Perhaps the question I get asked the most about puppies is, "What should I do to prepare my home for our new puppy?"
Let me answer by saying there are four areas to look into to ensure your home is set and ready to go for your new bundle of fir.
First, you want to puppy proof your home.
Ten Things To Do Before That New Puppy Arrives
Close doors or set up baby gates to rooms you don't want the puppy to get into. Puppies are naturally curious and will explore. It is best to keep them confined to one room or part of a room, and gradually increase their range.
Get all plant, small pets (gerbils, guinea pigs, fish, lizards, etc.), electrical cords and curtain/shade pulls out of puppy range. Covers for electrical cords are advisable.
Keep kids' toys picked up and out of puppy reach. Puppies do not know the difference between their toys and your daughter's brand new Barbie doll.
Remote controls and video game equipment (which are often used and left on the floor) needs to be put in a secure location.
Lift up your wastebaskets! Gross as it sounds, dogs love dirty tissues and other nasty things that are put in wastebaskets! It is like their own disgusting, nose level buffet. My adult dogs are five and ten years old and will still occasionally sneak things out of the wastebaskets.
Check your fencing – make sure it goes completely to the ground. You would be amazed at how small a gap a puppy can fit through! In fact, I recommend keeping puppies tethered, even if the back yard is fenced, until they are fairly reliable on the recall. The game of 'Catch the Puppy' is not a good game to be playing with your young puppy. You need to stay in control as much as possible.
Keep all medications and chemicals securely hidden. Dogs can counter cruise and a simple bottle of pain reliever consumed by a curious pup can have fatal consequences.
Remember, your puppy is going to grow! What may pass for puppy-proof today may not be adequate in another month or two. Be aware of your pup's ever increasing range and curiosity.
Bottom line is you have to be watching your puppy constantly. Any thing other than food that they chew and swallow has the potential to make them sick or, worse yet, kill them.
Don't forget the tail. Not all puppy damage is done by puppy chewing. Make sure all breakable items are above tail level. One good swipe with a happy tail and grandma's crystal vase is shattered.
Identify And Remove Any Toxic Plants
Manplants that are common to our gardens and homes (including the dead leaves) can be poisonous to our dogs. Here is the ASPCA listingwhich is an excellent listing and resource: Toxic Plants
Third Toxic Human Foods – Yummy Things That Can Kill Your Puppy!
There are human foods that are very toxic to dogs. Chief among them are onions, chocolate, grapes and raisins. It is very important that you make any children in your house AND neighborhood aware of this. For a complete list go to: Bad Food List
Finally, Have Poison Control Center Information Handy
If you think your puppy has been poisoned Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center The telephone number is (888) 426-4435. There is a consultation fee for this service. Use the tips in this article to prepare your home for and take some of the stress off yourself from dealing with your new puppy.
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