Everyone loves that moment when they get to bring home their new dog. It's both exciting and scary at the same time. Exciting because you finally have your own best friend and scary because it is quite a daunting responsibility. Whether you are bringing home a puppy or a fully grown adult dog, just walking them home might not be the safest thing for your new pet. Your home is full of hazardous pitfalls that might pose considerable threat to your new family addition.
There are plenty of things to be done in order to make this a safe environment for your pet. Here are a few of the basic guidelines on what to look out for and take care of before bringing him/her home. In this chapter, we are going to be dealing with only indoor safety, although outdoor safety is necessary as well.
Indoor Safety For Your New Puppy
Baby Proof The Stairwell
Fit in 'baby gates' at the top of your stairwell. This is to prevent accidental falls. You are not always going to be near your dog and they tend to run around the house a lot. So to make sure they do not fall down the stairs and incur serious broken bone injuries, use either a baby gate or dog crates to restrict their movement when you are not watching.
Bar All Storey Windows
The reason you need to baby proof the stairwell is because dogs lack our sense of depth or height. This is the same reason you need to have all storey windows screened or barred off. This is particularly important if you live in a high-rise complex or have an upstairs living quarters. Your precious puppy cannot tell how high off the ground it is, and accidental jumps are a very present danger.
Always Keep Your Toilet Lid Closed
As nasty as it sounds, some dogs often drink from the toilet bowl. Always be sure to close the lid, especially while you are still trying to house train him/her. It is also advisable to switch to more health friendly and non-toxic toilet cleaners. This is just as a second layer of precaution. Although, preferably, the dog should not drink from the toilet at all.
Skid Proof Your Surfaces
Part of the joy of owning a puppy is having it run around the house causing all sorts of cheers. Skid prone surfaces like, hardwood or linoleum floors tend to be, as the name suggests, 'skid prone surfaces'. Place either non-skid carpets or mats so as to prevent accidental falls that could cause your dog discomfort and injury as well as hefty Vet bills for you.
Extinguish All Open Flames When Not Around
It should go without mentioning, but we will mention it anyway. Always be sure to extinguish any and all open flames. Things like candles, incense and fireplaces should either be always put off when you are not looking or cordoned off so that the dog cannot get to them without your knowledge.
Keep Toxic Materials From Reach
It is understandable that you have some material in the house that, although absolutely necessary for your personal home hygiene, are toxic to you, your family and the new member, your dog. As getting rid of all these might be likened to taking the matter a bit too far and rather inconveniencing, it is advisable that you seal off any cabinet or storage space that does hold these materials. You could also always try to find alternative replacements that are non-toxic. This is the best option for you and your family, but failing that, then making sure that these items and chemicals are tightly locked away is the next best thing when it comes to keeping a safe home.
Keep All Appliance Doors Closed
Speaking of things that need to be locked, oven doors, fridge doors, microwave doors, tumble-dryer doors, dishwashers and the washing machine doors should always be kept tightly closed. Believe it or not, your little friend is an adventurer. This is all in an effort to keep him or her from running into these appliances. The safest thing to do is put up little notes that remind you and your various family members to always check inside, especially tumble dryers and washing machines, before using them. Dogs tend to find these little spaces comfortable for taking a nap.
Keep All Cables Hidden
Hide all your cables. Dogs chew through things! And an open cable is considered a dinner invitation. You could either hide them under furniture or buy a thick cable protector from your local hardware store.
Air Condition Your House Appropriately
Just as you do not like extreme weather, neither does your dog. Always be sure to keep the indoor temperatures favorable. Use yourself as a gauge. If it's good for you, it probably is good for him/her as well.
These are some of the most basic precautions you need to take in order to ensure a safe and homely environment for your new pet. Before you bring him/her home, make sure that you are bringing them to a safe, pet friendly environment. Think of your new pet as your child, whatever you consider to be a danger to your child, should also be considered to be a danger to your new pet!