Puppy Safety From A to Z

What you need to know to protect your puppy.

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Doors. Just like appliance doors, household doors pose a potential hazard for a puppy. Puppies can move so quickly and are so small that its easy to catch an unwary pupor its tailin or between a door. Keep doors closed (especially doors to forbidden areas, such as basements and garages), and make sure everyone in the house uses caution when entering or leaving.

Electrical cords. Puppies love to chew, especially when teethingits one of the things they are good at. However, if your pup chews the wrong thing, it can be seriously injured. The electronic equipment in your housefrom televisions and stereos to computers and fax machinesall have electrical cords that are enticing to your pup.

Fences. A good fence can ease your mind when puppy is outside. Check your fence before you bring your puppy home to make sure there are no loose boards, pickets or connections. But, remember, a good fence is no substitute for a careful owner. Don't leave your puppy alone or he's sure to find a way to wriggle out from under the fence. Most dogs are ingenious when it comes to escaping.

Garage. For a puppy, the garage is a fascinating place, full of unusual and interesting-smelling objects. But the garage is also full of dangers. Chemicals, such as antifreeze and industrial cleaners, are often stored in the garage. Clean any car fluid drips immediately. Tools, including saws, sharp nails and screws can cause cuts. Make sure the garage is off limits to your puppy.

Houseplants. Houseplants can be lovely to look at, but puppies rarely stop to admire the decor. If a houseplant is within reach, chances are good that your puppy will have a taste. However, plants have waged a long war against the herbivores that eat them, and have developed a dazzling array of defenses. If you aren't sure about whether your houseplants are a hazard, check out A Pet Owners Guide to Common Small Animal Poisons, found on the American Veterinary Medical Association website.

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