Puppy Safety

What you need to know to protect your puppy.


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O - Other pets. Adding a new pup to a household that already includes a pet can be a difficult transition for both pets. Older dogs may be tempted to bite at the newcomer, and cats may swat and scratch. The key here is patience. Introduce your new puppy slowly and your other pets will become friends, not foes.

P - People food. Its hard to resist those big brown eyes when they beg you for just a taste of your salad, pizza, hot dog or whatever else you happen to be eating, isn't it? As much as you may want to share, people food can be hazardous to your pups health. Bones can easily jam across the roof of your pets mouth or get stuck in its throat. Rather than trying to alleviate this situation yourself, rush your pup to the veterinarian and let him or her decide whether to remove the bone or help it on its way to the stomach, where stomach acid will dissolve it.

Never give your puppy chocolate as a treat; it contains caffeine and theobrominetwo alkaloids that can be deadly for dogs. Bakers chocolate is most dangerous; milk chocolate is about one-tenth as toxic, but can still make your pup sick if it gets into your Valentines Day gift or the kids Halloween haul.

Q - Quarters, pennies, nickels and dimes. Coins of all types can be easily swallowed. Any swallowed object can create problems if it gets stuck, so be sure to put your pocket change on the dresser, rather than the coffee table, at days end.

R - Remote controls. Remotes, VCR tapes, cassette tapes, CDs and DVDs are all possible chew toys when seen through a puppys eyes. Make sure to store control devices (as well as cell phones and personal organizers) out of reach (remember, some pups love to climb, so just putting the remote on the back of the couch may not be enough), and store other entertainment media properly. In addition to ruining expensive possessions, tape can be swallowed by puppy causing intestinal blockages.

S - Stockings. Dogs, for no apparent reason, often swallow stockings and pantyhose. When swallowed, the brief and one leg of the pantyhose can stay in the stomach, while the other leg starts its trip through the intestine. Then, the movements that normally push food along through the intestine cause the intestines to bunch up along the pantyhose leg, leading to an obstruction. Don't leave pantyhose out on the bed or anywhere your dog or pup can find them.

T - Trash. The trash can be irresistible to your puppy. Its filled with all kinds of off-limit goodies, such as discarded bones, paper towels, vegetable peelings and plastic wrappers. These are all potential killers for your puppy. Be sure that the trashcan is tall and well balanced enough to keep your pup from tipping it over. Better yet, put it behind a barrier or in a place that's off limits to pup. When pulling trash out for collection, place trash bags in a barrel with a snug-fitting lid.

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