1. Know what's toxic
Puppies lick and chew just about anything they can. This includes your floors, plants, and anything they find laying around. Unfortunately, some things that we don’t even think about can be very toxic to dogs. These toxic items include but aren’t limited to pesticides, certain plants (e.g. hydrangea), and some household cleaners. Keep poisonous plants out of your dog’s reach, and avoid using poisonous cleaners in areas where he may lick.
2. Don’t leave medication lying around
You may not think twice about leaving prescription pills on the bathroom counter or in your purse, but if swallowed, they can be poisonous to puppies. Keep all medications (even over-the-counter pills) in your medicine cabinet.
3. Keep lids on trash cans
Since puppies will eat just about anything, make sure to get rid of any temptations in the trash. The trash might smell gross to you, but to a puppy, that’s the smell of heaven. Leave your trash out and your dog unattended, and it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll come back to a mess and a bloated puppy. Keep a secure lid on all trash cans or put them behind a cabinet or door.
4. Keep toilet lids down
Toilet bowls are either filled with harmful bacteria or harsh chemicals. Either way, make sure your puppy stays out of them.
5. Lock up cleaning supplies
Keep all cleaning supplies either in high cabinets or behind child-proof locks. When using sprays, make sure your puppy is out of the room and far away from the harmful vapors.
6. Secure electrical cords
Puppies will also chew wires. Not only can this ruin your appliances, but it can also seriously injure your puppt. Check for any dangling electrical cords from appliances like lamps or computers. If you have a large collection (i.e. around your TV), secure these with rubber bands or attach cords to the wall with duct tape. You don’t want your puppy chewing on the wires and potentially getting burns or shocks.
7. Block off doors, windows, and stairs
Keep your doors and windows closed to prevent your puppy from escaping and close off stairwells with a baby gate.
8. Lock up you food
It’s a fact—dogs love food. You should limit your puppy’s exposure to people-food until they are 3-5 months old, and even then, be cautious about what kinds of food they have—seemingly innocuous foods like avocado, grapes, onions, and garlic can be deadly for dogs. In the meantime, be mindful. Leave something within reach, and you can pretty much guarantee it won’t be there when you look for it next. What you find delicious could be dangerously delicious. Things like chocolate or grapes should be stored where your puppy can’t access them.
9. Keep purses and shoes out of reach
Dogs have a thing for leather, and by shucking your shoes and dumping your bag at the front door, you’re essentially giving yours the okay to have at it. Keep these things away from your dog so that she doesn’t think it’s okay to chew them. The more your dog chews, the greater the potential harm (to her and your belongings), and the harder it will be to break the habit later.
10. Don't leave clothes lying around
Clothes also make a great chew toy. They smell like you, they’re soft, and they rip easily. Any clothes you leave lying around will most likely end up in your dog’s mouth—or even worse, in his stomach. Large breed puppies will often try to swallow socks, underwear, or other clothing items. These can cause serious intestinal blockage if not digested properly, costing you thousands of dollars for surgery. Buy a sturdy hamper with a lid and throw all your dirty clothes in there so you don’t have to worry.
11. Toys, treats and bones area must
In case you haven’t noticed, chewing is going to be one of the biggest battles you fight with your new furry family member. Usually, it is a direct result of boredom. If your dog learns how to entertain himself, the risk of these incidents happening is much smaller. Make sure to always give your dog a toy or bone when you’re occupied, and teach him how to be good by playing to get him interested in the toy and rewarding him with treats for good behavior.
If you follow these pieces of advice, you’ll welcome your new furry friend into a safer home.