Puppy Proofing 101

 In Pet Talk: In the News
three fluffy brown and white puppiesGetting a new puppy is a very exciting time in anyone’s life!

It can be such a fun time with much to consider and learn: when to vaccinate, how to train them, what to feed them, etc. But before you even bring that bundle of joy into his or her new forever home you may have to do some puppy proofing.

Environment

It is very important to make the environment that your puppy is coming into safe. This can be very similar to baby proofing your home. You can use baby gates to keep the pup in or out of rooms. All electrical cords should be hidden and out of reach. Crate training should be considered with any puppy to keep them both safe and as a potty training tool. Puppies should never be left unsupervised with toys or bones as they may choke or swallow them. Puppies may also try to chew or eat non-edible items in the house, such as clothing items, furniture, carpet, etc, thus proper training is very important to avoid such problems. 

Toxins

Foods: This is not an all inclusive list but some of the more common foods that are either toxic or cause problems in our pets

  • Chocolate/coffee – cause GI upset, arrhythmia, seizures, potential death
  • Grapes/ Raisins – causes kidney failure
  • Xylitol products (sugar free gum and other sugar free products) – causes hypoglycemia, liver failure
  • Macadamia nuts – cause lethargy, lameness, CNS depression
  • High fat foods – cause GI upset and pancreatitis
  • Fruits with pits – cause GI obstruction
  • Chicken/ turkey bones – cause possible GI perforation and upset
  • Moldy garbage – cause GI upset, tremors, seizures
  • Onion/garlic – cause anemia

Medications/drugs: alcohol, marijuana, over the counter human medications or prescription medications should never be given to dogs or cats without consulting a veterinarian.  Also animal medications should never be given to an animal that they are not prescribed for as this could result in unforeseen complications or illness.

Household products: Once again this is not an all-inclusive list but items that commonly are ingested, as they may taste good.

  • Antifreeze – causes kidney failure
  • House hold cleaner – illness varies depending on the product
  • Rat poison – there are several different kind of rat poison
    • Anticoagulants – cause bleeding
    • Bromethalin – cause severe neurologic problems
    • Cholecalciferol – cause Vit D toxicosis

House plants: all plant should be investigated if your pup is going to be around them as this is just a short list of common plants

  • Sago Palm – cause GI upset and liver failure
  • Oleander, Foxglove, Lily of the Valley, Milkweed – are a few that are cardiotoxic
  • Rhododenrons – cause GI, cardiovascular and neurologic signs
  • Araceae family – cause oral irritation, GI upset, rare respiratory disease

As stated above, these lists are the most common items that we see causing problems.  If there is any concern about something a new puppy gets into, please contact your veterinarian to be certain.  Now that you have a better idea of how to prepare for the new addition to the family, do not forget to have fun and enjoy every minute with your new puppy!

Kerri Wiedmeyer, DVM
WVRC ER Veterinarian

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lady with hat laying on grass with dogdog outside with red scarf