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How to Puppy-Proof Your House!

Your house is going to be the place where your dog spends the majority of his life, so it’s vitally important that you take precautions to make sure it is a safe environment. Puppies are naturally very inquisitive, like putting things in their mouths, and will explore every nook and cranny they can. Bringing home that little cutie pie is a lot like bringing home a baby that is mobile, you have to watch them carefully and puppy proof for hazards. So when you are preparing to bring your puppy home, what should you be looking for?

Electrical wires

Puppies love to chew when they are teething. You will want to make sure they do not have access to electrical wires around the house. Electrical shock can cause burns in the mouth, breathing problems, or cardiac arrest.


Natural bones can splinter and cause serious injury, such as major bleeding in the mouth or perforation of the esophagus or intestines, requiring emergency surgery. There are

Household chemicals

Many common chemicals and chemical solutions can cause burns, bleeding, blindness, or death. If you know your dog has ingested any of these substances, do not attempt to make them vomit and seek vet help as soon as possible. (Call the Texas Poison Center Network, they handle pet calls 24/7 1-800-222-1222) To properly puppy-proof, keep all of the below products locked up and away from your pup:

  • Bleach

  • Ammonia

  • Disinfectants

  • Drain cleaner

  • Oven cleaner

  • Paint

  • Gasoline

  • Rat poison


Antifreezee has an odor and sweet taste that attracts Pets. Make sure to store it high and tightly sealed, and take care to wipe up any spills on the garage floor. Window-washing solution may also contain antifreeze. Antifreeze quickly causes neurological symptoms and kidney failure when ingested. If this happens, take your dog directly to the vet.

Poisonous plants

As you start to puppy-proof your house and outdoor area for your new puppy, it may mean saying goodbye to some of your plants (or at least moving them out of your pup’s reach). Many can be poisonous for dogs and other pets, causing skin infections, kidney failure, liver failure, or severe irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. See the ASPCA website for more information. Some common plants that are dangerous are:

  • Aloe

  • Amaryllis

  • Azaleas

  • Begonias

  • Carnations

  • Daisies

  • Dieffenbachia

  • Elephant Ears

  • Eucalyptus

  • Gardenia

  • Holly

  • Hydrangea

  • Ivy

  • Jerusalem Cherry

  • Lavender

  • Lilies (various varieties)

  • Mums

  • Oleander

  • Peonies

  • Philodendron

  • Poinsettia

  • Sago Palm

  • Snake Plant

  • Tulips

Lawn treatments

When puppy-proofing your house, don’t forget about the outside area. If you treat your lawn with chemicals, make sure to read the directions and warnings for how long pets should stay off the grass. If you hired someone to spray, ask how long until your new pup needs to stay off the lawn. Another important lawn care tip? Make sure you remove any mushrooms, as some varieties can cause liver failure if your dog ingests them.

Plastic bags and bubble wrap

Do not leave packaging materials like plastic bags or bubble wrap out. Inquisitive young pups can suffocate or end up with an intestinal obstruction.

Heat-producing devices

Watch out for hot irons, coffee pots, kettles, ovens, stoves, and space heaters. Always use a fireplace screen to keep your puppy away from the fire.

Hot tubs and swimming pools

When it comes to hot tubs and swimming pools, puppies can accidentally fall in and not be able to get out, leading to accidental drowning. Keep covers on when you’re not using them, and like a child closely supervise you puppy around them.

Holiday decorations

Keep holly, mistletoe, glass ornaments, candles, lights, and tinsel out of reach. Do not feed leftovers to your puppy, and be sure chocolate is kept hidden.

Bite-size trinkets

Rule of thumb: If any or all of something will fit in your dog’s mouth, then you should consider it dangerous. Be sure to empty trash cans regularly or keep them out of reach. Because what goes in must come out, often times via surgery! A few particular items to watch out for are:

  • Balloons

  • Birth control

  • Cigarette butts

  • Coins

  • Inhalers

  • Pantyhose and underwear

  • Rubber bands

  • Sanitary products

  • Sewing needles

  • Thread, string, ribbons


Chocolate can be dangerous for your dog, and baking chocolate is the worst. It contains theobromine, a powerful stimulant that is toxic for pets. Sweets like cakes and cookies can also upset a dog’s gastrointestinal tract and lead to diarrhea and vomiting or pancreatitis, which can be serious.


This artificial sweetener is contained in many candies, sugar-free gums, and some peanut butter brands. But beware: It is toxic to dogs in very small quantities and can be fatal.

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