Puppy Proofing Your Home

Bringing home a puppy is a little like bringing home a new baby — you want him to come into a safe environment. Unlike the new baby, though, this puppy is ready to go exploring from day one! Before the new puppy arrives, spend a little time puppy proofing your home.

Here are some common household items that are poisonous to dogs.

tip Medications: Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, aspirin, cough and cold syrups, and prescription drugs should all be kept out of the reach of dogs.

tip Indoor Plants: These can be very dangerous for dogs and should only be kept on a counter high enough so a dog cannot reach for it. If you have a large dog, you may want to get rid of these plants altogether. They include: Tulip bulbs, poinsettias, philodendrons, daffodils, lily of the valley, and azaleas.

tip Foods: These foods are dangerous for dogs: chocolate, yeast, grapes, onions, and raisins.

tip Insecticides: These should not be kept in the home, but kept in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf in the garage. This includes rat poison, flea and tick products, and other insecticides.

tip Cleaners: These are sometimes kept under the kitchen sink. Dog-proof the cabinet so that these items cannot be taken out by your puppy: bleach, detergent, furniture polish, soap, and disinfectants.

tip Chemicals: Lighter fluid, turpentine, antifreeze, gasoline, glue, paint, solvents, and any type of acids are all no-nos around your puppy.

tip Tobacco: Avoid leaving out a pack of cigarettes that can easily be eaten by a dog.

tip Household Hazards: Make sure all the electrical outlets in your home are covered and that there are no extension cords are within sight or available for a dog to chew on. All electrical appliances should be are turned off or unplugged, and small collectible items you have showcased in your home are transferred to the top of an open bookshelf or an enclosed glass closet.

tip Make sure no bathroom items are left out on the sink or counter. If you have a cabinet under the bathroom sink, ensure it has a safety lock as well.

Once you’ve puppy proofed your home, have a look at it from the puppy’s viewpoint: down on the floor. Get down on your hands and knees and go through your entire home. You’d be surprised how different the view looks from down there!

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits DogTipper.com, CatTipper.com, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.