There are few things as exciting as adding a new puppy to your family. Just like children however, puppies come with a unique set of care requirements. Your home is where your puppy will spend the most time. Planning ahead and puppy-proofing your home and yard will ensure it’s a safe environment for your curious and energetic new family member.
Checklist for Puppy-proofing
- Unplug electrical cords, move them out of reach, and use outlet plug covers to avoid electrical shock
- Lock up cleaning supplies and when using them remove the puppy from close proximity so she/he won’t be affected by the chemical vapors.
- Create a drug-free zone. Lock up medications and avoid storing them on counters, low tables, or any area that can be accessed by your puppy including purses and backpacks.
- Keep sugar free gum, candy, peanut butter etc. away from any areas where the puppy could find it including chewed gum in the trashcan. Xylitol, a sugar substitute, is extremely toxic, acts quickly, and can cause seizures and complete liver failure in a matter of hours.
- Put away small items that could present as choking hazards such as coins, paper clips, rubber bands, jewelry, batteries, tv remotes, water bottle rings/lids. If you have young children, educate them about the importance of keeping the area clear of items that could cause choking and/or intestinal blockage if the puppy happens to swallow the item.
- Remove poisonous plants from the house and the yard so the puppy can’t eat them
- Outside make sure the fence is secure with no holes for the puppy to crawl through or an unwanted predator to gain entrance
- Keep the puppy away from the yard if it has recently been treated with insecticides, pesticides, or fertilizer.
- Supervise your puppy when he/she is outside to protect them from predators, heat, and other hazards
- Create a safe space such as a crate or playpen for your puppy where they can safely stay when you are not home or you are unable to safely supervise