Getting a new member of the family is an exciting time for everyone. Regardless whether you are an adult or a child, a new puppy in the house is like having Christmas come early. However, as any experienced pup-parent will know, there is an extensive list of things you should do to puppy-proof your home before bringing Fido in. Dr Veronica Monaghan, Dr Veronica Monaghan, Chief Veterinary Officer at Greencross Vets, has some excellent tips for puppy-proofing your home.
The Living Area
- Make sure all charging cords, cables and other chewables are put away. “The living area is filled with all sorts of technology. Your puppy’s tiny teeth might take a liking to chewing loose cords, magazines or event cushions. Keeping indoor plants out of reach from your pup is a good idea, as they may chew on the leaves and some can make them very ill. Instead, encourage your puppy to munch on chew toys, many of which also provide dental and educational benefits.”
The Quiet Area
- Create a space for quiet time. “While certain areas of your house may be out of bounds for your puppy, especially before they’ve been toilet trained, your pup needs a designated space for quiet time, complete with bedding and/or crate.
- Secure all cupboards, drawers and shelves in your kitchen. “The kitchen is filled with fascinating scents and items that your puppy will love to explore, but their curious and highly sensitive nose could lead them to into potential danger. We recommend that you secure your shelves with childproof latches, so your puppy stays out of your food, sharp knives and cleaning products. Also, the bin is another place your pup’s nose might them lead to - you should keep garbage in a hard to reach space to avoid them ingesting any toxic food.”
- Keep the toilet lid down and hide medications. “Even shallow water can be a drowning risk. Always keep the toilet lid down so a puppy can’t fall inside. Everyday items in the bathroom can potentially be a threat to your puppy if they ingest them, so move soap, medications, razors and other threats to locations where your puppy will not be able to reach them. Toilet paper is also a very tempting toy for puppies that can cause a big mess, so keep the toilet door closed when you can.”
- Secure the bedroom. “Your bedroom will certainly be an area of interest to your new puppy as they get to know more about your scent. Clothing, shoes, socks and other chewable items should be secured for the safety of your puppy, and for your own benefit! Try anti-chew sprays, they can work wonders by repelling puppies with a bitter taste.”
- Don’t leave things laying around. “As their curiosity grows, your puppy will explore with their mouths, so ensure that anything that could potentially be swallowed is out of their reach. Common household objects can pose a danger to your puppy when ingested, such as jewellery, batteries, hair ties, coins and insect repellents. If your pooch will be able to access your children’s rooms, ensure that toys are off the floor as they may be small enough for your puppy to swallow.”
- Supervise outside adventures. “When you first get your puppy, they should never be allowed outside without your supervision. Before they even get to their new home, you still need to check that your fences are stable and there is no way that your puppy can escape by digging under, wriggling through or jumping over a gate. If you have a green thumb, keep your lawn fertilisers, insecticides, automotive chemicals and other poisonous substances far away from your puppy, and if possible, try to avoid using them.”
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