If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, the spring is a great time to do it! With plenty of warm weather and sunshine you can spend oodles of time outside with your new friend. They can learn about the feel of grass, pavement, and dirt and learn to socialize with other dogs.
However, your little four-footed buddy can also cause plenty of damage or harm themselves if you don’t take precautions. Here are a few things you can do to puppy proof your home.
Lock Down the Kitchen
Did someone say food? Your dog sense of smell is forty times greater than yours and all those goodies in the cupboards and drawers are just too tempting. Invest in childproof latches while they’re young to keep them out of these tempting areas. They’re worthwhile since puppies will eat almost anything, not just food.
Tuck Cords Away
Your puppy does not know that chewing on an electrical cord is dangerous. They’re just another fascinating object to explore, so you’ll need to hide it, cover it, or move it. You can buy chew-proof PVC covers for those that must remain.
Clear Away Clutter
Your dog will investigate everything, including soap, cotton swabs, pills, and other items in the bathroom. Worse yet, they may eat these items which can endanger their health and lead to costly vet visits. Close the toilet lid too as a curious dog can fall in and drown. Don’t forget childproof latches here too – they’re very curious!
Clear away clutter and move regularly used items above your puppy’s reach. Don’t leave your cellphone, tablet, or chargers lying around either. They could chew through the cover or even destroy it.
A home office is of great interest to a small puppy too. Small items like paperclips and elastic bands are fun to play with, but they can just as easily eat them leading to injuries or death.
Mind Your Clothes!
Puppies love things that smell like you, so they often decide to play with your personal items. Shoes are the first thing most people think about, but it could just as easily be your socks, underwear, or favorite sport’s jersey.
Don’t leave clothing on the floor, cover the hamper, and close the closet door. Stash items usually left on the dresser inside drawers and block access to the space under the bed. Otherwise, it could become their new favorite hideaway.
Plants Pose Risk
According to the ASPCA, dozens of plants can poison your dog. Obviously, very few people can identify them all so move all plants so your dog can’t reach them. Move small plants to shelves and large ones into a spare room and shut the door.
Many outdoor plants can cause rashes, while others can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or death. Consider removing toxic outdoor plants.
Most households have a myriad of chemicals harmful to pets. Keep cleaners, paints, fertilizers and insecticides, antifreeze, and other toxic substances far above ground level.
Antifreeze is a common pet problem as it has an attractive sweet taste, but it can also kill a small dog.
Review Insurance Coverage
Dogs can bite when they’re scared, threatened, stressed, or when protecting their owners. Even well-trained animals bite and according to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites account for more than one-third of homeowner insurance claims. The average cost per claim is around $37,000.
Most Rhode Island homeowners’ insurance policies cover dog bites, but discuss your intended choice with your agent before you buy. The breed may affect your premium and some insurers refuse coverage for particular breeds. Others exclude dog-related incidents or rely on credentials such as the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen certificate to prove the animal’s well-trained and less risk.