Sometimes it may feel like your dog is a child. Keeping him safe does require some childproofing techniques.
One way to keep him safe is to crawl on the floor. Sounds silly but it will help you identify nifty things he might be attracted to at his eye level. Look for loose cords he might get caught in. If your dog is a chewer, you can coat electric cords with dish-soap. The soap will not harm him, but may deter him from gnawing on a live wire that would. Check to see how easy it might be to open a cabinet (especially those that hold cleaning supplies). For dogs that chew frequently, it is best keep them crated when not home or unsupervised. It will prevent the unwanted, potentially dangerous behavior and make your arrival home much more pleasant. Items that are toxic to dogs (not exhaustive list), more information
- Chocolate: even in small amounts
- Antifreeze: has a sweet smell that attracts dogs and cats to it
- Raw onions
- Xylitol (found in sugar-free gum, candies and toothpaste)
- Cocoa Mulch
- Human medications-prescription and over the counter
Toys are a great way to keep your dog busy but make sure the toys are appropriate for your dog. Thin plastic squeaky toys and cloth toys are fine for dogs that do not chew a lot, but should only be allowed when you can supervise. Kongs, sterile bones stuffed with cheese or peanut butter are fine to leave alone with your dog, just make sure to keep your eyes out for sharp edges or small pieces that could harm your dog. Rawhides that are made in the USA are good for dogs’ teeth and help direct the chewing behavior to something other than your favorite shoes. Those made outside the USA do not have the same regulations to help prevent salmonella. As with any toy be cautious and always supervise your dog when chewing on rawhides. Some tenacious chewers can swallow whole pieces and potentially choke.
Be leery of trash hounds. Any type of discarded meat bone is dangerous to a dog. Real bones splinter, the temptation of bones, corncobs or smelly plastic bags can be very tempting and potentially harmful. Suggestions to keep your dog healthfully out of the trash:
- Buy a stainless steel trash can with a lid.
- Keep the trash in a room away from your dog.
- Take the trash out right away if there might be something tempting in it.
- Some dogs are deterred if there is black pepper on top of the trash.
Keep food paraphernalia off countertops. Dogs have been known to get caught or stuck in plastic bags. Not only will your dog be rewarded for counter-surfing by gorging on a whole bag of tortilla chips but the bag can also pose a danger if he cannot escape after his binge. Some dogs will lick the bag exhaustively and may not be able to get their head out of the bag. Keep your dog safe and well behaved by putting away these temptations.
If you have low door handles on a cabinet or other fixtures, your dog’s collar could get caught on them. Consider getting a breakaway collar designed to come apart if the dog becomes stuck on something. If you think your dog might get into something he should not when you are not around, crate him. It might help your anxiety if your dog is well exercised and trained to happily accept his crate to be confined while you are away to assure his safety. Our lifestyles and work schedules often lead to long days. If you are gone for long periods of time, consider getting a dog walker or dog daycare. Before inviting someone into your home to take care of your beloved or sending him off to play with other dogs all day, do your homework. Make sure you understand the extent of training each employee receives, safety precautions they take, range of services they provide and process if an emergency situation does arise. Ask for business references or ask neighbors who they use.