There’s nothing like a puppy to make your household complete. But a puppy can wreak havoc on household furniture, carpeting, children’s toys and anything else that appeals to his curiosity and his itching gums. While it’s important to protect your home from your puppy, it is more important to protect your puppy from common household items that can put his health and safety in danger.
Know the Hazards
Puppies chew for a couple of reasons. Chewing is a way for your puppy to relieve the discomfort of teething. It is also an excellent outlet for excess energy, particularly for bored dogs. Puppies are not picky about what they gnaw on, but will chew based on the convenience of the item, the consistency, and how it feels and tastes in their mouth. This means that for your puppy, anything he can get his teeth on is fair game when he’s looking for something to chew.
Because your puppy can’t tell what is and isn’t OK to chew on, it’s crucial that you puppy-proof your house ahead of time. Certain items can be extremely hazardous for pets if ingested, including medications, vitamins, tobacco products, sugar-free foods and aromatherapy items. Your dog only needs to ingest a minimal amount of some items to cause serious harm — for example, even a little bit of sugar-free candy or gum is capable of causing liver failure in your dog. Be extra careful about how you store these items; just because it’s up on a counter doesn’t mean your puppy can’t get to it.
Electrical cords can be tempting to your pup, but chewing on a cord that is plugged in can result in a dangerous shock. Puppies will also gnaw on wood furniture or baseboards; this is dangerous because your dog can ingest harmful chemicals or large, sharp pieces of wood. Carpets and rugs pose a unique challenge during the puppy months too — not only do these soft areas make an excellent potty, they can also be a tempting chew toy.
Your puppy may be enticed to eat items that are totally unappealing to a human, such as pesticides, paint, gasoline, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, hair supplies, makeup, antifreeze, glue, cocoa mulch, batteries, rat poison, and indoor and outdoor plants. Even if you’re storing some of these items in the garage, keep in mind that your pet may still have access to them, and remember that it only takes a moment for a harmful substance to be eaten by a curious puppy.
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