Why and How You Should Dog Proof Your Home
As a follow up to my last article, Bringing Home Your Newly Adopted Dog, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about dog proofing your home…a good idea for the safety of your home and your possessions, a better idea for the safety of your dog.
Dogs, young or old, are just like kids, they’re curious, like nosing into things, and often get into things they shouldn’t. (The picture to the left is a good example; this is a picture of a home with a newborn, and the family dog discovered all the used diapers.) So just like you protect your things, and your kids from accidents by baby proofing, it’s also a good idea to do some dog proofing.
Hidden Dangers in Your Home
Your home is no different than anyone else’s in the fact that it is filled with many things that are potentially dangerous and harmful to your dog. As a responsible dog owner, you will want to be aware of those things and make sure they are stored safely out of Fido’s reach.
- Be aware of sharp instruments or tools that could slice into their mouths or paws.
- Even things like razors that have been discarded into an uncovered trash can. One lady I know used to just toss old razors into an open trash can, and her toddler retrieved and played with them, leaving little cuts all over her hands. Your dog could do the same.
- Make sure your trash cans either have a good lid on them or are stored behind closed doors. Trash cans can have some very “tasty” or interesting smells from discarded food or other things in them, which can entice your dog to explore the contents. Not only can a big mess be created, but dangerous things like sharp opened can lids, food that is harmful to dogs, broken glass, or bones that can get stuck in and/or perforate their throat or internal organs can be found. (Click on this link for a list of foods that are harmful to your dog.)
- Take care with any electrical cords they may come into contact with. Not only is it frustrating when an electrical cord is chewed and ruined, but your dog could get an electrical shock. We have a need for electrical cords throughout the house, so it’s difficult to keep them all out of reach, but when possible, keep them off the floor, hide them behind furniture or even tape them to the walls, making them more difficult to gnaw on.
- Another lady I know was visiting her sister, who has to large Standard Poodles, like many dogs, very smart and very curious. This lady wanted to charge a small electrical device while they left the home for awhile. Thinking the device would be safe if she “tucked” it away, she left the cord exposed and accessible. While they were gone, one of the dogs discovered the cord, chewed it to pieces and damaged the device. Luckily the dog wasn’t injured.
- Small, everyday items can become choking hazards if left on the floor or on low easy to reach places. Some things to watch out for and move to a higher more enclosed place are:
- Pin cushions
- Prescriptions or over the counter medicines (even if they are in containers, dogs can chew through them)
- Cleaning supplies
- Rubber bands
- Pens and pencils
- The best way to protect your shoes from chews is to keep your shoes in your closet and the closet door closed.
You’re like me, we love our dogs…so the little bit of time it takes to dog proof our homes is time well spent.
One of the best things you can do for a new dog, especially a puppy, is to enroll them into training classes.
We believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are under given circumstances and situations.
Check out our Family Friendly Training Classes.