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Pet Safety: How to Dog-Proof your House and Garden

 by petbucket on 10 Jun 2015 |
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By Austin Hackney
 
 
Before bringing a new dog home, you should make sure that your house and garden are safe. There are many risks to your dog's health that can easily be avoided with proper planning. Not only do you want to keep your dog safe in your home, but also you want to keep your home safe from your dog. A curious puppy can get into all sorts of mischief, from digging up plants to chewing furniture.
 
The best way to keep both your dog and your home safe is to be vigilant. If your pet is left on his own, then he should be in a proper kennel, a pen, or a room that has been specially prepared in advance.
 
One thing to look out for when making a dog-proof back yard is for escape routes. Don't underestimate your dog's curiosity. That little, wet nose will sniff out all sorts of trouble given the chance. Check all your fencing, gates, hedges and other garden boundaries. Make sure there are no gaps that your dog could squeeze through. Are walls and fences high enough to stop your dog from jumping over and into the street?
 
Think about sheds and stores. Young puppies can get stuck behind or under garden buildings and be difficult to extract. Dogs enjoy sniffing, though what they are mostly looking for is something else to eat. Keep all temptations out of reach. A dog might give anything "the taste test," including weed killer, bleach and foods that can do him harm, such as chocolate or dried fruits. Never leave a dog unattended by a barbecue, as the combination of tempting meat aromas and hot coals could be dangerous.
 
Tools and sharp objects should all be properly stored and secured. Gardens can also harbor poisonous plants. A garden pond could be fatal to a young puppy and should be securely fenced off. Always make sure there is a shady spot in the yard on hot days and never leave your dog outside alone.
 
There are also risks inside the house. It is sensible to allow your dog only limited access to your home. Fitting a stair gate to stop him sneaking up to bedrooms is a good idea. Most dogs, especially puppies, should have a play pen where they can be left safely when you go out. The pen should be the right size for your dog. It should be secure and furnished with a dog bed, water bowl and toys.
 
When your dog is at liberty, be sure your trash bins are secured. This is especially important in the kitchen where last night's chicken leftovers might lead your pet astray. You should train your dog to leave alone, but in the meantime consider getting bins that can be clipped shut. Medicines, cleaning fluids and electrical goods can all be risk factors. Keep everything well out of reach and locked away.
 
Anything left lying around the house within your dog's reach is potentially hazardous.  Newspapers can be chewed up, plastic bags swallowed. Shoes, books and gaming consoles may be destroyed. Having a dog-proof place for everything and keeping everything in its place should be the priority.
 
Training your dog to understand where he can and can't go, and what behavior is and isn't acceptable to you, will help keep him and your property safe. But even a well-trained dog can get into trouble, so always keep an eye out.
 
The safety precautions needed to create a dog-proof house and garden can seem overwhelming at first. However, much of it is common sense. It soon becomes second nature, leaving you free to enjoy your pet's company in a safe and secure environment.

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