Puppy Safety From A to Z

What you need to know to protect your puppy.

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Icicles. Synthetic 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 puppy is not allowed to go into.

Jewelry. How can jewelry be a hazard? Jewelry items are easily swallowed.

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 hurt and allows both child and puppy to learn proper play etiquette.

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.

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 in a place inaccessible to your puppy, such as the medicine cabinet. Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are all hazardous to dogs, so resist any temptation to give human painkillers to your puppy without your veterinarian's OK.

Needles. Needles, pins, thread, sequins and other sewing paraphernalia should be stored safely away because they can be swallowed or stepped on.

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