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Puppy Proof Your Homeby Sherry Munsell

Living with a puppy of any breed is a challenge and requires an owner to keep very close watch while the puppy is running around the room. There are so many things down at "puppy level” that it requires a diligent owner to keep your pup safe. One of the best ways to do this is to get down on your hands and knees and look around at all the things at "puppy level.” Remove or re-locate anything that might possibly hurt your new family member, even if you don’t think it is possible for the puppy to get to the object. Puppies have a great knack for squeezing into tiny places that you don’t think they will ever find or that you don’t think they will be able to fit in. Puppies are very curious and have an ability to fit through the tiniest openings.

A few suggestions follow:

  1. Don’t leave cigarette butts in ashtrays where the dogs can get them. If eaten, they can lead to nicotine poisoning or if they are still lit, they will burn the pup’s throat badly.
  2. Secure electrical cords to baseboards or make them inaccessible. If your dog chews on them, it can result in electric shock burns or may even die.
  3. Keep Christmas decorations out of the dog’s reach, a crushed glass ball can result in nasty cuts. They love tinsel, but it does not digest! Both can cause serious internal problems.
  4. Never burn candles where they’re accessible to pups. The flame will attract them.
  5. Keep medication bottles out of the dog’s way. Childproof containers are not enough where pups, or dogs of any age, are concerned.
  6. Always keep the toilet lid down if you use toilet bowl cleaners. They are often strongly alkaline and tempting for a puppy to drink.
  7. Keep cellar doors and upper story windows closed. A curious puppy is as vulnerable as a young child when it comes to falling out a window.
  8. Don’t invite other pets to your house until your puppy is fully vaccinated. A puppy’s resistance to infection is lower than an adult dog’s until about 16 weeks of age.
  9. Dispose of chicken or turkey bones in a puppy-proof manner. These bones smell wonderful to a puppy and they will search through the trash to get them. Poultry bones can be life threatening, since they splinter after being cooked and the sharp pieces can puncture a stomach, throat or intestine. Don’t take a chance!
  10. Don’t leave needles or pins out where the puppy can get to them. They often swallow them or any other small sharp objects. They don’t understand that sharp is dangerous. They are curious.
  11. Be certain anti-freeze is out of reach and any drippings are cleaned up completely. All dogs are attracted to its scent. Antifreeze is highly toxic to dogs, even a very small amount.
  12. Use pesticides and rodent poisons with caution. Hanging strips, fly paper and other exposed toxins must be kept out of reach. Also be careful with household cleaners and detergents. They often are very toxic and have a scent that attracts pups.
  13. Avoid using flea collars, flea dips and certain other preparations until your puppy is at least 15 weeks old. Find out the limitations of these products before applying them. It is best to use only vet recommended products. Most of the time a Chinese Shar-Pei will not have a problem with fleas, but keep a close eye, just in case.
  14. Keep your puppy away from toxic plants. Rhododendron, Japanese yew, lily of the valley, as well as peach and cherry pits, can all cause problems if eaten. It is best to keep plants up out of reach of curious puppy teeth, especially if you are not sure if they are toxic.
  15. Beware of swimming pools. Chinese Shar-Pei puppies are very curious and will investigate everything. If they fall in a pool, they may not be able to get back out. This could cause them to drown.
  16. Be very selective about a crate for your Shar-Pei. Be sure the bars are closely spaced and the door has a latch top and bottom. If it only has one latch, a pup can push out the crate door and strangle.

More Do’s and Don’t’s

Flyer from the American Dog Owners Assoc.
  1. Do give your dog lots of time, attention and love. Make him a family member.
  2. Do fence in your yard (or an area) to keep your dog home and safe.
  3. Do use your leash whenever your dog is off your property.
  4. Do use your pooper-scooper and clean up your yard daily.
  5. Do pick up after your dog if he leaves a "calling card” on public or private property
  6. Do teach your dog good manners and attend local obedience training classes.
  7. Do have your dog checked by your vet regularly.
  8. Do consider spaying/ neutering.
  9. Don’t acquire a pet on the spur of the moment! Be sure you have the time and the money, and are willing to provide daily care.
  10. Don’t let your dog bark at night or for any extended period of time.
  11. Don’t forget to brush and bathe your dog regularly.
  12. Don’t forget to provide ample food, water, and shelter for your dog.
  13. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help with your dog or puppy.

Information for this brochure was provided by Sherry Munsell, Southeastern Keystone Chinese Shar-Pei Club.

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