Preparing Your House for a Puppy

Is your home ready for a puppy? Let's find out!

Think of what all is on your floor. Do you have any roach traps or rat poison anywhere? Cleaning products? Car antifreeze? Medications? What all can you store off the floor or in a closet to prevent your puppy to getting to it, like shoes or plastic children’s toys? Can they reach any electrical cords? Remotes and key fobs that contain batteries can be dangerous if the batteries are ingested. You can relax your watch as the puppy ages, but when you bring them home expect them to find every potential toy that’s around.

Watch out for dropped foods that are poisonous to dogs as well: Grapes, Dark Chocolate, Acorns, and Onions are some of the common ones. There's a handy Mobile App that you can use to check if something is safe to feed your puppy, it's called APCC Mobile App

We all know puppies like to chew on things-your houseplants being one of those things. You may have plants that are actually toxic to dogs and that will need to be out of your puppies reach. Toxic plants commonly found indoors include dieffenbachia, azalea, Calla lily, and philodendron. Poisonous outdoor plants include azalea, oleander, Sago Palm, Fox Lily. If your puppy ingested a plant and you're worried call the 24/7 Animal Control Poison Center at (855) 764-7661 or visit ASPCA Plant List for more information. The Wyler family recommended this site as an additional resource: Pet Owner's Guide to Flowers and Plants. Thank you for your help protecting the puppies!

If you have a fenced in backyard now is the time to go over your fence with a fine toothed comb, but at a puppy's level. Any cracks or loose boards? Spots where the fence doesn't meet the ground? Gaps under your gate? You can lay Chicken wire, a strong small mesh wire sold at hardware stores, to cover small areas, or use bricks. You just want to make sure they can't suddenly slip out while you're not looking. When deciding if an area is large enough for a puppy to squeeze through, and you're not sure, then assume it is and block it up just in case.

Think of the all the wonderful smells that are floating out of your trash can... or don't, eww. But to a puppy it smells very enticing. Make sure all your trash cans are covered and too high for the puppy to reach. That includes bathroom trashcans, as they can be full of floss, q-tips, wet-wipes, and other potential choking hazards.

Heights are dangerous to a young puppy who believes they can fly... off the couch, out of your arms, off a counter. Make sure children understand to never set the puppy on a high surface. It's best to have small children sit when holding a puppy, as if the puppy suddenly wiggles or jumps it can fall several feet. For tall couches and beds you can purchase dog stairs to put next to the furniture.

Litterboxes full of kitty crunchies are unfortunately another big lure for puppies, they can't seem to resist! Place the litterbox off the ground where the puppy can't reach, as ingesting litter can cause intestinal obstructions. Cat food bowls will need to be placed out of reach as well.

Ponds or pools are dangerous for a puppy, even if they can swim you'll need to be careful that they don't fall in or can't find a way out. A pet escape ramp for pools is available here

This one may surprise you, but a puppy's collar with its tags can be a danger. I personally know of dogs that caught their tags in a wire crate or fence and were being choked. It's a danger you don't think of but it's easily avoided by removing collars when you're leaving them alone.


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