Before the arrival of your new furry friend, make sure to walk through your home and garden and just imagine you’re a dog (come on… it’s fun!).
What would catch your interest? What’s in reach? What would be the consequence of chewing or ingesting that thing? What items or areas pose potential risk? Rest assured, being new to your home, your puppy dog will want to explore his new surroundings. And, as dogs do, will explore with their nose, paws (knock things over) and have the unhealthy habit of “taste testing” everything (i.e. chewing or ingesting inappropriate and potentially dangerous objects).
So it’s a wise strategy to carefully manage your puppy’s environment, in order to limit any temptations and avoid injury or damage to property.
Many of the items listed below have the potential to cause an obstruction, which might need to be removed surgically; are dangerous or toxic and could make your puppy very sick or worse. It’s not an extensive list, but will get you thinking of what needs to be well out of reach.
- secure lamps, bookshelves, decorations, collectables, photo frames
- cover all electric cords and outlet
- place cords from blinds out of reach
- any small items like: staples, paper-clips, erasers, rubber bands, twist ties, craft supplies, coins, keys etc.
- keep correspondence and important documents well out of reach
- kids toys, especially keep small toys off the ground and out of reach: Lego, board game pieces, puzzle pieces
- toxic house plants: philodendron, mistletoe and poinsettia
- ashtrays and cigarette butts (potential nicotine poisoning)
- candles and table lamps
- table runners and table cloths
- throw cushions, blankets and throws
- keep cupboards and drawers closed and counters clean
- cleaning products and household chemicals (air freshners!) are very likely toxic, so keep them well out of reach and behind lock and key
- sponges, cleaning cloths, mops can cause obstructions which require surgery to be removed
- keep food items out of reach – some human foods are toxic for dogs: grapes, macadamia nuts, chocolate (clear counter tops)
- make sure garbage/recycling bins are out of reach
- plastic bags can be ingested or cause asphyxiation
- medications, vitamins and supplements
- cosmetics, cotton balls
- dental floss
- laundry products
- laundry basket
- keep toilet lids down
- keep toilet paper out of reach
- lock away your expensive shoes
- keep your socks out of reach
- Make sure all entry/exits are secure and there are no gaps in the fence
- toxic cleaning products and paints
- toxic car maintenance (incl. fuels) and cleaning products
- fertilisers and pest control products (insecticides, herbicides, rat poison etc.)
- secure tools and small objects like nails, screws, bolts etc.
- Always put lids on the garbage bins and keep them well out of reach
- Always make sure the pool fence keeps the puppy out (unless supervised)
- toxic garden plants: lily, azalea, daffodil, tomato and hydrangea
- Always check before opening the garage door or moving the car that the puppy is not in harm’s way.
- Always check all entry/exit ways are secure and your puppy cannot accidently get out
Most of the baby proofing items available are also usable to prevent puppy from getting into trouble.
What about the items you can’t put away? You don’t want empty your home.
Try spraying on a bitter agent, such as bitter apple (e.g. on legs of table and chairs, sofa corners, door-frames etc.).
However, the best way to go about teaching your puppy what is forbidden and what is allowed is to ensure your puppy has enough appropriate chew toys and supervise, supervise, supervise.
Written by Radica Raeves, Certified Professional Dog Trainer & Puppy Class Instructor, The Mindful Dog
Posted on 14 August 2015
Last updated on 12 December 2019
Tagged with: puppies