used in common household items like bleach and window cleaner can pose a serious threat to your pets’ health. Even the fumes from some of these cleaners can cause distress for your pet. Disposable toilet bowl cleaning pads are a common poisonous agent because they are often thrown away in easy to reach bathroom trash cans. Make sure all of your cleaning products are safely stored out of your pet’s reach.

6) Medications

It is not uncommon for us humans to have a variety of over the counter and prescription medications in the house. Leaving these items within easy reach of your new puppy is a definite no-no! Even common painkillers like aspirin and acetaminophen can cause serious health problems and even death. Keep all medication safely put away.

7) Nicotine

The nicotine in tobacco products, vape pens, and smoking cessation aids is straight-up poison for your puppy. While we humans might like to have these items within easy reach, allowing your pet access is simply irresponsible.

8) Pest Control Products

Nearly every pest control product on the market is dangerous for your pet. Ant bait, rat poisons, mouse traps, etc. are all serious hazards where your puppy is concerned. Keep these items locked away when not in use and never allow your pet to access areas where these products are being used.

9) Garages

Your garage might be the most dangerous place in your home. This is where we store paints and solvents, pesticides and herbicides, gas and oil, sharp tools and power tools. The garage is really no place for your puppy to explore.

10) Yards

Even if you have a fenced yard, it is never a good idea to leave your puppy unattended outside. There are many things with which a curious puppy can get into trouble. Lawn chemicals and pesticides, mulches and fertilizers, composting piles, poisonous plants, insects, and even wildlife can pose a threat. Best to stay with your new family member when they are outdoors.

Your puppy is naturally curious and until she gets familiar with her new surroundings, she is going to continue to investigate every nook and cranny. Make sure you have done your own investigation to mitigate any hazards.

TIP: Baby gates, crates, and portable pens are great tools for keeping your puppy contained and out of harm’s way. No matter how you try, you can’t keep an eye on them all the time. Giving them a safe place that they can call their own can put your mind at ease and make them feel more at home.

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