Second Lockdown: We are still seeing pet patients – but due to the second lockdown restrictions, we are not able to allow human clients into the practice premises itself (but pets can come in freely!). Please see our most recent information about this here. Many thanks for your continuing support at this most difficult time.
Dogs are one of the most selfless creatures on the planet that make fantastic pets, but they sure are inquisitive and curious. If you have finally decided on getting a furry companion, I can assure you that the journey is going to be a fantastic experience. One thing to keep in mind is that you should stay prepared, this is particularly important when you bring the new puppy home. In the early years, your pup may get himself in trouble often with the habit of exploring and chewing everything that he comes across. To protect your puppy and save yourself from worrying all the time, here are a few tips you can follow for safely proofing your home:
Remove Toxic Plants
Certain types of plants can be poisonous for your puppy. These include house and garden plants such as Aconitum, Asparagus fern, Azalea, Daffodil bulbs, Daylilies, Hemlock, Ivy, Lupins, Nightshade, and Rhubarb leaves to name a few. Many of these can cause severe poisoning, so ensure that you thoroughly research all plants in your home and remove all those that pose a threat to your pup’s well-being.
Keep Medications Locked Up
Dog poisoning due to human medications has become quite common. It is crucial for you to ensure that all your meds are locked up in cabinets that are secured with childproof latches. Your pup may even chew through the plastic container of pills; therefore, make sure you store these in places that are out of your dog’s reach.
Prevent Access to the Bin
Trash cans excite dogs as they love to discover delicious (unhealthy) treats around the bin. But apart from these delightful treats, the trash can also contains human foods that can cause poisoning to your pooch. Some items upon ingestion may also lead to intestinal blockage while others may cause severe injuries (glass bottles or razors in the bathroom trash.) The safest option is to invest in a pull-out trash can but if you aren’t looking into spending a lot then look for any type of closed bin that your pup can’t open up or keep it in a place where your furry companion can’t get access.
Keep Away Common Household Items that aren’t Safe
First-time dog owners may not be aware that many of our favorite food items (chocolates, avocados, grapes, chewing gum) are toxic for our dogs. Now, of course, you can’t remove all of these, so it is best to store all foods on high shelves away from your pup. Remove all lotions, cosmetics from your bedside and hide them someplace safe.
Prevent Your Pup from Chewing Cords
Severe burns from chewing onto electrical cords have been commonly reported in dogs. These injuries are painful and take considerable time to heal, in some cases these can be life-threatening as well so the smarter choice is to keep the cords hidden. You can use spiral wraps or cord concealers to cover the wires or loop them through PVC poles to prevent chewing.
Keep the Doors Shut
The kitchen and bathrooms are the two rooms that contain potentially the most dangerous items. For instance, many people keep harsh cleaning chemicals below the sink, a place where your pup can reach conveniently. Although I would recommend stopping the use of these chemicals altogether, yet it is still best to limit your pup’s access to these rooms by keeping the doors closed.
Protect Your Pup from the Fire Place
There aren’t a lot of risks in the living room, but among the few dangerous spots, the fireplace is a big one. Your pup may get burned or harmed by the flying ashes. To guarantee your pup's safety, keep the fireplace shut off using a screen.
Don’t Let Your Dog near the Pool without Supervision
Pools can be another danger, even for pets who know how to swim. The chemicals used in pools can harm our pups if they drink from it. There is also the risk of drowning if your dog knows how to swim but is unable to get out. Keep your pup away from the pools using fencing or don’t let your puppy out without supervision. Pro-Tip: When you take your puppy to the pool use flea and tick preventives to protect him from the parasites.
About the author:
Jenny Perkins works in animal behaviour and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.
This is a guest blog by one of our many animal community friends. It has not been written by The Finchley Vet staff. We love to showcase other people's work as we think it makes things more interesting for you, our readers, however, it does mean that we have not checked any of the facts and any opinions are those of the author and not of the Finchley Vet, or Local Vet Ltd.