Your dog is, by nature, a trusting animal. It never crosses her mind that something might be dangerous for her, so she blissfully pokes her nose in the garbage can or gnaws on your favorite potted plant. It is up to you as her owner to safeguard her environment and protect her from harm. This is even more important if you let your dog out to play in the backyard or if you set up an outdoor doghouse.
Before taking your new dog home, print out these checklists and review them. Post the checklists on the refrigerator or any place where the whole family can see them. Examine them on occasion to make sure both your home and the outside of your home are safe for your dog. This is an especially good practice for the younger members of the family.
Inside The Home Checklist
Inside the home, did you remember to:
- Make sure all doors, including patio entrances, are securely closed?
- Make sure any pet door is the right size, and closes properly?
- Keep any dangerous food, such as chocolate, out of range of your dog?
- Keep medication, dietary supplements and antibiotics high and safe?
- Make sure all the garbage in the house is secure and inaccessible?
- Check that all cleaning supplies are out of reach?
- Keep all dangerous objects off the floor and out of reach?
- Close the lid on the toilet bowl and stop using any sanitizing flush products?
- Put away all sharp objects that might cut your dog's paws or mouth?
- Put childproof latches on all cabinets containing hazardous substances so your dog can't 'slip' the latch?
- Dog-proof any poisonous plants or place them where your dog can't get at them?
- Pick up any toys and objects, such as string, that could be dangerous if swallowed?
- Place any pesticides out of reach or be doubly sure to replace them with nontoxic substances?
- Make sure to keep your dog away from litter boxes used by other pets?
- Make sure your dog has some toys to chew on so she doesn't try to chew electric wiring or other dangerous objects?
Outside The Home Checklist
Outside the home, did you remember to:
- Make sure the gate to the yard is secure and there are no holes through which your dog can escape?
- Make sure your dog can't dig under the fence?
- Put up some sort of barrier between the area used by your dog and any flowerbeds or garden?
- Throw out or dog-proof any poisonous plants in the yard?
- Make sure your garbage can is secure and inaccessible?
- Clean the driveway or parking area immediately if there's any oil or other spillage (especially antifreeze) from your car?
- Make sure the garage door shuts properly and your dog can't gain access to any chemicals or other materials stored in the garage?
- Secure any areas with water, such as a swimming pool, that could be a drowning hazard?
- Lock your dog inside if you are spraying the lawn with herbicides?
- Provide your pet with a large enough doghouse, which you disinfect and keep clean regularly?
- Place the doghouse in an area that is shaded for at least part of the day?
- Provide your dog with plenty of drinking water that is refreshed every day?
- Clean up her feces daily and dispose of them?