Dogs, and especially puppies, explore their world by mouthing and chewing. That means that dogs end up tasting a good portion of your home, and very little of this environment is edible. That can get even well behaved dogs into trouble.
It’s even more likely to happen when you first adopt a dog. New pets won’t know the rules of the house, and new owners may not be alert to all the ways dogs can get into trouble. These 5 tips will help you keep your dog safe around the house.
By the way, today is “change a pet’s life” day. Why not make room in your home and heart for a new dog or puppy from your local shelter—or give a donation so others can share the joy?
Kitchen and bathroom cabinets typically contain household cleaners. Those work great for cleaning floors but can poison dogs when they lap up toxic substances or walk through cleansers. Keep dangerous cleaners out of your dog’s reach because they won’t know any better. Child proof locks on cupboards may be necessary for some genius canines.
Guard the garage
Your garage also contains chemicals and substances to feed the yard, poison bugs, and keep cars running in top form. Toxic liquids like antifreeze, for instance, taste sweet to dogs but can kill them. If your dog spends time in the garage, make sure all such items are locked away out of reach, or pet-safe alternatives are used. Better yet, use pet barriers or baby gates to keep them in the dog-safe areas only.
Puppies tend to chew anything that doesn’t move faster than they do. Dogs might mistake swaying electric cords with tug toys, for example, and end up burned or worse from electrical shock. Dog proof your home by containing dangerous electric chords in less tempting bundles or cordon off the computer room to keep dogs out of harm’s way. Also, set out a Swizzles chew toy or a rawhide chew to keep your dog's chewing urges satiated.
Hang drapery ties high
Puppies leaping to grab at wooden blind ties or drapery pulls can get caught in the strings and strangle. Pull these temptations out of reach to keep your dog safe.
Nix the poisonous plants
Holiday plants like holly and Easter lily are poisonous to dogs and should not be in your home at all if you have pets. While some plants won’t be dangerous, they can still get your dog in trouble if your holy terrier digs them out of the planter. Set them out of reach or create barriers to keep dogs at bay.
Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, consultant to the pet care industry and the award winning author of 23 pet care books.