As with all things, prevention is better than cure. This is why it is why pet-proofing your home before you pick up and bring home your new friend. This is the same as you would with a baby Animals will chew through things, eat poison, break glass etc., just like a child, so it is important to pet-proof your home.
If a dog, for example, is left for long periods of time, they will get bored and look for something to do. This can lead to danger.
It is vital that your pet has food, water, and lots of pet-safe toys to keep them amused.
When pet-proofing your home, spend time going around your home and look at possible ways your dog could get trapped, cut itself, fall, hurt itself, take food, come into contact with poison etc.
Here are our Top Tips on Pet Proofing Your Home
This is a big one as all dogs, including adults, are curious creatures and will want to explore any food that is left out. First, try and put all foods either in the fridge o cupboards s,o they are out of harm’s way. If you do leave food out, then make sure it is pushed well back and can’t be reached. It is also important to make sure that nothing is left out. This includes things such as a chair sticking out from under the table that could encourage them to climb.
Below are just a couple of the most common foods that you need to be aware of. There are many others, and you should do make sure you do your homework.
Alcohol – Many of us enjoy a glass of wine or beer with our dinner after work. Please do not be tempted to share this with the dog and make sure it is out of reach. Alcohol is bad for dogs full stop.
Bones – Generally speaking, raw bones are fine for dogs. However, any kind of cooked bone should be kept out of the way of your puppy, as cooked bones can easily splinter inside and cause internal injuries.
Caffeine – Most of us enjoy a daily brew, especially first thing in the morning. Please remember that teas and coffee are harmful to dogs, so make sure the cups with the dregs at the end are out of reach of your new pup.
Chocolate – as humans, we all love a bit of chocolate as it gives us that feel-good feeling, but please remember chocolate is toxic for dogs, so make sure it is out of the way.
Xylitol – Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is dangerous to dogs. Xylitol is found in packs of chewing gum which often get forgotten about and left lying around.
Our article on to Eat or Not to Eat is worth all dog owners reading
Every year vets see a large amount f puppies being brought in due to getting hold of human medicines, both prescribed and over the counter type. After all, hands up if you have some tablets that you take at night or first thing in the morning (even just herbal ones) sitting beside your bed on the table to remind you? Or maybe on a countertop that the dog could jump up and get?
As with children, when pet-proofing your home is important to keep these and pet medicines out of their reach in a secure draw or cabinet. It is also a good idea to keep them separate to avoid any mistakes which could be lethal.
Many people have plants around the house, and so it is important to make sure these are out of reach of your curious puppy. A large amount (if not all) of household plants are harmful to dogs when digested. E.g. that vase of lilies on the living room table, that Christmas cactus by the window, or the aloe vera plant in the kitchen.
It is important that you keep all house plants and flowers out of the reach of our puppy.
Toilets can spell disaster for dogs of all ages as they may see it as a big drinking bowl, especially if they have run out of water, and, in fact, puppies have been known to jump right in!
The water itself is not dangerous, but the cleaning chemicals that we pour down the bowel and add to the cistern to help prevent limescale and make it smell fresh are. It is also important to make sure that cleaning materials and poisons are kept locked away.
Most of us have loose change from shopping that we keep in our pocket or just throw on the side. It is important to make sure this change is kept out of the way as it is a major choking hazard.
Chewing is fun
It is a well-known fact that puppies like to chew anything and everything. It is therefore important that you make sure that electrical cables are out of the way or in protected armour so they cannot chew through them.
Make sure your rubbish bin in the kitchen can be covered up and locked. If the bin cannot be locked, then place something heavy on top to keep the lid closed. Ensure any loose rubbish bags are thrown straight into the bin.
Rubbish is very tempting to a young dog with a healthy appetite and can smell real good. However, it is likely to contain potentially lethal items for your dog, such as onion peelings, bones etc.
Batteries not included
Batteries are not remotely safe. most households have at least one remote control for the TV, probably another control for the sky. cable box and others. Along with remote controls, most households have a car with a key fob that these devices should be picked up from the floor, the coach etc. Make sure they are on a shelf or a draw well out of the dog reach.
Remote controls and key fobs all have small parts to be chewed and swallowed, but a swallowed battery is even more dangerous because it can cause burns to the soft tissue inside your pet’s oesophagus on the way down. Disc batteries are especially dangerous! Our article on batteries not included may be of interest.
When pet-proofing your home, remember to provide a safe place.
It is important to provide your dog with a safe space that they can go to when you are not around, doing the cleaning, or it’s the firework season. A create can provide the perfect den and safe area, especially if you cover the back part with a blanket and put his favourite toy in the create. You may also want to investigate a suitable crate safe water bowl.
If you are using a crate, then it is important to make sure that the crate is big enough for them to have space to relax and move around in/ It is also important to ensure that the create is correctly assembled and secure as puppies can get injured by trying to escape from a badly put together crate – even worse if they do escape they could end up in a heap of trouble especially If you are out.
Stairs are like a mountain to a puppy, and just like mountains, they can cause serious injuries to your dog if they fall down them. It is a really good idea to invest in a puppy gate or a baby gate at the top and bottom of the stairs so that they can only tackle them under close supervision to avoid injuries.
Doors and visitors
Puppies are very curious, and when the bell goes and someone appears at the door, it is a tie of excitement. After all, it’s a new visitor to sniff, and they may have food. The open door also provides a chance to escape and explore. I would recommend that your dog wears a harness indoors which you can attach a training line to and therefore make them easier to grab.
Remember, if you think your dog has got into trouble, then please consult your vet or phone vetfone for advice
You may also like to read our other puppy related articles
- Pet Proofing your home
- tips on walking your new dog
- Importance of dog training classes
- Top Tips for walking your puppy
- Dog Walking Etiquette
- Approaching dogs
- BBQ and dangers
If you’d like me to work with you as your dog walker, please get in touch. I cover Finchley, Woodside Park and Muswell Hil. I can be contacted on 077 077 6 33 44