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Content Image Puppy-proof your home: Making your house a safe place for your pet.
Published 2010/12/09

Like a child, your puppy can get into a great deal of trouble in the blink of an eye. We should ask ourselves if our home is a safe haven for them. A good rule to remember is that anything that is not safe for children is not safe for pets.

Here is some advice for a safe home:

• Children's toys and small objects may attract a playful pet and become lodged in its mouth or swallowed causing damage in the gastrointestinal tract. Keep small items such as tinsel, rubber bands, buttons and beads out of reach — your puppy could choke on them;

• Sharp objects such as knives and forks, paper clips, carpet tacks, pins should be kept out of dog's reach; • Be aware of the plants you have in your house and in your yard. The ingestion of a poisonous plant can be fatal (ex: aloe vera, azalea, dieffenbachia, croton, geranium, dracaena, kalanchoe, hemp, spider plant, poinsettia, onion, tomato plant, rhododendron, cyclamen, philodendron). For a more complete list of dangerous doggy plants, consult your vet;

• Make sure all poisonous household items are securely stored out of the puppy's reach. Cleaning solutions such as disinfectants, drain cleaners, laundry detergents and bleach have a variety of properties. Some may only cause a mild stomach upset, while others could cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth, and stomach;

• Never give your dog any medications unless under the directions of a veterinarian. Many medications that are used safely in humans can cause an overdose and/or be deadly when used inappropriately. Medicines should be stored out of the reach of pets;

• Never leave chocolates unattended. Approximately one half (1/2) ounce (14 g) or less of baking chocolate per pound (0.45 kg) of body weight can cause pancreatic problems;

• When treating your lawn or garden with fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides, always keep your animals away from the area until it dries completely. Always store such products securely and out of reach;

• All automotive products, such as oil, gasoline, and antifreeze, should be stored properly. Many pets are attracted to the sweet taste of antifreeze containing the chemical propyleneglycol which is highly toxic to dogs. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a 3 kilogram dog;

• Do your best to keep electric wiring out of the pet's sight and reach. Exposed lamp cords and other wires should be kept as short as possible. If extension cords are used, mount them against a baseboard so they cannot be played with or chewed.

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