A puppy’s natural curiosity will delight your family. But it can also get them into serious trouble. It may sound a little silly, but it’s actually worth getting on your knees and doing a little tour of your house from puppy-height.
You’ll quickly notice the things that will get a puppy into trouble. Electrical cords and computer cables are just begging to be bitten by sharp little teeth. Puppies can also prise open bottles of cleaning fluid and other chemicals, so put these safely away. Follow this checklist to give yourself peace of mind that your dog is safe when left home alone.
Keep them safe
Puppies are naturally inquisitive – it’s one of their most endearing characteristics, but it’s also a potentially harmful one. Before you bring your new dog home, you'll want to make sure your house is safe. Follow this checklist to keep your dog out of danger.
Apple (the seeds are dangerous), Apricot (the pit), Cherries (the seed), Onion, Peach (leaves and the pit), Avocado (especially the stone) Macadamia and Tomato (especially the green parts)
Store all poisonous items out of reach
Put household cleaners, laundry detergents, bleach, disinfectants, insecticides, cleaning fluid, fertilisers, mothballs, antifreeze, insect poisons, rat poisons and other items in cabinets or on high shelves.
Pretend you’re a puppy
Look at your house from your puppy's point of view: get down on all fours and look around. Move or remove dangling electric cords, loose nails, plastic bags or other tempting objects that are in reach. Pick up buttons, string, sewing needles, pins and other sharp objects, and anything small enough to swallow.
If your puppy swallows any of these objects, they may cause damage to the mouth and internal organs. String and other entangling objects like curtain pulls may cause abrasions or strangulation.
Keep the toilet seat down
Puppies are often tempted to play in or drink the toilet bowl water. This habit can be very hard to break. It’s unsanitary and toilet cleaner may be harmful if swallowed.
Unplug, remove or cover any electrical cords in your puppy’s confinement area
Chewing on these cords can cause severe mouth burns, electrocution and fires.
Close off balconies and high decks
Puppies – and small mature dogs – can slip through openings and fall.
Buy a book on puppy care
Place a handy reference guide on a shelf in your bedroom, den or kitchen. You never know when you'll need a quick answer.
In the last few days before you first bring your puppy home, give your house a good cleaning and remove breakable items from areas where your puppy will be. Also, spend some time preparing yourself or your family. Small children in particular need to know how to act around puppies.
Check your plants
Many plants in and around your house can be harmful to your puppy. For example, the seeds of apricots and peaches, as well as spinach and tomato vines, can make your puppy sick, and can even be fatal in large dosages. See below for a full list of dangerous plants.
Amaryllis, Asian Lily, Autumn Crocus, Bird of Paradise, Climbing
Lily, Cyclamen, Daffodil, Day Lily, Easter Lily, Elephant Ear,
Foxglove, Gladiola, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Iris, Kalanchoe, Lily
of the Valley, Narcissus, Poinsettia, Rubrum Lily, Stargazer Lily,
Tiger Lily, Tulip and Wood Lily
Aparagus Fern, Emerald Feather, Lace Fern and Plumosa Fern
Aloe Vera, Anthurium, Arum or Calla Lily, Hellebore, Morning
Glory, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Nightshade and Pussy’s Ears
Aglaonema, Arrowhead Vine, Dracaena Deremensis, Dracaena
Fragrans, Dracaena Marginata, Dumb Cane, Golden Pothos,
Massangeana, Monstera Deliciosa, Peace Lily, Heart Leaf
Philodendron, Satin Pothos and Syngonium
Azalea, Cycads (including Sago Palm), Holly, Japanese
Sacred Bamboo, Madeira Cherry, Oleander, Rhododendron,
Red Emerald Philodendron, Rosary Pea, Saddle Leaf
Philodendron, Tree Philodendron, Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow
Buckeye, Umbrella Tree, White Cedar (especially ripe fruit)
Clematis, Deadly Nightshade and English Ivy
About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.