Congratulations on your puppy! You’re whole life changes in the blink of an eye. Like children you need to puppy proof your home. They are faster than a speeding bullet when it comes to getting into trouble.
With Mr Magoo I forgot how much preparation needs to go into making sure your home and belongings are safe for them. And from them. Particularly as they grow and hit their teenage years! Hopefully these ideas help make your puppy experience a little bit easier.
Foods and Additives – Short List
Most accidents occur from food being dropped or taken. It is important to have a good “Drop It” and “Leave It,” here’s one way that you can teach these.
The following is a quick list of foods and additives should be kept out of reach of a puppy. Get a full list of toxic and dangerous foods here.
- Chocolate. Dark chocolate, although my favorite, is the worst if a dog ingests it.
- Grapes and Raisins
Xylitol is a sweetener found in everything from toothpaste to peanut butter. My cousin’s Portuguese Water Dog, Mia, grabbed a packaged of Ice Breakers Gum off the counter, which has Xylitol in it. Mia was in the hospital for three days and it was touch and go for the first 24 hours. Other dogs haven’t been so fortunate.
My toothpaste has Xylitol. I am super careful because Mr Magoo has already tried to grab it a couple of times. I would feel terrible if something happened because of my carelessness.
Like with children cleaning supplies seem to be a big draw for puppies. You can always put child locks on cabinets or put a baby gate up to keep them out of the area.
My general rule is if the label has “DANGER” on it, it probably is going to be extremely toxic to your puppy. These go up in higher cabinets in my laundry room.
The following short list are items that generally smell better or have an interesting texture that puppies are interested in.
- Drain Cleaners
- Toilet Cleaners
- Dishwasher Pods and Liquid
- Floor, Counter, All-Purpose Cleaners
- Laundry Pods
Products that include Ammonia, Chlorine, Glycol Ethers, and Formaldehyde are all extremely toxic to pets. Chlorinate pools can also be a problem so you may need to limit the time your dog spends in them. Fortunately, in San Diego most pools are salt water which can be its own set of problems but at least they aren’t toxic.
Puppies are drawn to electrical cords. Mr Magoo has put his teeth into my iPhone cord, which fortunately wasn’t plugged in at the time. He has also gone after my computer cords in my office. I try to keep cords off the ground, which is easier when you are looking at an iPhone but more difficult when the outlet is closer to the floor.
Furniture also seems to be enticing to puppies. Molson chewed on my leather couch, while I was on it. Miss Millie chewed on my coffee table, while my feet were on it and I was eating my dinner. Mr Magoo has been caught gnawing on my office guest chairs while I’m working at my desk. Even with my vigilance they still sneak in their puppy naughtiness.
There are products out there, like Bitter Apple, that can be very effective at deterring your puppy from chewing. I like this product because you can spray it on almost anything and it won’t stain or discolor. The downside is for some more voracious or naughty puppies they chew right through it.
With Mr Magoo I decided I wasn’t messing around. I sprinkled Cayenne Pepper on the cords in my office and he has never gone near that corner of my desk. I also use this on some of my plants outside to deter him from destroying them. The downside to this is it may discolor fabrics or materials.
Ultimate Puppy Proofing
If you are looking to ensure your puppy won’t destroy anything, you will want to crate train them so they have a safe place to go. You can get some crate training ideas here.
Keep them close to you at all times. For some dogs this means tethering them to you with their leash.
Control the access to your home. Put up baby gates into rooms you don’t want your puppy in, or to keep them in. Use an X-pen to keep your puppy in a confined space but larger than their crate. Or use it cordon off areas that don’t accommodate a baby gate.
Like what you are reading? You can check out the rest of our puppy series here. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to see what fun stuff we cook up.
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Puppy Proof Your Home