The following is a guest post by Dr. Jennifer Wallace, a Gainesville, FL veterinarian.
Congratulations on your family’s new addition! Having a puppy in your home is similar to having a new baby. Just like a baby, a puppy explores his/her environment by putting things in its mouth. It is important to puppy proof your home to prevent your puppy from hurting himself/herself as well as prevent your belongings from being chewed.
One of the secrets to puppy training is carefully managing your environment. By puppy proofing your home, you spend more of your time teaching your new puppy what to do versus what not to do.
While puppy proofing will definitely help with training, it is also important to provide plenty of appropriate exercise and toys.
Whether it is by chewing or knocking items over and breaking things with their tails, puppies get into everything.
By following these few simple tips, you can help keep your puppy out of danger.
He/she can get into trouble very quickly!
Look from your puppy’s eye level, and remove any items that are within reach. Items may include, but are not limited to, electrical cords, shoes/socks, toys/game pieces, coins, medications which were accidentally dropped, and insect and mouse traps.
Items such as plants, food, candles, and remote controls can be enticing.
A rambunctious puppy can easily break a lamp/vase or knock over a bookshelf.
Dogs are natural scavengers and may find the trash irresistible. Eating trash can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and intestinal blockage.
Almost everyone is familiar with the dangers of chocolate, but grapes, raisins, sugar-free candies (including gum), and avocados are also toxic. Another newer toxin is laundry detergent pods.
9. Keep the toilet lid down so your puppy does not drink the water as it may contain cleaning chemicals.
Either put these items in higher cabinets or use child-proof locks.
A puppy can crawl under a sofa bed or recliner and get stuck and/or injured. Pillows and blankets can be quickly shredded.
Ensure doors and gates close securely.
Eensure it is free of other potentially dangerous items, such as broken glass, exposed nails, or other sharp objects.
It’s important to remember that as your puppy grows, what was out of reach before may become fair game. Every puppy is different, so it’s important to ask your veterinarian for advice to help your puppy develop into a happy and healthy adult.
Dr. Jennifer Wallace graduated from UF College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine, with a special interest in internal medicine. Jennifer’s husband Cesar, a canine officer with Alachua PD, shares her devotion to their two dogs and five cats. Dr. Wallace practices at a Veterinary Hospital in Gainesville, FL.