How Should I Prepare The House For My New Puppy’s Safety?
In dog owners’ language, throwing a welcoming party for a new member of the family translates to puppy-proofing your home in anticipation of the arrival of a new four-legged best friend. Puppy-proofing simply means to prepare the house in such a way as to avoid untoward accidents and minimize consequences should your new pup misbehave and do something naughty – as it definitely will.
A properly puppy-proofed home ensures the safety of both the owner and the pet, as well as minimizing house damages. Thus, it is ideal to have a checklist of things to be mindful of in preparation for a puppy-proofed home.
What to Keep Out of Reach
There are many things that are best kept out of sight and out of reach from the curious minds of puppies. While they are a big ball of cute, cuddly energy, they just can’t seem to stop looking around, sniffing around, and worse, biting and chewing off things that grab their attention. This is the reason why it is important to make sure that potentially harmful objects are kept in places where they cannot be accessed.
These include medications, household objects such as chemicals for cleaning and disinfection, rat poison, and soft, easily breakable things that your dog might think fun to chew on, like shoes and slippers. Electric cords pose a great hazard when chewed on as well, so consider investing in good protectors for them. Sharp and small objects must also be kept away, because they can be extremely dangerous when swallowed.
Additionally, many pet owners tend to overlook the fact that many common plants, both indoor and outdoor, are also toxic to dogs, such as sago palm, azalea, and lily. Lastly, while table food that we eat may seem harmless to feed to dogs, many of them contain compounds that are dangerous to pets. Such are chocolates, grapes, garlic, onion, macadamia nuts, and yeast. A good rule to keep is to bring your dog to the veterinarian immediately if they have ingested anything that they shouldn’t have, and especially if they show signs of stomach upset such as vomiting or retching.
What to Keep Closed
Who let the dogs out? Hopefully not you! Puppies (and even adult dogs) can be a bit too playful, running around wherever their heart desires. It’s hard to keep an eye on them 24/7, and so a great safety measure is to ensure that all windows and doors within the house are closed to keep your pup from going outdoors without any supervision.
Cupboards and drawers containing hands-off items like the ones mentioned earlier should also be kept closed. Some dogs form a bad habit of drinking from the toilet bowl, so it’s best to mostly keep the seat down and the lid closed once your pup is home. Additionally, as dogs like to sniff around and play with things that tingle their olfactory senses, make sure to keep trash bags and bins tied up and closed to keep them from making a mess with your garbage. We all know that’s not something fun to clean up after.
If someone in the family is allergic to fur, it is important to consider hypoallergenic breeds that shed less. And while we’re in the topic of fur, it also pays – literally – to consider the amount of time (and money) that one is willing to spend on for grooming, because while some dog breeds barely need any combing or fur-trimming, others easily get matted fur after skipping a brushing session.
Trainability is also another factor to consider, especially when you plan on teaching your new best friend a lot of cool tricks. Some dogs are more intelligent and easily trained than others, although dog lovers also appreciate the challenge of teaching the hard-headed ones.
Health-wise, different breeds would have various dispositions to certain diseases, whether age-related or genetic. It is best to talk to the vet about what to watch for. Some dogs may also be sensitive to cold or heat, so think twice before bringing a heat-sensitive dog to a place where it’s always sunny and warm.
What to Give and Maintain
While puppy proofing largely involves keeping many things off-limits to your pup, at the end of the day it also pays to know what to give to your new friend to let them feel loved and cared for. While you always need to keep a watchful eye over them and be ready to clean up after their mistakes (hopefully before they decide to taste their poo!), a well-brought up dog should always be given ample time and space to play.
Puppies would appreciate it if you could designate a safe space in the house that is rightfully theirs, where they can play, eat and sleep in peace. They would also enjoy playing with you more than playing by themselves, so make sure to share your time with them.
Giving them safe and proper chew toys will also help them from going after things that should not be played with. Above all, whatever it is that they end up breaking or making a mess out of, they deserve all the patience and understanding in this world. Don’t forget to reward them whenever they do a good job at obedience and discipline.