The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.
The day’s finally arrived to bring home your precious bundle of joy.
You’ve patiently researched and waited to adopt the perfect furry canine friend. You shopped for the cutest matching collar and leash. You bought the monogrammed doggy bowl. You studied which food would be the most nutritious. You even remembered to order their customized ID tag.
But did you remember that the plant in your backyard might be poisonous or that the medication on your bathroom counter is also a hazard? What about those piles of Legos in junior’s room, or grandpa’s old coin collection in the study?
Clean Up Toxic Substances
Go room to room to look for harmful substances that would be easily accessible. Where possible, switch to a pet-friendly product. If you need the item, say medicine for example, make sure to store it in a secure location. In particular, look for these ten items that were the most commonly ingested toxins in 2016, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
- Garden Products — Fertilizer is particularly irresistible to pets.
- Plants — Check all plants ahead of time to make sure your indoor and outdoor plants are safe. And if you get that special anniversary bouquet, make sure to check it too.
- Rodenticides — Remember, mice and rat poisoning are meant to kill.
- Insecticides — If you use these in the yard, store them where they can’t be accessed.
- Chocolate — Keep this out of reach at all time.
- Household Items — Tens of thousands of pets are poisoned by paint, glue and cleaning supplies each year.
- Veterinary products — Even if you have a prescription for your pet, make sure they can’t access it outside of regular dosing times.
- Food — Onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, alcohol and other human foods can pose serious threats to your dog. The best thing you can do is train your dog early to stay out of the kitchen.
- Over-the-counter products — Ibuprofen is the number one reported OTC toxin.
- Human Prescription Medications — The largest percentage of pet poisoning cases were due to the ingestion of owner’s medication.
Keep Bathrooms Safe
Bathrooms might seem like smaller areas that pose little risk, but they can lead to some serious accidents. Many dogs love the taste of fresh, cool toilet water.
You might think, “ewww,” but while it’s gross to you and me, it’s an enticing drowning risk to your new pup. Keep the toilet bowl lid in the down position. Similarly, if you fill the bathtub or the sink, make sure to empty them.
Prepare Electrical Cords
Another common household item that poses a serious risk to your new friend is an electrical cord. Puppies are known to chew on them, and this can cause burns, electrical shocks and even electrocution. Purchase and install spiral cable wraps or cord concealers to keep your pup safe.
Eliminate Suffocation Risks
Let’s get back to that pile of Legos and that coin collection. Many items found in your home can pose suffocations risks. Make sure to keep small items tidied up and away from your dog. It’s also important to pick the right size ball and chew toys. Selecting something too small could obstruct the airway if accidently swallowed.
Check your yard
Take a look at your fence line to see if there’s any way your new pup can escape. If there are small spaces big enough for your pooch to fit through, chances are he’ll make a run for it just because it’s fun. Also, are there tools or items that could be tempting for little puppy jaws?
Take stock of what could get your dog’s attention if you have to leave it outside alone.
Puppy-proofing may seem like a daunting task; there are so many things to consider. But making your new pup safe is worth the time and the little bit of money you may spend. By taking it slow and being prepared, you’ll be enjoying fetch, long walks, and cuddles in no time.
Remember, your friends at Bark + Boarding are always ready to answer any questions you may have when bringing a new puppy home. Bark + Boarding also has New Puppy Adoption Packages to set you up with everything your new furry family member may need!
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