The weather is warming up and you’ve vowed to spend more time outdoors. Maybe you need a walking partner or a motivation to wake up earlier. Perhaps the kids have been asking – begging, rather – and promise to help now that school is out? You’ve put it off long enough and now you’ve made a promise, to yourself or your kids, that it’s time to get a dog.
We love our four-legged friends, and their safety (as well as our own) is very important. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner, a new home owner, or you need a refresher, here are some helpful tips to puppy-proof your home.
- Keep kitchen trash high or locked with childproof fasteners. Leaving kitchen garbage bins pet-accessible will have you coming home to a big mess. Not to mention that many human foods can make your animals sick.
- Double-check fences, walls, doors and windows for any chance of your animal escaping. Dogs, especially young ones, love to dig and chew.
- The newest addition to your family may be rambunctious. Free-standing furniture is susceptible to being bumped. Valuables and fragile objects may easily be knocked off their surfaces.
- Make note of plants inside and outside your home that may be toxic if consumed. This includes the plant itself, pesticides and fertilizers.The ASPCA has a list of the ten most common pet toxins that may be in your home.
- Put bathroom trash out of reach, as they may contain chemicals from empty soap bottles, discarded razors and old medications.
- Keep cleaning supplies locked up. Teething puppies can be attracted to the soft plastic bottles. Additionally, when cleaning your home, ensure that your animals aren’t in the area where they could be sprayed with chemicals or inhale harmful odors.
- Electrical cords are enticing toys for many animals. Keep cords out of the way as much as possible. For cords within puppy reach, consider cord covers or tubing to prevent access to current-carrying wires. It is advised to unplug unused electronics and tie excessive cord up and out of the way.
- Much like babies, puppies want to put any and everything they find on the floor, in their mouths.Swallowed objects may cause choking, or become toxic once consumed. Put small objects off the floor.
Be extra mindful when you have large gatherings, like summer barbeques – food can be left out, doors may be left open and you may be so busy entertaining that you can’t keep a constant eye on your pet.
Puppy-proof your home before bringing him/her home so you and your family can celebrate the delight of having a dog. Enjoy your summer, and enjoy your new fuzzy friend!