Just as you childproof your house when your baby becomes a toddler to keep him safe, do the same for your puppy. When it comes to getting into trouble, puppies are experts at finding themselves in life-threatening situations even in apartments where you might think, what can possibly go wrong. They’re also known for spreading allergies to the entire home if not confined to a specific area.
The cage is useful for times when you can’t supervise your puppy. But it’s not a good idea to cage him every time you can’t supervise him, and it’s not feasible to supervise all the time. So how can you puppy-proof the house?
Have some doors closed so your puppy doesn’t have access to the entire house. After all, short of having your belongings and furniture hanging from the ceiling, it’s unrealistic to keep everything out of the puppy’s reach. And remember, small and sharp objects may cause the puppy to choke if he swallows them, or they may perforate the stomach or intestines. Splintered wood, too, is always a danger.
Also consider having your puppy on a lead and attaching the lead to you so you can keep an eye on him. Beware, though, that he may start chewing on your shoelaces, or may relieve himself right where he is, because he can’t access his toilet area.
Electric wires, cables and leads should also be kept out of reach. Many puppies find them attractive, chew them, and can be electrocuted. Your puppy will be less likely to get into trouble if he has plenty of his own toys to play with and you teach him to play with those toys only.
Also important is the type of food and snacks you leave about. Chocolates, coffee, tea, grapes, raisins and certain nuts may be toxic. Some common houseplants are poisonous and can cause serious harm if swallowed. Either put mesh around your pot plants so the puppy can’t get to them, or keep them out of reach.
And don’t forget the swimming pool, ponds and other water features. Just because many dogs can swim doesn’t mean they can’t drown. Research suggests that even within specific breeds, some dogs take to water like ducks, while others will panic in seconds and need rescuing. Don’t make any assumptions about your dog’s safety in water. If your house has a swimming pool, put a fence around it. Frequently, when a dog has drowned it’s not because he couldn’t swim, but because he couldn’t clamber out. The physical exhaustion causes the dog’s body to stop moving and drowning results.