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Create a safe and friendly dog ​​house

Once you've selected your new puppy, it will likely be a while before you can welcome him home. This time may seem like an eternity, but to prepare for its arrival, you have many things to do. Even if an adult dog arrives at your home, the home and garden can still be dangerous, so you need to know what to watch out for.

Security inside the house

  • Install door locks designed to protect children on the lower cabinets in the kitchen, especially when there are cleaning agents inside.
  • Hide all stringy cables behind furniture. You can also put a thick cover in the form of a tube (available in electrical stores or euro-household appliances) over the cables to prevent biting them. Keep the toilet flap closed as some dogs may like to drink the water from the toilet. Be prepared. Change the toilet cleaner to a non-toxic one just in case (the safest thing to do is to prevent your dog from accessing this water source).
  • Dogs lack our sense of height and depth. If you live in a tall building or if your dog has access to upstairs windows and terraces, use partitions and securely placed bars to prevent jumping out or accidentally falling out of the balcony or terrace window.
  • Over slippery linoleum and hardwood floors, place a non-slip mat or rug where your dog is likely to move quickly. Accidental slippage can result in serious injury, such as cruciate ligament rupture, and even irreversible joint damage.
  • If you have a small puppy or an older dog, a railing at the top of the stairs can prevent accidental falls and serious injury. Use dog cages and barriers to prevent your puppy or adult dog from accessing potential dangers when unattended.
  • Remove or avoid poisons, including toxic plants (see below), harsh chemical cleaners, and insecticides. Consider using alternative eco-friendly products where possible.
  • The doors of the oven, refrigerator, microwave oven, dishwasher, dryer and washing machine must be kept closed at all times. Place information on them to remind family members to check inside, as a warm dryer can be a comfortable place for a small puppy to sleep.
  • Lighted candles, incense sticks or oil lamps are asking for trouble - put out any open flames and put covers on any stoves.
  • Even the living environment can reach extreme temperatures. Haircutting a long-haired dog for the summer period will give him a comfortable feeling of coolness, on extremely hot days you should provide fans and humidifiers.

Keep your dog away from dangerous plants

Many plants, shrubs and trees are poisonous to the dog. You should always discourage your dog from chewing on anything that he finds in the garden and contact your vet if you are concerned that he has eaten anything unsafe. If you prefer to choose the safe option, remove all toxic plants. Any plant that releases sticky sap or has intense colors when the shoot is disturbed can be potentially poisonous to your dog. Be careful with all bulb plants. The most popular ones that you should watch out for in your garden include:

  • Houseplants - Philodendron, Mistletoe, Spurge.
  • Garden plants - Lily, Azalea, Daffodil, Tomato, Foxglove, Yew, Hydrangea.

If your dog eats part of a potentially poisonous plant, go straight to your vet, taking any plant or whatever is left of it with you if possible.

Security outside

The garden can be a big attraction for a newly arrived dog, but open spaces can be full of dangers:

  • Your garden should be completely fenced, with a fence of the correct height for the breed you are buying (most medium breed dogs require a fence that is at least 180cm high).
  • Check for any gaps that the puppy could squeeze through, making sure the fence boards are deep in the ground or mesh a strip of soil 90-120 cm wide from the edge of the garden inwards. Terriers and other voles in particular are very fond of digging, quickly creating a gate for themselves to the outside of the garden.
  • Regularly check the fence surrounding the garden for any repairs and enlist the whole family to help inspect or close the gates.
  • Pools and ponds should also be permanently fenced or securely covered when not in use at least as long as your dog is a puppy.
  • If you are an avid gardener, fence off your precious petunias! Consider building a sandbox or a pit of mud for your puppy to dig in.
  • Provide shelter from wind and water if your dog spends part of the day or night in the garden. A professional kennel with a vestibule should fulfill its role. On extremely hot or cold days, even dogs that always live outside must be brought home, e.g. to a tidy garage.
  • When withdrawing your car in a driveway, do so carefully, making sure there is no dog in your path. Puppies get excited about a moving car at times, so restrain your dog when you start to back up the car. Ask someone in your family to help teach the dog from the puppy up, to sit e.g. on the patio until you turn off the engine.
  • The surface of some roads and sidewalks can irritate your dog's paws. In winter, avoid salty roads and hot asphalt in summer.
  • Remove ladders and anything your dog might want to climb, especially if they lead to balconies or flat roofs.
  • Do not spill cocoa shells in the garden as an alternative to bark as they are poisonous to the dog.
  • Make sure you choose dog-friendly plants for your garden to reduce the risk of poisoning and skin irritation. Your veterinarian should be able to advise you on which species are safe.
  • Never use snail poison (unless they are safe for pets), as they are extremely toxic and eating the poison or a poisoned snail will be fatal for your dog. Agree with your closest neighbors to alert you when they decide to apply pesticides.
  • Make sure your dog has no access to the garage as car consumables such as washer fluid and radiator fluid are highly toxic.

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