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Just for Kids: How to Puppy Proof Your House

By: Virginia Wells

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Although your puppy is cute, playful and lots of fun, he will probably get into trouble when your back is turned. Puppies are curious as well as playful, so you have to make sure your home is safe for him to play in.

One thing you can do is pretend you are a puppy. Get down on the floor and look around at puppy eye level. See his world as he would see it and report anything you think might be dangerous to your parents. Here are some things you should look for.

Household Hazards

  • Furniture. Some furniture might be dangerous to your puppy. Sometimes pups like to crawl inside a recliner chair, and yours might get trapped inside if you don't know he's in there. Rocking chairs can roll on a puppy's tail or foot, too, so make sure your puppy isn't sitting near the rocker when you decide to take a break.

  • Slippery floors. When puppies are learning to walk, they aren't too steady on their feet. They may have trouble on slippery floors like linoleum, tile or hard wood. If you can, cover the floors with rugs to help your puppy with his footing, and don't encourage running on slippery surfaces.

  • Stairs. Be really careful with your puppy around the stairs. Until he learns how to go up and down properly, he will be in danger of falling. Stairs also lead to other areas of the house where you can't see him or what he is doing. It's best if you place baby gates so that the puppy does not have access to stairs.

  • Electrical cords. Puppies love to chew and electrical cords need to be off limits. Electrocution can occur easily and hurt your puppy. Electrical cords should be tied up and out of reach or concealed in hard plastic or rubber runners purchased at the hardware store.

  • Small objects. Puppies love to chew on anything and may try to chew on small objects that can be swallowed or that can become stuck in the throat. Make sure there are no small objects lying around where he can get them. These include things like coins, pins, needles, rubber bands, paper clips, staples, nails, screws, yarn, thread, dental floss, earrings and other small jewelry, bells and small balls. If these things are swallowed they can make him very sick.

  • Toys and clothing. Be extra careful when your puppy is in your room. Make sure your small toys are out of reach. Also, make sure your clothing and your shoes are in your closet or your drawers where your puppy can't get to them.

  • Bathrooms. Puppies aren't too picky and think it's fun to root around in the bathroom trashcan. Make sure your puppy has no access to the bathroom. But just in case, keep the trashcan in a cabinet, and make sure all medicines and cleaning products are locked away where he can't get to them. And keep the lid to the toilet down (you know why).

  • Windows and doors. Puppies aren't too concerned about window screens and they don't know that they can fall and hurt themselves. Make sure windows are closed or that screens are very secure and can't be pushed out. Keep doors closed securely and make sure you know where your puppy is when you are about to open a door. Puppies sometimes "sneak" out and then wander away and get lost or injured.

    Have fun with your puppy, but make sure he is well supervised. It's important to make sure your puppy has a nice safe home where he can play and grow.

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