ASPCA Poison Control Center-
regarding toxic plants and foods. It also has an
interactive pet-proofing walk-through quiz.
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
You also can get a sticker at these sites that lets
search-and-rescue workers know a pet are inside your
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!
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Keep the guard in front of the fire whether it is
lit or not and make sure the stacked wood is
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.
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
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
Some plants are toxic. If in doubt, keep him out Ė
of that area. The Oleander is beautiful but
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.