South African Boerboels




Emergency resources: 

ASPCA Poison Control Center- Information regarding toxic plants and foods. It also has an interactive pet-proofing walk-through quiz. 888-426-4435 or; a consultation fee may apply.

In case of disaster: Learn about disaster preparedness for your pet at ASPCA website or at the American Humane Society website ( You also can get a sticker at these sites that lets search-and-rescue workers know a pet are inside your home.

You're new puppy is going to be all mouth and paws and he is going to use them to test the environment. That means something will be chewed or swallowed, something will get broken or ripped, someone is going to get upset but you can reduce the problem dramatically if you prepare your home before getting the puppy.

Puppy is going to want to explore because thatís what puppies do. Heís going to be clumsy and knock into things and heís going to want to taste things.

Below is a puppy-proofing checklist of tips for making your home safe from disaster when your new pup comes home. If you can think of any more, please email me and I will add them to the list.

Donít be put off by the length of the list. It is all common sense and if you restrict puppy to certain areas until he has completed his training, it will be so simple. Take a little time now, you are going to enjoy your new puppy all the more.

First you need to decide which areas are out of bounds and which are not, then secure the non-restricted areas both indoors and outside. Good Luck!

South African Boerboels
Inside the home                                                                                       

Out of bounds:

  • Puppy proof your home by limiting his access around the house particularly if heís not house trained. You can increase the boundaries as he becomes educated. This way, you will not have to puppy proof your home all at once.
  • Bathrooms and toilets should be off limits. They are full of potential swallowing and drowning hazards.
  • Kitchens should be off limits when you are cooking. Heís cute to have around butÖ
  • Keep him out of the laundry room when you are filling the front loader. Donít laugh Ė it happens.
  • Keep him out of the way when you are ironing. Turn your back and the iron will land on him.
  • If you have a cat, its litter box should be inaccessible to the new puppy. Litter is harmful and feces may carry worms. Donít introduce him to the art of Coprophagia. Break the habit now.

In bounds:

  • Get down on your hands and knees and look at the world from the puppyís perspective. Crawl around and see what you can grab hold of that isnít nailed down.
  • Clear the floor of debris. You may think your house is spotless but heís going to find a button or pen top thatís worth tasting. If he can pick it up, it's not puppy proof.
  • Raise anything that hangs low enough for him to grab and pull such as the table cloth or curtains.
  • Tie up wires from the phone, computer or table lamp that he can chew or pull on. There are some excellent cheap cable management options available. They may not be totally puppy proof, but they will reduce the potential for an accident.
  • Secure the lower drawers and cupboard doors with child safety latches.
  • Keeping food off low tables and benches will discourage stealing and keep his diet in check. Did you know that grapes are toxic to dogs?
  • If you have a balcony, railings, or indoor fencing, it needs to be high enough that he canít get over it, strong enough that he canít push it over and the rails close enough that he cannot get his head stuck in it.
  • Research to see if your houseplants are toxic or not. If in doubt, take it out.
  • Tie the drawstrings of the window blinds high enough to be out of the way.
  • Use indoor trash bins that have a lid that he cannot open or put the bin in a cupboard. Donít encourage trash digging.
  • Move your candles to where they cannot be reached or knocked over. Never leave a burning candle unattended when children and puppies are around.
  • Keep ashtrays out of reach especially if it is still in use. Tobacco and nicotine gum contain toxic substances fatal to dogs.
  • If you are using poison or bait, make sure that it is completely inaccessible to puppy.
  • All poisons, medicines and cleaning supplies should be locked away in their respective cupboards.
  • Keep the guard in front of the fire whether it is lit or not and make sure the stacked wood is secure.
  • Be cautious of furniture that your new puppy can get caught in or under such as fold away beds, recliners or rocking chairs.

Outside the home                                                                                                    

Out of bounds:

  • Childrenís play areas such as sand boxes. He may want to use these areas as a bathroom.
  • Any and all plant life that you want to survive. Plants are not puppy proof.
  • Barbecue pits, fire rings and other heat sources. Even if they're cold. He needs to get in the habit of staying away.
  • Fence off pools and ponds and any other potential water hazard such as the hot tub.
  • Garbage areas and compost piles which may contain toxic molds. Keep them in closed containers. Used coffee grounds are toxic.

In bounds:

  • Designate a bathroom area for your new puppy.
  • Any area that you do not have plant life.
  • The lawn if he is supervised not to use as a bathroom.

What to check for.

  • Again you can get down on your hands and knees so that you are at his level. If your hands or knees land on an exposed nail or piece of glass then you are learning what to look for.
  • Check for anything chewable. Mulch is tasty and helps his teeth but what is it made from. Cocoa bean mulch is toxic.
  • Landscaping stone can cause blockages if swallowed.
  • Some plants are toxic. If in doubt, keep him out Ė of that area. The Oleander is beautiful but poisonous.
  • Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, weed killers and all poisons should be kept in a locked area.
  • Gas, petroleum products, oils, paints and thinners should also be locked away. Antifreeze is more than toxic. It will rot the intestines with very little chance of survival.
  • Sharp implements should be properly stored.
  • Heavy items should be placed so that they will not fall over and hurt anyone.
  • Check your boundary fence to see if it is high enough and secure enough. Make it puppy proof so he cannot dig underneath.
  • The gate should have a lock on it to stop people from leaving it open.




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