Planning on introducing a new puppy to your family? Before you bring you new pup home you will need to ensure that your home is puppy proof and safe for your new addition. The following tips will help you to proactively prevent any problems from arising when your new puppy hits the ground running.
Start by taking a good look around your home, moving from room to room, then onto the yard outside, searching for things that a curious pup could potentially chew, swallow, clamber up or pull to the ground. Put any potential hazards securely out of harm’s way.
Look at the world from your pup’s pawspective
During this initial inspection, it is a good idea to get down to the level of your pet, crawling around at ground level in search of hazards you might otherwise miss. Things like electrical wiring and curtain cords are usually placed lower down where they can potentially pose a risk to your pet. Make sure you don’t glance past these potential hazards.
Rubbish bins by there very nature hold a variety of waste, including smelly discarded food that may attract the attention of your puppy. Not only can discarded bones, sharp edged cans, tin foil etc., pose a safety risk to your puppy, it is likely to leave a trail of trash strewn all over the floor in its quest to find the tasty morsel lurking at the bottom of the bin. Ensure that your new pup cannot gain access to the contents inside a rubbish bin. Either make sure your bin has a secure, well-fitting puppy-proof lid, or place bins in a secure area (for example a cupboard) out of your pup’s reach.
If you have lots of loose electrical wiring or cables lying around you may want to consider managing these more efficiently by covering them with a cable sleeve to make them less of a hazard or elevating them out of your puppy’s reach.
Furniture, decor & houseplants
Ensure that lamps, top-heavy bookshelves, pot plants and other decor items that a puppy could potentially knock- or pull over are secured or placed out of reach.
Crates, baskets and other open storage units that contain items that a pup could potentially destroy (shoes, children’s toys, mobile phones, and other electrical gadgets) or small items it could swallow (coins, buttons, fishing hooks and sinkers) should be placed inside a cupboard or on a shelf well out of your pup’s reach.
Also make sure there are no poisonous houseplants in the house, and that potted plants are kept out of reach.
Human medication can be harmful to pets even in small doses, potentially even fatal. Child-proof medicine containers are not necessarily puppy proof, and a pup can wolf down the contents with dire consequences. Make sure that all medicines and toiletries are safely stowed away.
Household cleaners & detergents
Most household cleaners such as drain cleaners (e.g. caustic soda) are highly toxic and can prove to be deadly if consumed by your pet. Ensure that all cleaning supplies are safely stowed away in a secure place.
Items commonly found in the garage can also be extremely hazardous to pet. Keep toxic items such as antifreeze, surplus fuel, pesticides, bleach etc in a secure cabinet that is not accessible to your pet. Mop up spills with a clay-based cat litter that will absorb the toxic fluids or hose down the affected area thoroughly.
Store tools and any electric equipment safely so it cannot fall and hurt your curious pup, as well as smaller items, such as nails and screws, that can be harmful if swallowed.
Always check that your puppy is out of harm’s way before closing garage doors or moving a vehicle out of the garage.
Before giving your pup freedom to play outdoors in your garden, check that your fencing is secure and that there are no holes where it could escape. If you have a swimming pool, you will also need to ensure that the pool area is safely fenced off. It is also a good idea to place a floating step, ramp or other safety contraption inside the pool to enable your pup to get out again should it fall or jump in.
Bearing in mind that pesticides (rat poison, insecticides, herbicides, etc) are poisonous by design. Refrain from using these toxic chemicals and baits in your garden or home, particularly where they can be consumed by your puppy, as they can kill indiscriminately. To be safe, they are best avoided altogether.
Once you have puppy-proofed your home, it is time to go and collect your new bundle of joy and introduce him into his new home-sweet-home. Enjoy!