OK, you've done it. You've gotten a new puppy or kitten. Congratulations.
Here are some tips on puppy proofing your house.
. Evaluate the house.
Do you have special items that are fragile or irreplaceable because of sentimental value? Put them away. Puppy-proofing means to have all items of value out of reach, as well as household items that you want kept intact, such as shoes, home accessories, books or magazines.
Do the same with items that could be a safety risk such is electric cords.
. Make sure there are no household cleaners or bleach, etc. on the floors. Also think about dental floss, yarn, toilet brushes, trash containers, coins or candy on the floor from the kids or grandkids.
Puppies are known to pretty much put anything in their mouths. That is part of growing up. Just like kids, they try to find out if an item is soft or hard, tastes good or bad, can be eaten or not and so on.
It is up to you as the owner to make sure your new family member does not swallow a couple of pennies on the floor by mistake. Dangling dishtowels in the kitchen or curtain strings can be very attractive to a young animal. Please put everything high enough so your new pet cannot get into trouble easily. Trust me, even if you thought you got everything taken care of, your pet will find something in your house to get into trouble with.
. Do not forget the outside. Make sure your yard does not have any poison containers lying around or toxic plants. If you have a fenced yard, make sure your fence is in- tact; no holes or gaps where the pet can escape. Be careful around pools or big ponds as well.
When you leave your house, the safest place for your puppy is in a crate. In my next column I will let you know how to make a crate a safe and comfortable place for your pet.
Enjoy your new pet, and if you have not yet talked to a dog trainer, make sure you do so soon. With the right start, you and your pet will avoid a lot of frustration and a lot of money will be saved by not having to replace the carpet or those $200 shoes.
If you need, help please contact me.
Birgit Edler is the owner of Canine College in Juno Beach, which offers grooming, training and day care services for dogs and cats. Call (561) 626-0552 or e-mail Caninecollegefl@yahoo.com.