Puppies are a joyful addition to any home. Unfortunately, we can’t just bring them into the house and hope for the best. It is important to properly prepare a home to be ready for your new puppy. Puppy proofing not only protects your home, but your new puppy as well. Use these tips from the team at Westarbor Animal Hospital to get your house in puppy shape: 

Watch for Chewing and Swallowing Hazards

Puppies are extremely curious, and they often explore with their mouths. Certain items in your house can be extremely dangerous to chew or swallow. Before getting a puppy, take some time to secure these hazards before they lead to major problems like intestinal or stomach blockages, or physical injury. These include: 

  • Electrical cords 
  • Bags (including plastic bags, purses, and backpacks) 
  • Coins 
  • Batteries 
  • Razors 
  • Tools 
  • Scissors 
  • Rubber bands 
  • Tissues 
  • Bones 
  • Small toys 

It’s also worth securing anything you don’t want to be damaged by a curious, chewing puppy including shoes, purse straps, etc. 

Keep an Eye on Human Food 

The scent of a delicious piece of chocolate or some sweet grapes might be too much for a puppy to resist. There are many kinds of human foods that are toxic to dogs. Make sure to watch your puppy in the kitchen so your hungry pup doesn’t accidentally eat something poisonous. Some of the biggest toxic offenders are: 

  • Xylitol sweetener 
  • Grapes 
  • Onions 
  • Garlic 
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol 

Lock Up Cleaning Supplies 

Many of the ingredients in common household cleaners are very toxic to dogs. Puppy proofing means you should keep all cleaning supplies safely secured in a cabinet that a puppy cannot open. It is also a good idea to lock your puppy in another room while cleaning. This ensures that he will not accidentally get into a cleaner while you’re not looking. You should also secure your trash can so your pup doesn’t come into contact with any toxic trash. 

Secure Doors, Windows…and Toilets 

A determined puppy can wiggle through a small open window or door. This could lead to an escape or a dangerous fall. Puppies might also get tangled up in blind cords or other window treatments. To prevent these issues, be sure all windows and doors are secured and try to tie up loose strings. You should also make sure to leave the toilet lid down so your puppy doesn’t take a drink…or fall in while you are not looking. 

Avoid Poisonous Plants 

There are many common houseplants that are actually toxic to dogs. Avoid an unnecessary pet emergency by taking note of some of the most poisonous plants for dogs. If you do have plants that are toxic to dogs, be sure they are far away from your puppy. These include the sago palm, the castor bean, and the American yew. If you have any of these plants in your yard, do not let 

your puppy outside unsupervised. 

For a comprehensive list of common household and human food poisons, please visit the Pet Poison Helpline website https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poisons/ 

Enjoy bonding with your puppy now that you’ve made the house safer for his or her wanderings and explorations. Taking time to puppy proof your home will hopefully help avoid a trip to the ER. 

The caring team at Westarbor Animal Hospital is here to help you with all your puppy (and kitten) questions. We believe in partnering with pet parents to offer local animals the best opportunity for a long, healthy, and happy life. To learn more about our services or to schedule a puppy wellness appointment, please call (734) 769-5391.

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