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How to puppy-proof your home [eBook]

Bringing your new puppy home is a very exciting time for you both! Puppies are naturally curious creatures and to keep them safe, it’s important to take the time to prepare your home and garden before their happy arrival. There are many dangers lurking in our homes, so it is worthwhile learning how we can best keep our newest family member safe.

Here are seven steps to consider when puppy-proofing your home.

1. Secure recycling and rubbish

Puppies have a fantastic sense of smell, and they love exploring exciting new scents. Among the tempting odours, rubbish bins and recycling items contain many hazards. Eating decaying food or pieces of rubbish is dangerous and can lead to an obstructed bowel, pancreatitis, or other digestive upsets.

Ensure you keep bin lids secure and out of reach of curious noses and paws. Particularly dangerous items are cooked bones (which can splinter and puncture the gastrointestinal tract), corn cobs (which can cause blockage), mouldy foods and items which are toxic to dogs such as chocolate and grapes .

2. Store household chemicals safely

Keep all household chemicals away from pets. Locked away or on a high shelf are good options as it only takes a moment for puppies to get into mischief.

Rat and snail baits are extremely dangerous and are a common cause of companion animal poisoning. Look into more humane options for deterring rodents, insects and snails from making a home on your property.

3. Protect cords and wires

Puppies are famously chewy when teething – in their minds, what can be more tempting than to nibble on electrical cords dangling like a chew toy. The result of a nibbled electrical cord can be serious injury, or even death.

Consult with hardware and electrical stores for advice on how to puppy proof electrical cords. Christmas lights are a particularly risky item for puppies left home alone.

4. Block off restricted areas

Consider investing in childproof locks and baby gates to keep your puppy safely out of rooms with more hazards such as the kitchen or at the top and bottom of staircases.

5. Secure cabinets and drawers

Furniture can fall and seriously injure pets, so it is worthwhile affixing furniture to the walls with special straps or braces from hardware shops. Curtain and blind cords can be dangerous as pups can become tangled in them.

6. Keep food and medications secure

Keep food and medications securely locked away, and remember to keep your handbag out of reach. Human medications and some foods (such as sugar free chewing gum with xylitol sweetener) can be fatal to pets. Always contact your vet or vet emergency hospital promptly if your pet has eaten anything that could be hazardous. The Animal Poisons Helpline can also be helpful if you think your puppy has accidentally ingested something.

7. Safety in and around the garden

Puppy proofing also needs to include your backyard, balcony and fences. Check you have a dog and puppy proof fence to confine pets safely and keep them away from traffic and swimming pools. Check for the presence of toxic plants and remove or fence them so they are out of reach. Ensure your puppy has sheltered areas to rest, play and sleep, with fresh drinking water, safe toys and a suitable puppy diet.

Protecting your puppy

Nobody can keep an eye on an inquisitive puppy 24 hours a day, so consider taking out pet insurance in the event your new pet is injured or becomes ill. RSPCA Pet insurance offers a range of policies for pups from just eight weeks of age, including options for routine and emergency vet care, ensuring you have peace of mind should the unexpected happen. If you’re with RSPCA Pet Insurance, a portion of first-year premiums will go towards supporting the valuable work of the RSPCA.

For more in depth puppy proofing tips and information on puppy proofing your home, refer to our eBook on How to puppy proof your home.

Download How to puppy proof your home [eBook]

Dr Catherine Tiplady bio image

Dr Catherine Tiplady

Dr Catherine Tiplady studied veterinary science at the University of Queensland. After graduation, Dr Catherine worked in veterinary practice whilst undertaking postgraduate research in Animal Welfare, gaining additional degrees in Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Studies) (Hons 1) and a PhD. Dr Catherine has published widely in peer reviewed scientific journals and has also authored a book, ‘Animal Abuse: Helping Animals and People’. Currently working in small animal practice, Dr Catherine also has her own business performing gentle in-home pet euthanasia and provides veterinary care and desexing services for animal welfare charities. Dr Catherine brings her passion for animal welfare, love of writing and scientific training together to contribute quality content to RSPCA Pet Insurance’s Pet Care blog.