Around The Home, Home & Garden Tips, Lifestyle Tips — February 12, 2015 at 7:32 am

Puppy Proof Your New Home

puppy-proof-house

Now that you have your ideal home with that terrific back yard, it’s time for a little family addition. Yay, it’s a puppy!

But, to ensure that your little fluff ball doesn’t morph into a total home wrecker, follow these tips. Not only will they keep your favorite shoes and chair in perfect condition, but they also could save your new pup’s life.  Ideally, when you’re not home, your puppy should be safely tucked in a crate, never allowed to roam freely about the house. But when he or she is out and about, pay heed to these tips.

The Kitchen:

Get baby locks for your cabinets and drawers. Puppies are really smart and agile. And your kitchen is a treasure trove of hazardous items ranging from toxic foods to household chemicals — and extremely sharp objects.  Make sure to keep your trash and recyclables secured. Puppies could be lured by bones or small items that could cause choking hazards. Never underestimate a pup’s ability to track down the nastiest trash and think of it as nirvana. Helpful training tip: Want to keep your puppy from turning into a counter surfer as they get older? Keep your counters clean and free of food & crumbs whenever your puppy is roaming free. If there is no food for the taking, you’re well on your way to keeping all four paws on the ground!

The Bathroom:

Keep the toilet lid and cover down. If you want your puppy to have water in the house, that’s fine. Just put down a clean bowl that isn’t filled with water loaded with bacteria or caustic cleaning agents. Who ever thought that drinking from the toilet was a good idea? It’s not.

Watch those styling tools. If you have blow dryers and curling irons lying around, then make sure that the cords are kept away from sharp puppy teeth. Not only can the pup chew through those dangling cords, but they could easily pull a heavy blow dryer or still-hot styling iron on top of their little heads.

The bathroom cabinets are other places where you’ll want to puppy proof. Hair products, makeup, soaps, nail polish removers and cleaning agents are all dangerous to your puppy.

puppy-proof-house2

Garage & Yard:

Ditch the mouse and rat poison. Obviously, if your puppy starts nibbling on the poison, he can die, but he also can get very sick (or die) if he finds a poisoned mouse to munch on. The same goes for pesticides. Remember, there’s nothing too gross for a puppy.

And a word about the dreaded antifreeze. If possible, use the antifreeze that doesn’t contain the toxin ethylene glycol, which has a sweet flavor that’s attractive to pets. Make sure to wipe any antifreeze from your garage floor or driveway. And be aware that some people put it in their toilets to winterize their pipes in vacation cabins.

There are plenty plants and shrubs that are toxic to pets. Before you start your landscaping, check out this list with photographs of specific toxic and non-toxic plants: www.aspca.org.

Around The House:

Forget the candy dish and the fruit bowl. Even a little bit of chocolate can be toxic to a small puppy. Those sugar-free candies, gums and toothpastes that contain xylitol, which is extremely dangerous to dogs, can cause seizures and even death. And while many fruits can be good for dogs, several aren’t. Grapes are very toxic, so make sure your dog can’t reach even one.

If you want to save your shoes or slippers from becoming your pup’s favorite toys, then keep them in the closet. And don’t make the mistake of giving your puppy an “old” pair you no longer wear. Dogs are smart, but even the brightest puppy can’t tell the difference between your old Walmart slippers from 8 years ago and that new pair of Jimmy Choo heels. Plus, your shoes and slippers aren’t designed as toys and can be dangerous to your puppy.

Give your new puppy plenty of attention, fair house rules and appropriate chew toys and bully sticks (forget rawhide and doggy jerky), and you and your new family member should enjoy an ideal home life for many years to come.