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  1. puppies

Puppy Advice

Puppy Advice

Get proactive with our vets' puppy advice tips and puppy health and development guides.
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Puppy-Proofing the Home

Posted by Dr. Roth on March 17, 2022

Training & Behavior
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The day a pet parent brings home a new puppy is a very exciting day. However, the excitement of bringing home a new puppy can quickly turn to turmoil if the home hasn't been properly puppy-proofed. There are many hazards inside and outside the home that can be very harmful to a puppy. Therefore, proper puppy care requires pet parents to make sure the inside and outside of their home are safe before bringing home their new puppy.

Puppy-Proofing the Inside of the Home

Pet parents coming home to discover their favorite shoes have been chewed up is frustrating. But, on the other hand, finding a sick puppy can be devastating. The following list contains common hazards pet parents need to consider before bringing their puppy home.

  • Plants: Many house plants are toxic to dogs. Some house plants cause vomiting and diarrhea, while others can cause organ failure. Pet parents should research all house plants to make sure they're not toxic to dogs and put all house plants out of reach.

  • Trash: Trash cans should be placed in a cabinet with a childproof latch or in the pantry. Many food items are toxic to dogs.

  • Bathrooms: Bathroom doors should remain closed. Full bathtubs and toilets are drowning hazards. Bathroom trash cans also need to be placed in a secure location.

  • Medications: Medications should be put up high in a cabinet.

  • Cleaning products: Cleaning products should be placed in a high cabinet with a childproof latch on the door.

  • Cords: Puppies can get electrocuted if they chew on an electrical cord. PVC piping and spiral cable wrap can prevent puppies from getting to the cable.

  • Furniture: Some furniture such as racing chairs and pull-out sofas can smash a small puppy. 

  • Window cords: Puppies can get tangled in long window cords, which can result in strangulation. Cords need to be tied up high or replaced with cordless blinds.

  • Stairs: Place baby gates by stairwells to avoid unwanted falls.

Puppy-Proofing the Outside of the Home

Outside the home can be more hazardous because pet parents cannot control the outside world. However, the following list will help pet parents prepare their yard for a puppy. 

  • Plants: Many outdoor plants are toxic to puppies. Pet parents need to research what plants they have in their yard and remove toxic plants. The ASPCA offers a comprehensive list of toxic plants. Pet parents should study the list before bringing any plants into the home.

  • Water hazards: All water features should be covered or fenced off to prevent drowning.

  • Fencing: Pet parents should invest in fencing that their puppy cannot jump over or dig under.

Additional Puppy Advice

Once the home has been puppy-proofed, it is time to bring the puppy home. Pet parents will need to keep their home puppy-proofed and not become complacent. However, it isn't easy to keep everything off the floor all the time, which is why pet parents should begin training their puppy as soon as they bring them home.

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