Perfect Puppy Care Book – Chapter 2 – Preparing Your Home
Chapter 2 – Preparing Your Home
Puppies get into everything! This is why it’s very important that you puppy-proof your home and eliminate any dangerous or tempting items that could cause your dog harm. You also should put away anything of value that you don’t want her to chew.
You will eventually teach your puppy only to chew on appropriate items, but at first, she won’t have a clue about what she’s allowed to munch on or not. She’s a baby, so she’s exploring her world with her mouth. How big is your puppy? Get down on the floor at the same level your puppy will be—what do you see? Anything at puppy nose or eye level is fair game for chewing as far as your puppy is concerned. Also realize that this level will change as your puppy grows.
Common Puppy Temptations
Common puppy temptations include the following:
- Items on the floor: These include shoes, purses, umbrellas, remote controls, etc.
- Toys: If you have children who keep their toys all over the place, a puppy will find them irresistible. Teach your children to put their toys away before you bring a puppy home so that no one loses a precious teddy bear. Do you also have cats that have small toys? If you are bringing home a medium- or large-breed puppy, cat toys may be too small for her and could cause a stomach blockage should she swallow one. Pick up all small cat toys and keep them away from your puppy. Keep them either in a room that only your cats can access, or give your cats bigger toys to play with that also will be safe for your puppy.
- Dangling items: These include doilies on the coffee table, tassels on curtains, hand towels in the kitchen, leashes over the back of a chair, etc.
Common Household Dangers
Common household dangers include the following:
- Electrical cords: Be sure that they are tucked out of the way of your puppy’s reach.
- Some plants and flowers: Azaleas, lilies, geraniums, philodendron, and other plants can be toxic. Check with your veterinarian if you have questions about any plants, flowers, or shrubs residing in your home and yard.
- Human medicine: Puppies will eat anything, and that includes any stray pills they may find. Many human medications are deadly to your puppy, so be sure to keep all drugs—prescription and over-the-counter—out of her reach.
- Hosiery: If your puppy swallows any kind of hosiery, it could become lodged in her digestive tract, with deadly results.
- Dental floss, string, yarn, rubber bands, and holiday tinsel: These also can cause intestinal blockage or strangulation.
- Antifreeze: If you have ever spilled antifreeze in your driveway or garage, go back and clean them thoroughly before your puppy arrives. Many antifreeze brands have an appealing smell and sweet taste to animals, but this substance is a deadly poison. Choose a brand for your vehicle that is marked safer for pets.
- Cocoa mulch: This can be toxic.
No matter how well you think that you’ve puppy-proofed your home, your puppy will find the one thing that you missed. It’s hard to predict everything she’ll get into, but do your best to minimize the damage. You’ll also learn to keep a close eye on your puppy so that you can protect her and your belongings.
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