Puppies are cute and loveable but they can get into all kinds of trouble. They investigate everything. When they find something that interests them, they try to chew on it or bite it. Their curiosity about their surroundings is part of their growing up to be smart dogs.
But just like babies and small children, puppies have no idea what is good for them or what can hurt them. It's up to you to make sure that your puppy's world – and everything in it – is safe for him to play in.
Here are some things that can be dangerous for your puppy:
Foreign objects. Anything that isn't supposed to be eaten is a foreign object. It's amazing what puppies will eat. Some things to be careful of include fishhooks, medicines, plants, buttons, coins and any small object he can find lying around on the floor or on the counter. Puppies also like to taste things they find under sinks or in the garage or basement, like motor oil, antifreeze, cleaning products and garden supplies. Keep all of these things away from your puppy OR keep your puppy away from these things.
Electric cords. Why do they like electric cords? Because they are there and they look like something fun to chew on. But chewing on an electrical cord can hurt or even kill your puppy. Biting on a live electrical cord can cause burns on your puppy's mouth, lips or tongue and may even cause fluid to accumulate in his lungs, making it difficult for him to breathe. Make sure that electric cords are kept covered or out of reach of your dog.
Other animals. Young puppies think everyone is a friend. But some animals don't like dogs and may choose some nasty ways to show it. Keep your puppy away from unfamiliar animals and don't leave him alone with other household pets.
Reptiles and bugs. Puppies love insects and reptiles like snakes, lizards and frogs. These animals are usually small and their movement is just the kind that interest puppies. But many snakes and even a couple of spider species can make your puppy sick. If you see your puppy toying with a reptile or insect, pick your puppy up and take him away.
Insecticides. If your mom sprays bug killer on that insect, keep your puppy away from that, too. These insect sprays are very dangerous to your puppy. Don't let him walk in an area that has been sprayed, because the first thing he will do will be to lick his paws clean and then the insecticide will be in his tummy. Make sure all products are locked away. This goes for flea powders and sprays made for dogs, too.
Holiday trimmings. During holidays the house is filled with all kinds of interesting things your puppy would love to play with. A lot of these things are shiny, like ribbons, ornaments and tinsel; some just smell good, like chocolate and turkey bones; some are just colorful like poinsettias and burning candles. Ornaments may look like fun balls to chew on but they can break and cut your puppies mouth. Keep all of these things away from your puppy.
As you read this list, the main message seems to be that you should be with your puppy when he wants to play so you can supervise. But you should also look at your house from his point of view. Take notice of what's lying around on the floors. Send yourself on a "foreign object hunt" every once in a while to make sure the things your puppy investigates are safe and fun. And make sure your mom and dad keep dangerous products locked away.