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Puppy Proofing Your Home

So you thought cats were curious? Wait until you see a Golden Retriever puppy in action! They love to explore and to put just about everything in their mouth. Here are a few tips for preparing your home for your curious canine:

Keep your counter tops clear and food out of reach.

Puppies have great noses! If they smell something enticing they are going to jump up to investigate. If you get into the habit of ensuring food is safely stored when they are small they will not have rehearsed behaviours of counter surfing when they are big enough to reach. They only need to be self rewarded once to keep them optimistic enough to keep trying!

Keep poisonous items out of reach

Place all household cleaners, insecticides, fertilizers, insect poisons, rat poisons, medicine and other items in cabinets or on high shelves. If you must use rat poison do not buy the new type of rat poison that is currently on the market as there is no antidote. Antifreeze is the number one poison that kills a large number of dogs annually due to the sweet taste that they can’t resist. It takes a very small amount to kill a large dog in a very painful manner.

Check your plants

Some plants in and around your house can be harmful or even fatal to your pup. Learn about indoor and outdoor plants that are harmful to dogs. Many pet insurance plans include 24/7 access to the Pet Poison Helpline. Alternately you can consult your veterinarian to find out which plants are harmful to dogs.

Remove dangerous objects Get down on the ground and look for any dangling electric cords, loose nails, plastic bags or other objects that will be in puppy's reach. Unplug, remove or cover any electrical cords and electrical outlets when you are not using them. PVC pipe fitted over cords that cannot be removed will protect them from sharp teeth and will protect your puppy from electrocution.

Put the toilet lid down

Puppies like toilet bowl water. Not only is it filled with bacteria, toilet cleaner could harm them if swallowed.

Beware of long drops

Keep pup off balconies, long stairways and high decks where they could slip through openings and fall. Puppies are clumsy and don't yet have full control over their bodies so when learning stairs control their access with baby gates and teach them to go down them calmly.

Create a safe place

Confine your puppy to a crate or x pen when you can not fully supervise them. Using positive reinforcement your puppy can learn to love their crates and will give you peace of mind that your puppy is safe when you are sleeping, showering or taking care of family business. Teach them to stay on a mat or designated area until released when you are working in the kitchen. Drop a treat to them now and again will reinforce this behaviour so that it is rock solid.

Hide sharp objects

Keep buttons, string, sewing needles, pins and other sharp objects out of reach. Many Golden puppies are rock eaters and stick chewers, watch for that "look" that tells on them when they have something hidden in their mouth.

Keep your personal belongings safe

Shoes, purses, laundry, children’s toys, mail, money and everything else that has your scent on it will be a strong magnet to your puppy. I once had a dog that was notorious for taking money out of my purse! Apparently I am a slow learner.

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