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Puppy Proofing Your Home by Frank Utchen, DVM

Puppies are like babies; they’re lively, they’re curious and they teethe. This can lead them into serious trouble unless you take preventive measures. 

Remember that a pup has a lower vantage point than your—like a baby who has begun to crawl—and may be attracted to things you cannot see when you are standing. 

It’s practically impossible to completely puppy proof your home against accidents, but for your puppy’s safety, here are some suggestions: 

Confine your puppy to a safe area inside and keep doors and windows closed and/or screened securely. Remember a puppy can chew through a screen door. 

Your puppy should not be left unsupervised inside or outside. Puppies will investigate, wander about and possibly get into mischief (soiling, chewing, getting locked in closets or rooms, etc.) 

Keep your puppy off balconies, upper porches and high decks. Be aware that a puppy can sometimes fit between the bars of a railing on staircases of landings inside a home. 

Securely store cleaning supplies, detergent, bleach, paint and paint thinner, fertilizer, disinfectants, insect and rodent poisons, and antifreeze. Make sure you keep these items where your puppy cannot gain access, preferably on high storage shelves in closed cabinets.

Keep toilet lids down. Puppies may attempt to play in the water and could be hurt by the lid closing on them. Toilet bowl cleaners are harmful if swallowed. Unplug, remove or cover any electrical cords in your puppy’s confinement area. If he chews live wires, this can lead to severe mouth burns, electrocution, or fires. Do not use electric blankets or pads to line your puppy’s bed. It is also a good idea to cover electrical outlets with plug covers when not in use. 

Never give your puppy any medication without consulting your veterinarian, and keep all medications out of your puppy’s reach. 

Check to see where your puppy is before closing any doors. Make it a habit to conduct a “puppy check” before leaving home to be sure your puppy has not accidentally been locked in an unsafe area. 

Keep sewing supplies and small hardware out of your puppy’s reach. Buttons, beads, needles, pins, balls of string or yarn and thread can hurt his mouth or internal organs if swallowed. The same goes for nails, staples, screws, paperclips, and other sharp object.

Small puppies can get tangled in plastic six-pack beverage holders. Cut the holders apart to prevent this problem and dispose of them securely. 

Keep all plastic bags away from our puppy. He could get trapped inside and suffocate or he might chew and swallow bits of plastic which could be very harmful to his digestive system. 

Ribbons around your puppy’s neck can be very dangerous. If your puppy catches the ribbon on anything he may choke, He might also chew the ribbon and swallow it, which could require surgery to remove.

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