Puppy proofing

Whether you are a first-time pet owner or just a little bit rusty on the do’s and don’ts here is a great checklist of how to ensure that your house is puppy or pet ready for your new family member.

As a responsible pet lover, you will need to provide a safe environment for your new family member, think of your new pet as a curious toddler who wants to explore EVERYTHING. You want your pet and your precious belongings to be safe. Expect your dog to want to explore every electrical cord, closet and confuse your shoes for a chew toy and any given opportunity.

In the kitchen, any open draws or cabinets will be explored as well as anything exciting to smell or eat, don’t underestimate your pet as they are fully capable of using their nose and paw to open and move things as they please. Try to ensure everything is closed and kept stowed away at all times.

As with a toddler, a bathroom can also be a dangerous place for your pet. Medication, boxes, razors, cotton swabs and soap can and will be investigated. As silly as it sounds, keeps the toilet lid down at all times. Toilet paper is any puppies favourite toy, keep the bathroom door closed at all times unless you are open to coming home to a war zone.

Dogs are scent orientated so love anything that smells like you. Shoes, slippers, and clothing will very quickly become a toy if they are not kept safely behind closed doors. Keep jewellery, hair ties and valuables in a closed drawer or safe place. Many dogs like to make a den under beds or behind furniture if this is undesirable behaviour barricade those areas until your pet knows not to go there.

Whether a living room or family room, these cosy gatherings often a world of entertainment for your pet – pillows, shoes, magazines, power cables and more. These items are very tempting to a teething pet. Stay vigilant about putting away clutter; power cables are fatal to a pet, ensure that in every room your pet cannot access them or is unable to enter those areas unattended.

Before you bring your new pet home, do some research on different plants and what can be toxic to a pet. If you have any old rat poison, mouse traps or snail bait outside – these are toxic to dogs and cats too. Plants such as daffodils, foxgloves, birds of paradise and lupine can be poisonous and cause a variety of different reactions in a pet.

Lastly swimming pools! Although one would assume all dogs can ‘doggy paddle’ this is untrue. A lot of dogs don’t know how to swim and if they fall into a pool, are unable to get out. Do not let your pup have unsupervised access to a swimming pool and if they are curious about swimming, teach them at a later stage (ONLY if they are comfortable).
Remember rather be safe than sorry. Enjoy your next chapter with your new pet.

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