Before welcoming a new pet into the home, a responsible owner should make sure that it is a safe place for him to live.
New pets are inquisitive by nature and will want to investigate everything in the home, including potentially dangerous items.
Begin by checking floors to remove any items that could cause choking: things like breakable toys or games that have small parts to them. Tidy discarded shoes away in cupboards. A dog will not know the difference between your sandal and a chew toy. Mend loose floorboards or skirting that could be nibbled by a dog if left. Place breakable ornaments on a high shelf. Ensure that electrical wires and cables are tucked away out of reach. Remove houseplants that could be toxic if ingested by your dog.
If you don’t want your dog to go upstairs in the house, install a set of gates. Buy an indoor kennel or crate and place it in a calm area of the home so that your dog has somewhere safe and quiet to go to when he wants.
There are many potentially dangerous items in these rooms. Place cleaning supplies, medicines and other harmful chemicals out of reach in a high cupboard. To prevent dogs nosing through low cupboards, add child proof latches. Keep all food out of reach, some will be dangerous if consumed by dogs. The food packaging is also a hazard. Rubbish bins should have a tight lid or seal to prevent temptation. Keep the toilet lid down to stop your dog drinking harmful chemicals. An easier solution would be to shut the bathroom door and tell others in the house to do the same.
Keep garden gates shut. Check that there are no gaps under fences and hedges for your dog to wriggle under. Move tables and chairs away from walls to stop your dog using them as a climbing frame. Hazardous garden products like paint, slug pellets and fertilisers should be removed and stored in a safe place. Make sure that your composter has a lid so that your dog is not tempted to snack on mouldy food items.
Cover ponds if you are introducing a puppy to the home.
Most dogs don’t eat plants but these are dangerous if swallowed and you may want to remove them if they grow in your garden: rhododendrons, bluebells, cyclamens, onions, daffodil bulbs and rhubarb leaves.
If you can, give your dog his own part of the garden to play in. Somewhere it won’t matter if he digs holes and makes a mess. Create a fun area for him by hiding toys and treats for him to find.
It is wise to keep your dog out of the way when you are using the lawnmower, strimmer or hedge cutter.
By viewing your home through the eyes of your dog you will be able to make it a safe and happy place for him to be.