Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to puppy proof your home.

It’s so exciting to get a new puppy, but much like a human baby, you have to prepare your home first! Puppies like to chew, and can get into a lot of trouble if your house is not ready for them. Here is a list of things you can do to puppy proof your home, and keep your new furry baby safe.

· Poisonous plants – Believe it or not, there are a lot of plants that we keep in our home that can be toxic for our dogs. If you want to find out more on all the different types you can visit: http://www.cybercanine.com/toxicplants.htm

· Chewing – Puppies begin chewing at about four months of age, this means you need to make sure anything that can harm them, if chewed, is hidden or put away (electric wires, anything metal or plastic that will break or chip teeth). The same as baby proofing with a newborn, we must do this with a puppy, so chemicals or sprays need to be put up high. Puppies will chew on anything, including aerosol cans that can explode if punctured, and cause damage to the puppy’s eyes and face. Also put away anything you don’t want to be ruined, like your shoes or belts. Give them plenty of toys to chew on, so you will not have holes in the bottom of your furniture. There is also a great spray you can buy if the chewing becomes excessive called “Bitter Apple”. You can find it at your local super market or vet’s clinic. It’s a spray that tastes bitter, and makes the dog not want to eat or chew on anything that has the spray on it.

· Toilet – Always keep the toilet lid down. Puppies tend to play in the bowl, or drink the water. This can be very harmful if you use chemicals to clean the toilet, and may result in an emergency Vet visit.

· Crafts – If you have a craft room or are a person who likes to do crafts, make sure you do not have any needles, buttons, pins, or ribbons left on the floor or in reach of your puppy. Needles and pins can be swallowed, and cause internal damage. Ribbons, buttons or string can chock them, or also be eaten and be harmful. A good rule of thumb is if it’s harmful for a child, it’s harmful to a puppy as well.

· Pets – Small pets, such as hamsters, small birds, or just about any pet that a puppy could fit in its mouth, could be in danger. Be sure to keep all of your caged pets up high where the puppy cannot climb up to reach them. Not only are the small pets in danger of being eaten or killed, but your puppy can get injured as well. Breaking glass or the other pet fighting for its freedom can injure your puppy just as much. Never leave your puppy alone in a room with smaller animals!

· Children – Small children can be a danger to puppies as well as the puppy may be a danger to them. Children don’t know that squeezing the puppy can harm them. This goes especially for breeds with big eyes such as the Pug, French bulldog or Boston terrier. These particular breeds have pushed in faces causing their eyes to bulge. If squeezed to hard their eyes can actually pop right out of the socket, causing a lot of pain for the puppy, and a costly Vet visit for you. Puppies love to chew and what greater chew toy then a playful child who rolls around with them. The puppy is only playing, but this can hurt your child and may even cause them to not like the puppy or be afraid of it. Children also love to pull on puppy tails, and this is also a painful experience for the new puppy.

· Candy – Chocolate and raisins are toxic to dogs, so be sure to keep all sweets in an area where the puppy cannot get to it.

These are only a few things to watch out for when bringing a new puppy home. Only you know what hazards you have in your home, so get on your hands and knees and go through every room your puppy will be allowed in. Anything within eye’s view that can be chewed on, or harmful, needs to be put away or secured so the puppy cannot get to it. Your puppy is a baby, and much like a human baby, it needs guidance, training, and content supervision. Having a new puppy will keep you busy, but with the right environment and training, it can grow to be a loyal and loving companion for many years to come!

Sheena Diane "Freelance Writer"

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