Friday, October 16, 2009

How to Puppy Proof Your House

The Christmas season is only a few months away, and I'm sure that more than a few of you are considering getting a puppy. Of course, this is not a decision to be taken lightly, but for those of you who are dead set, the next few blogs are for you! The first few blogs on this post will be dedicated to your puppy. We'll cover everything from potty training to vaccinations. This first post is dedicated to puppy-proofing your house, and making it a fun, worry-free place for all who live there.

That’s Shocking- Young animals love to chew when they’re teething. Keep electrical wires out of reach or use a pet-repellent spray.

They’d die for some chocolate- Chocolate can be dangerous. It contains theobromine, a powerful stimulant that is toxic to pets. Sweets, cakes, and cookies can also upset a young animal’s G.I. tract and can lead to diarrhea and vomiting, which can be serious.

But it’s healthy for us- Some things that are great for people can be deadly to your pet. Keep your puppy away from raisins, grapes, garlic, raw onions, and raw peppers. Feel free, however, to see what else your dog might like. Carrots can be nutritious chew toys and apples and green beans can be a healthy snack.

Treats can be threats- Never give turkey, chicken, or rib bones as a treat. They can splinter and cause serious injury.

Common Household Killers- Cleaning agents, bleach, ammonia, disinfectants, drain cleaner, oven cleaner, paint, gasoline, rat poison. Keep them locked up.

Check the antifreeze- Pets are attracted to the odor and sweet taste of antifreeze. Store it high and tightly sealed, wiping up any spills on the garage floor. Window-washing solution and many floor cleaners also contain antifreeze.

Killer house plants- Poisonous plants include lilies, philodendron, dieffenbachia, elephant ear, eucalyptus, spider plants, azalea, ivy, amaryllis, pyracantha, oleander, boxwood, Jerusalem Cherry, and plant bulbs.

Keep off the grass- If you treat your lawn with chemicals, keep pets away. Even some mulches contain similar ingredients to chocolate. Read and follow label directions carefully.

It fit yesterday- Puppies grow rapidly. Collars and harnesses can be rapidly outgrown, leading to serious wounds.

Take care of personal care items and medications- Cosmetics, shampoos, skin creams, hair “perm” solutions, depilatories, suntan lotions, sleeping pills, antihistamines, aspirin, and acetaminophen can all be lethal to pets.

It’s not a toy- Don’t leave plastic bags out. Inquisitive young animals can suffocate.

A dip tip- Keep covers on hot tubs and swimming pools. Young puppies can fall in and not be able to get out.

‘Tis the Season- Keep holly, mistletoe and especially Christmas tree tinsel out of reach.

Cozy up- Always use a fireplace screen. Not only could stray embers pop out and hurt your puppy, but kindling can seem awfully enticing to a teething pup.

Do you eat with that mouth?- Rule of thumb: If any or all of something will fit in a mouth, it’s dangerous. Watch out for cigarette butts, rubber bands, balloons, sewing needles, thread, string, ribbons, and, yes, even pantyhose. What goes in must come out, often via surgery.

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