All Things Dog

Dog-proofing your home

You may think your home is perfectly safe, but it may not be - especially when viewed by your dog. To your dog the cleaning products in your cupboard may be especially interesting. And although they are stored in a cupboard, your dog may not find them very difficult to get to. Most dogs are very adept at using their paws and muzzle to nudge things like cupboard doors open. Child-proof locks are a good idea for keeping household items that may be dangerous to your dog safely out of his reach. If you get a second dog, don't assume that because your first dog isn't curious about the floor wax your new dog will follow suit. In fact, your new dog is likely to be interested in everything in your home because it's all new to him. Take a tour through your home, looking at each room through a dog's eye view. The following article will give you an idea of what to look for.

Garbage receptacle: Make sure that your garbage receptacle has a tight fitting lid. Most dogs love to nose around in garbage when they have the opportunity and items such as candy wrappers and chicken bones can be choking hazards. Chocolate can be poisonous to your dog, and food that has spoiled can make him very ill.

Electrical cords
Chewing behavior is common to most dogs and cords can be very appealing. Cords should be coiled and tucked away, even if this means rearranging your furniture. A bit of careful thought about how to keep cords safely unavailable to your dog's teeth may prevent him from being electrocuted.

Cleaning supplies, disinfectants, shampoos and perfumes
These items may smell, and even taste, great to your dog but they should be kept safely out of his reach as they can make him very ill. Household cleaning supplies should be kept in a high cupboard that your dog can't reach, or in a cupboard protected by a child-proof lock. Shampoos shouldn't sit on the side of your tub where your dog might easily reach them. Instead use a shower caddy or a high cupboard or shelf to keep them away from curious canines.

Jewelry and loose change
Jewelry is often of the right size to be easily swallowed by most dogs, and is dangerous to your dog as he may choke on it. The same goes for loose change that is left lying about. Some coins, for example pennies, contain zinc which can cause vomiting, anemia, or even death if ingested by your dog.

Garbage bags and nylons
Garbage bags can be very tempting to most dogs but they are dangerous because it's easy for your dog to get tangled up in them, and this could lead to suffocation. Nylons are also very tempting toys and can obstruct your dog's intestine if swallowed.

Plants
Many are toxic in live or dried form. Ask your nursery for a complete reference on plants you want to purchase. When in doubt, keep the plants well out of your dog's reach.

Nails, screws, needles
These are small, easily overlooked objects in your home that are easily swallowed and very dangerous to your dog.

Medication
If your dog swallows your medication he will usually become ill. Ibuprofen can cause kidney damage or gastric ulcers in dogs. To keep your dog safe, medication should never be within his reach.

The best rule of thumb when dog-proofing your home is to follow the same steps you would if you were child-proofing your home. Take a careful walk through each room and place any items that could harm your dog safely out of his reach.

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