Puppy Safety

What you need to know to protect your puppy.


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I - Icicles. Icicles and other holiday decorations offer tempting possibilities to be chewed and swallowed. Glass ornaments can be easily broken, leading to cut paws. Some owners decide to forgo glass and tinsel decorations until their puppy is old enough to know better. If you prefer, you might set the holiday tree up behind a barrier or in a room that the pup is not allowed to go into.

J - Jewelry. How can jewelry be a hazard? Jewelry items are easily swallowed. (Remember the story of the dog who swallowed the wedding ring?) While some items might pass through the digestive tract without causing much harm, sharp ones, such as pins and brooches, can cause intestinal punctures. Be sure to put your earrings, necklaces, rings and other jewels away in your jewelry box when you take them off for the night.

K - Kids. You must supervise play between your puppy and children of any age. Young children, especially, may not understand that a puppy is a living thing that can be hurt; they may think of the puppy as a toy. Watching over play helps you to make sure no one gets hurtkid or pupand allows both child and pup to learn proper play etiquette.

L - Lead poisoning. Just as little children pick up paint chips and put them in their mouths, so do puppies. If your house is more than 20 years old, be aware that paint may have lead in it. Fix any flaking paint immediately. Paint chips are the most common source of lead, but other sources include sheetrock, plumbing solder, pottery, newsprint and drinking water. If your puppy shows signs of lethargy, vomiting, seizures and diarrhea, ask your vet to test it for lead poisoning.

M - Medications. Most homes are full of medications that we rarely think about-the aspirin bottle on the bathroom vanity, the vitamins on the kitchen counter. Even seemingly harmless over-the-counter medicines can be dangerous if your puppy gets into them. Remember that sealing the bottle with a childproof cap isn't enough because your puppy can chew right through the container. The key here is to keep all medications, including prescription drugs, laxatives and sleeping pills, in a place inaccessible to your puppy, such as the medicine cabinet. Keep in mind that what's inaccessible to a Pomeranian is not inaccessible to a Mastiff. Place cosmetics, deodorants and antiperspirants, soaps, shampoos and hair-styling products out of reach, too. Aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are all hazardous to dogs, so resist any temptation to give human painkillers to your pup without your veterinarians okay.

N - Needles. Needles, pins, thread, sequins and other sewing paraphernalia should be stored safely away because they can be swallowed or stepped on. Store these and other crafting and hobby supplies, such as glue sticks, paints, brushes and paint thinners, in a cabinet or room that the puppy can't get into.

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