Puppy-proofing your home
- Open cabinets: Can contain caustic cleaners
- Accessible garbage pail: Can contain bad food, bones and plastic wrap that could be swallowed
- Overhanging pan handle: Can be pulled off of stove
- Open oven doors: May be very hot
- Knives, skewers: Can be licked or swallowed
- Plastic bags, wrap and aluminum foil: Can be swallowed if they taste like the food they were wrapped in
- Plastic canisters: Can form a deadly airtight seal if a puppy gets his head stuck inside
- Close cabinet doors, install childproof locks (if the puppy can open them) and store caustic cleaners in high cupboards.
- Place the garbage pail under the sink or on the counter.
- Don't leave wrappers or implements where puppies can reach them.
- Don't let the puppy under your foot when you're cooking!
- Swinging door: Can swing shut on a tail, or worse, neck
- Hanging tablecloth: Can be pulled down (along with what's on it)
- Remove or prop open swinging doors.
- Go without a tablecloth for a while, or keep him out of the room when you eat!
- Fireplace without secure fire screen: Can burn puppy
- Uncovered electrical outlets: Can shock if licked
- Electric wires: Can shock if chewed through, or can pull lamps and appliances down when pulled on
- Unattached bookcase: Can be pulled down on top of a puppy
- Sewing or knitting basket: Can contain pins and thread, both of which can cause serious problems if swallowed
- Craft kits: Can contain glue, beads, strings and other objects that are dangerous if swallowed.
- Open stairway: Small puppies may not be ready to negotiate steps.
- Get a good fire screen and don't let the puppy loose around a fire.
- Cover electrical outlets and hide as many electric cords as possible.
- Place hobby and sewing baskets out of reach.
- Place a baby gate in front of stairways.
- Don't let the puppy play unsupervised! A playpen or exercise pen is a good place to keep him when you're distracted.
- Toys: Can be destroyed and some parts can be dangerous if swallowed
- Coins: Pennies are especially dangerous if swallowed because they are made of zinc and can cause zinc toxicity.
- Open closets: Don't blame the puppy if he chews your shoes!
- Diaper pail: If swallowed, diaper material can cause impactions or bowel obstructions.
- Blinds with long cords: Can choke a puppy if the puppy catches his head in them
- Don't leave toys, coins or diaper pails in reach.
- Close closet doors or place shoes on racks.
- Cut the loop in the cords for blinds, leaving two long pieces, or hang the cord out of reach.
- Place a baby gate in front of children's rooms that may not be clean enough.
- Pills: Puppies can chew through childproof caps and can overdose on normally safe medications and react adversely to some human medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, even in small doses.
- Toiletries: Toothpaste, razors, hair coloring, suntan lotions, deodorants and rubbing alcohol must all be kept out of reach.
- Drain cleaners: Drain cleaners can be deadly if swallowed and can cause severe irritation on contact.
- Close the bathroom door! Even so, keep everything out of reach in medicine cabinets or cupboards.
- Detergents, bleach and lye: Some powders can burn eyes and throats, and bleach can be blinding or fatal.
- Place everything up high. If possible, close the door or use a baby gate in front of it.
- Antifreeze: Just one lick of antifreeze containing ethylene glycol can kill. Propylene glycol is less toxic. With either, clean up any spills.
- Gasoline, diesel, oil, kerosene, brake fluid, carburetor cleaner, windshield fluid, paints, paint thinners, acetone, mineral spirits, wood stain, furniture polish, used oil, batteries, glue: All can irritate skin and may be toxic if swallowed.
- Tools: Heavy tools can fall on a puppy.
- Car: Puppies may fall asleep under a parked car and not move when it starts.
- Garage door: Puppies may try to run through at the last second, resulting in breaking their back.
- Nails, tacks, and screws: May be deadly if swallowed
- Herbicides, rodent poisons, slug bait: May be enticing to eat but deadly if swallowed
- Fertilizers: May be deadly if swallowed
- Keep the puppy out of the garage! The only exception is if you make a puppy-proof area from which the puppy cannot escape.
- Decks, balconies, and upper level open windows: May have open sides that a puppy can fall from
- Unsealed deck wood: Pressure treated wood contains arsenic; if not sealed regularly it can leach out and be toxic, especially if licked.
- Open doors: Can let your dog get loose and be hurt; may also be caught by the wind and slam on the puppy
- Glass doors: Running into a glass door can cause neck injuries.
- Weak fence: Every time the puppy finds a way out it teaches him to keep on trying harder next time.
- Unfenced pool: Unless he knows how to get out, he can fall in and drown.
- Cocoa mulch: Has a chocolate taste but contains toxic theobromine
- Nut trees: Swallowed nuts may need to be surgically removed.
- Tree limbs: Falling limbs can crush a puppy.
- Pointed twigs or sticks at eye level: Can poke a running puppy in the eye
- Predators: Small puppies can be viewed as prey by coyotes, mountain lions, alligators and large birds of prey. Neighborhood dogs may attack a puppy, and people may steal puppies.
- Wild animals: Poisonous snakes, snapping turtles, giant marine toads and stinging insects may injure a puppy in self-defense.
- Poisonous plants: Learn what poisonous plants are in your area and keep the puppy away. For a list of plants poisonous to your pet, check out these resources on common poisonous plants.
- Treated lawns: Keep the puppy off freshly treated lawns.
- Place barriers or temporary fencing, even chicken wire, in front of open high places.
- Seal deck wood.
- Make it a rule that doors are either shut firmly or held open with a doorstop.
- Place decals on glass doors at puppy level.
- Fix any weak spots in the fence.
- Teach your puppy to swim and how to get out of the pool. If he cannot swim, fence the pool off.
- Remove cocoa mulch.
- Remove rotted branches, or place temporary fencing beneath them and nut trees.
- Remove or fence off poisonous plants.
Remember: If a toddler could get into it, it's child's play for a puppy!