Puppy Starter Kit
Is your home a danger to your puppy
When bringing home a new puppy there are many dangers you need to look for in your home. How safe is your home?
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When looking for safety concerns, you need to be at the same eye level as your new puppy. These are some of the same things you would look for if you were baby proofing your home.
I recently had to start looking around my home, as my granddaughter is just beginning to crawl. Things I use to leave on my coffee table to make it convenient for me – well no more. Some of those items would be dangerous if she pulled herself up and got a hold of them. Once crawling starts it’s not long before they begin to pull themselves up. Puppies of course jump up immediately.
Babies and puppies have the same attitude about stuff they find – it goes in their mouth.
Realize that your new puppy is going to investigate EVERYTHING.
Is your home a danger to your puppy? Let’s make a list of the items and places we need to look at in your home.
Do you store dish detergents, dishwasher pods, and products to scrub your sink, and drain cleaner in the lower kitchen cabinets? These are all dangerous for your puppy.
Solution: Child proof Latches – you can find these at your local hardware store. This will prevent your puppy from getting in the cabinets. Don’t let those little paws fool you they can open cabinets.
There are pills, razors, soap, shampoo, and conditioners. If you have any bathroom cleaner stored in here this is also a danger to your puppy. These things are just a sniff and jump away from your puppy getting a hold of them.
Solution: Lock it in a cabinet or closet. You can also use the child proof latches in this room.
A new rule you should have for your bathroom; keep the lid down.
One quick jump and your puppy could fall in and the lid drop down on him. This could cause him to drown.
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Simply remembering to put the lid down could prevent such a tragic event. Put a sign up above the toilet to remind everyone, at least until they get in the habit. If you also use a chemical in your toilet to keep it clean, you do not want your puppy to drink this water.
Living Room and Office Dangers:
The living room is where everyone hangs-out together. This is no longer a good place to leave your tablets, computers, cell phones, iPods, or children’s toys in puppy’s reach. If you don’t want it chewed up, put it up and put it away when you’re done with it.
Hey, if nothing else, it will get your kids to clean up after themselves BOL (bark out loud). Just let one of their electronic devices be chewed up and it won’t happen again. Unfortunately, you’ll be the one to replace it, but it’s a great lesson for them.
Oh my, the electrical cords — with today’s technology we have so many things connected and plugged in, there are electrical cords everywhere. Not only will your puppy chew on these, there is the potential of electrocution.
Is your home a danger to your puppy?There are also the curtain cords. They are not only a chewing problem but they can become a choking hazard if your puppy is tangled in them. When your puppy is tangled, he may begin to panic, and it can cause a real life-threatening problem.
The other chewing hazards are pillows, blankets, books, and that beautiful afghan grandma crocheted you for Christmas.
Solution: Keep electronic devices up high enough that your puppy cannot reach them. Any devices that can be put away after use do so. Put them in a latched or locked closet or cabinet that your puppy cannot get into. Cords can be put in a cable/cord protector. These are available at office supply stores, and home improvement stores. You can also use a piece of PVC pipe to run the cords and cables through, so they are not out for the puppy to chew. The curtain cords should be tied up high enough so your puppy cannot reach them.
Your puppy will not distinguish between that new pair of designer shoes and the new chew toy you just bought him. Every shirt, pair of pants, socks, and every piece of your family’s clothing has their scent on it. Unfortunately, because these items smell like his family it is fair game in his eyes (or should I say nose).
Solution: Put it up, put it away, and close the closet door. Yes, I had to put that in there. I have had people say to me that they put it in the closet and they didn’t understand why their puppy chewed it up; just to find out they hadn’t closed the closet door.
The garage is probably the most dangerous of all. Your garage may have pesticides, paint, gasoline, sharp tools, and lawn treatment chemicals.
Solution: You will need to lock up these items, or better yet get rid of them if they are no longer needed. Put them up on a high shelf that your puppy cannot reach, or in a locked cabinet.
Last but not least…
The Dangers in The Yard:
The first thing you need to look over is the fencing. If you have a fenced in yard, make sure there are no escape areas. One break in the fence somewhere and you will be looking for a lost puppy.
My husband and I kept wondering how our puppies were getting out of the fenced in back yard. We had checked everything, there where no holes, no open areas and then… One day we were watching from inside the house while the puppies were playing in the back yard. That’s when we saw it… If the puppies got a good running start, they could hit that fence at the bottom and it lifted enough for them to escape. Thankfully, the escape routes lead to the neighbor’s yard that was also fenced in.
To solve this we ended up placing top fencing posts on the bottom of the fence and burying it. This stopped our little escapees.
Puppies will surprise you, and you may still find things that need to be corrected.
The other things you need to look for in your yard are plants.
There are many plants that can cause your puppy to become sick, and some plants are deadly
If eaten by your puppy. Plants such as Oleander, Amaryllis and Chrysanthemum, just to name a few of the plants that can be toxic to your puppy.
You can read a more complete list of poisonous plants at the aspca.org website.
You want to be sure what you currently have planted in your yard is not toxic, and check the list before planting anything new.
Solution: Get down to puppy level and check for any areas that your puppy may try to dig under or around, and look for any holes or openings in the fence. Be sure that the area between the fence and the gate is not so big that your puppy can fit through it. If your puppy is small enough to fit through that space, you may want to reinforce that area with chicken wire or other fencing of some kind until he gets a little bigger.
Until your puppy has some training, and learns what is okay and what is not okay, it is your responsibility to keep him out of danger.
When they first come home, they are excited to have a forever home, and they will investigate EVERYTHING. Be sure to make a complete home inspection inside and out.
To recap here are the areas you need to be thoroughly inspecting.
Kitchens – install child proof latches on cabinets that contain any dangerous chemicals, this includes soaps and scrubs.
Bathrooms – lock up or put up, razors, soap, shampoos, and conditioners, bathroom cleaner, and keep toilet lid down.
Living Room and Office – all electronic devices, electrical cords, curtain cords, pillows, blankets. Put them away when you are done with them, or put them up out of reach. Purchase cord/cable guards for electrical cords or use a piece of PVC pipe.
Bedrooms – remember all your clothing has your scent, and your new puppy is going to recognize that. He also doesn’t know the difference between your designer shoes and his new chew toy.
Garage – paint, pesticides, tools, gasoline, and chemicals, lock them up, put them up, or get rid of them.
Yard – check for areas they can escape through. Check the space between the fence and the gate. In addition, look at what you have planted in your yard. There are many plants that are poisonous to your pet.
Be sure to do a thorough check before bringing home your new family member. Check and check again. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Is your home a danger to your puppy? After checking all the items and areas listed, it shouldn’t be.
You can now enjoy new adventures with your new furry family member, and relax knowing that you have provided your puppy with a safe environment.
Until Next Time
Suzanne Dean, ABCDT
ABC Certified Dog Trainer
Originally posted and authorized for PGAA re-posting by the The Dog Training Lady Visit the Dog Training Lady’s site for more training information and watch for new training books and E-books. Just who is the The Dog Training Lady? Copyright © 2015