Being a new mommy or daddy to a young pup can be a journey filled with uncertainty, fear, and a ton of messes! I know there are a lot of you out there who received a cuddly bundle of joy over the holidays and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m sure a few love pups will be gifted then as well.
To ease your new parent worries I will be posting tips over the next few weeks on how to take care of a new puppy. This New Puppy Boot Camp series will cover topics such as potty training, picking a vet, vaccinations, investing in obedience training, choosing the best pet food and much more.
As an introduction to the series, I’d like to start with an urgent topic that affects you and your pet’s safety—Puppy Proofing. Much like with a new baby, your home must be guarded to protect your puppy from harm. I mentioned a few cautions to take in a previous post titled, New Year’s Resolutions for You & Your Pet. In addition to investing in safety gates to block off dangerous areas of your home, cable clips to organize wires and secure them in discreet places, and outdoor lighting to avoid nighttime injuries, here are a few other tips to help you puppy proof your home.
- Chemicals – Where do you keep them? If the answer is on the floor, whether in the kitchen, laundry room or bathroom, that needs to change. Chemicals should be stored up high and out of reach, or behind closed cabinets or doors. Designated “Chemical Cabinets” may help you avoid accidently leaving a door open and leaving your pup with access to harmful products.
- Hot Hazards – Separate your pup from hot hazards, like the fireplace and a stove or oven that’s been turned on. Put up a safety gate when you’re cooking and secure your fireplace with a screen.
- Electric Shock – Put covers on all electrical outlets that are accessible to your pet. Any appliances that are plugged in (even hairdryers and electric toothbrushes) should be kept away from a new puppy. Licking outlets or chewing on wires could result in electric shock.
- Dainty Dangers – Small things, such as coins, needles, paperclips, magnets, toys, etc., can be choking hazards to your pup. Make sure no stragglers have been left on low surfaces or fallen on the floor.
- Stairs – Before puppies get accustomed to walking and keeping their balance, they should avoid stairs. It can be hard for them to get up and down steps and if they try it could end in a bad fall.
- Sharp Objects – Knives, razors, scissors and other sharp objects should not be left out or unattended. A puppy could lick them or try to chew on them and suffer some pretty bad consequences.
- Garbage – Your puppy has no idea what’s “good” and what’s “bad” so leftovers in the garbage could just as easily be considered a gourmet meal. Even worse, while chowing down plastic packaging, aluminum wrapping and even glass could accidently be ingested. Keep garbage off limits, preferably in a can with a sealed lid.
Although I have covered a lot of potential dangers, there are always unsuspecting culprits just around the corner and you should take a survey of your home to help you determine anything that might cause harm to your pet. Check back with us next week for more tips during our New Puppy Boot Camp.