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Bringing Puppy Home

Puppy Safety, ‘welcome home’

This article is a go to checklist for welcoming a new puppy into your home to ensure their safety.

Before you pick your new puppy up from the Breeder, make your home safe.

I think I am the most blessed dog mother in the world!! I have Isabeau ‘Izzy’, in my life, and on the 11th November 2021, she will be 3 years old. Not only did we survive the puppy lessons such as biting, growling, chewing, going to the toilet whenever and wherever she wanted, we did it SAFELY!

I waited patiently for Izzy to come into my life. I knew I wanted her to come from a registered breeder and learnt that the best place to find the right breeder, and as I live in Queensland, this was through Dogs Queensland.

Izzy, my stunning Silky Terrier, hails from Quinvale; it took two years for the litter and when the day came, I was not only over joyed, but I suddenly found myself overwhelmed.

I began to worry about her safety before she even came home; she’s so little and all that. As a Veteran Safety specialist, it is not a surprise that I would worry about her safety and till this day I accept that I am a bit of a helicopter parent.

Her first year, I would wake up in the night and wake her up, just to check she was breathing. Who said having dogs was great at reducing stress!!

This article is therefore really about what I learnt as a puppy mummy and as you read this article consider what is around your home inside and out that could hurt your new pup; imagine your new puppy walking around your home; in your mind watch how your puppy uses their mouth and tongue to check everything out!! How the 8-week-old can squeeze into every nook and cranny; shove their nose into every corner of your lounge etc.

Obviously not everyone is a helicopter parent like I am, but as puppy owners it is our duty to ensure our dogs are safe from harm. By preparing your home for their arrival you start off on a safe footing and then you reduce the risk of losing your new arrival well before their time.

Hazards & Risks

A hazard is anything that can hurt your puppy.

The risk is the consequence of being impacted by a hazard.

In order to identify the hazards in your home, walk into a room and stand at the doorway looking at the lower area of the walls, floors, windows and doors. Imagine a human baby crawling on the floor; would you be ok if your baby picked up a needle and put it in their mouth? Of course not; well, same for a puppy; would you be ok if your human baby started chewing on a cockroach bate? Not at all!! Same for puppy!!

Go into the back yard and look at the fence, the garage or shed, the grass, the stones; what is there that could cause your puppy harm?

The following list are the hazards and risks I identified and cleared up prior to bringing Izzy home.

The list is not exhaustive, so add the hazards you find in and around your home; think about what could happen if your puppy bites, licks, chews, swallows, runs into and so forth.

For example; do you have sprinklers in your back yard? A puppy would not know that they could be seriously injured if they run into a sprinkler! Therefore, sprinklers are a hazard and the risk is being killed or permanently disabled from the blunt forced or penetrated trauma into the head, face or chest.

e.g., Sprinkler / puppy runs into it at full speed / killed or permanently disabled

(Hazards are in bold, risk after forward stroke)

  • Electrical cables / puppy chew cables / electric shock (assuming there is an RCD in place)

  • Fuel / puppy drinks or licks / poisoned

  • Ant rid / puppy licks or eats / poisoned

  • Loose Nails in the decking / puppy swallows / internal injury

  • Christmas decorations that stick into cupcakes/ puppy swallows / internal injury

  • Surface spray / puppy licks / poisoned

  • Cockroach bates / puppy breaks bate housing and eats / poisoned

  • Stones, pebbles / puppy chews or swallows / puppy breaks teeth and or internal injury or chokes

  • Sewing materials like needles, pins, safety pins, cotton, needle threader / puppy eats / internal injury

  • Plastic bag / puppy plays with bag / potential suffocation and / or choking

  • Toilet bleach bottle / puppy licks bottle / poisoned

  • Stairs indoor and outdoor / puppy attempts to go up or down stairs that are too high for them / falls and breaks limb, hip, or suffers brain or spinal injury

  • Furniture / puppy attempts to climb up or jump down off furniture, like bed or lounge, that are too high for them / falls and breaks limb, hip, or suffers brain or spinal injury

  • Low garden pickets / puppy jumps / puppy experiences penetration injury

  • Rat baits / puppy eats / poisoned

  • Clothing / puppy chews and swallows / internal obstruction

  • Fly spray, deodorant / puppy inhales / puppy is poisoned

  • Food on floor / puppy eats toxic food, e.g. onion, grapes / puppy poisoned

  • Medication / puppy finds on the floor or on bedside table and eats / puppy poisoned

  • Pool, dam / puppy falls in / puppy drowns

  • Water bottles, single use / puppy chews seal and lids / internal obstruction

  • Cotton buds sticks / puppy chews and swallows / internal injury

  • Slippery floors / puppy runs on tiles and slips / injury to ligaments, head injury, broken leg/s

Safety Precautions

Once you identify the hazards in your home; clean them up or put them away. If you cannot remove a hazard/s create a barrier. e.g., A baby gate for the stairs; or a grate for the fire place

  • Supervise when around hazards

  • Never leave chemicals around; place in cupboard, not on floor

  • Create a play pen that you can keep puppy in when you are out of the room or away from the home and at bed time

  • Learn dog first aid; if your dog is seriously injured, you must stabilise your puppy to give them the best chance of survival as you transport to the Vet

  • Put away anything you don’t want chewed!! Don’t assume your dog won’t want to eat your smelly shoes or laces; the smellier the better!

  • Slowly introduce your puppy to adult dogs

  • Place rugs on tiled or boarded floors; Use non-slip contact between rug and flooring to ensure rug does not slide and dog has traction

  • Barrier, Barrier, Barrier; especially electrical cables, stairs and swimming pools

  • Pick up and put down puppy from beds, lounges, stairs until older

  • Learn about the Breed of your puppy; their general behaviour, temperament and propensity to be adventurous

  • Vaccinate your puppy as per Veterinarian requirements and follow restrictions until Vet clears them for the outside world

  • Enrol your puppy into puppy school as soon as you can! and

  • Buy yourself a comprehensive emergency first aid kit! I've added a link to the comprehensive and affordable Fursafe Emergency Dog First Aid Kit


Fursafe Emergency Dog First Aid Guide

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