Puppies are cute, furry, cuddly and a wonderful addition to your family.  Puppies are also curious, they like to chew, and they will quickly become attracted to anything that smells like you.  Consider them to be like a toddler with four feet instead of two and teeth that can chew through an armor-plated tank.  And just like toddlers, they need to be supervised.

While there is no such thing as a totally puppy proofed home, here are a few suggestions that will help make raising a puppy a lot more fun and a lot less stressful:

- Get a Puppy’s Eye View:  That’s right, get down on the floor and get a good look at what will be in your puppy’s line of sight.  That will give you a good idea of what they’ll be looking at and what might look very tempting to their inquisitive teeth.

- Trash:  Puppies really enjoy snacking on stuff we humans find disgusting.  Things like dirty diapers, tissues, spoiled food, batteries, chicken bones and food wrappers.  Just about everything in your trashcan is potentially hazardous to your puppy so keep it secure and covered.

- Electrical Cords & Outlets:  Not only do puppies chew but they also lick.  Be sure to keep electrical cords, charger cords and surge protectors out of your puppy’s reach.  And because they like to lick and their tongues are always on the move, cover your un-used electrical outlets just in case.

- Cleaning Supplies and Outdoor Chemicals:  While more and more companies are coming out with pet friendly items, cleaning supplies as well as automotive and outdoor chemicals can be very poisonous if ingested by your puppy.  That includes pest control supplies like mouse and rat poison.  Keep all of these items out of your puppy’s reach and preferably behind latched doors.

- Bags:  Puppies are curious.  They like to sniff around in handbags, gym bags, lunch bags, back packs, and diaper bags.  These bags often contain items that are choking hazards, medications, foods that are potentially poisonous and lots of other dangerous items.  Keep them out of your puppy’s reach and everyone will be happy.

- Medications:  It is best to consider all medications as potentially deadly for your puppy.  Also realize that a child proof container is not a puppy proof container.  Your puppy can chew through a child proof container with no trouble at all.  Keep your medications in a cabinet or a drawer that is out of reach of your puppy.

- Toilet Lids:  If you typically leave your toilet lid up, now is a good time to get in the habit of putting it down.  Not only is the water in your toilet unhealthy for your puppy, but you also want to minimize the risk of your puppy falling into the toilet or dropping its favorite toy into the toilet.

- People Food:  A good rule of thumb is not to give your puppy people food.  More importantly, there are many foods that are potentially poisonous for your puppy.  The ASPCA publishes a list of potentially poisonous foods.  That link can be found at the end of this article.

- Plants:  Plants can be both a poison and a choking hazard for your puppy.  Simply keeping them out of your puppy’s reach will help keep your puppy safe.  See also the ASPCA link at the end of this article.

- Crate:  A quality puppy crate will be one of your wisest investments for not only puppy proofing your home but also providing your puppy with a safe and happy place while you are away.  

- Pick Up After Yourself:  Secure and put away belongings including small objects, cell phones, tablets, remotes, craft items, etc.  If your puppy can’t get to it, then he/she will not be able to chew on it.

One last note:  We humans have a tendency to drop stuff.  When you have a puppy, it’s important to always be on the lookout for items on the floor that could threaten their safety.  This includes things that could be potentially poisonous or a choking hazard like candy, medications, dropped food, buttons, batteries, paper clips and more.  Your curious puppy will want to check these items out and staying watchful will go a long way in protecting your new friend.

ASPCA Poison Control: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control