Getting a new puppy is always exciting. Puppies make great additions to the family and will provide you with years of unconditional love and entertainment. But puppies are naturally curious creatures. While there are many benefits to obedience training and making sure your puppy knows the rules keeps them safe, it’s also up to you to provide parasite protection to keep your dog safe from potential predators as they learn and grow.
There are things out in the world and even in your own home that could be dangerous for a young dog. And they may not know any better when it comes to staying away from those hazards.
So what can you do to protect your puppy at home, and while you’re out and about? This article will cover some preventative health measures, as well as tips you can use to puppy-proof your home — even during spring cleaning!
Parasite prevention: Protect your pooch
One of the best things you can do for your new pup is to make sure they’re up-to-date on all of their vaccines and get them on some preventative medications and supplements. Puppies are susceptible to dangerous conditions like Parvo, distemper, and even kennel cough. Getting them vaccinated with a veterinarian can help to prevent these conditions and keep them healthy as they grow and develop.
Additionally, you should talk with your vet about starting your dog on medication to protect him from parasites including flea and tick prevention, as well as heartworm prevention.
Fleas and ticks aren’t just annoying for your puppy; they can also carry a harmful parasite and even cause your dog to get sick. A tick bite can cause Lyme disease, renal failure, and can kill a puppy if left untreated. While antibiotics can cure the ailments of a tick bite, sometimes it takes too long to discover the bite to begin treatment. The best thing you can do is try to prevent bites before they happen with medication, but if you haven’t yet, watch for signs your pup has fleas and make sure you get them treated immediately.
Puppy-proofing your house
There are a few changes you’ll likely have to make to your home once your new furry friend starts living there. First, be sure your pup can’t get into any cabinets or drawers where you keep cleaning supplies, medicines, or food that could be harmful to them. You may need to invest in baby gates or child locks to keep their curious noses out of things for a while.
Electrical cords can also be dangerous if they’re laying around. Puppies love to chew on things, but a bite into a wire or cord could give them a shock or even be fatal. Cover all electrical cords or tuck them away where your dog can’t get them. Offer up chew toys and treats instead to satisfy their urges. Having a lot of fun chew toys around will also help to keep your puppy from chewing on your furniture, shoes, etc.
If your new addition to the family does manage to cause some damage, you might need to consider the cost of home repairs. Looking into home repair loans can help you afford to replace walls, floors, or floorboards that may have been torn or chewed by your four-legged friend.
Doing some spring cleaning? That’s good! You should keep your home regularly dusted and vacuumed to keep pet hair and dirt at a minimum. Cleaning up pet debris will improve the overall air quality in your house and will help any family members (including your pup!) who might struggle with allergies.
As you’re cleaning, it’s a good time to check for any possible hidden dangers within your home. Spring is a great time to replace the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors. If you live in an older home, you should also make sure there isn’t asbestos hiding in your walls. Asbestos is a toxic mineral that can cause lung scarring and cancer in both humans and pets. If you’re doing any remodeling this season, be aware of the likelihood of asbestos, and keep yourself and your dog as protected as possible.
Keep your dog safe outside
Most puppies love to be outside, but there can be hidden dangers everywhere. Your backyard should be a place where your pup can run around, play, and burn off some energy. Creating a safe outdoor environment with paths and stable turf for them can ensure that they don’t step on anything sharp that might be in your yard.
It’s also essential to give them a shady place to rest after running around. It’s easy for dogs to get overheated, so providing some shelter from the sun will help to keep them cool. Putting up fences and barriers will also keep your dog safely within your yard and won’t allow them to wander into other dangerous areas, or out into the street with passing cars.
Finally, make sure your yard is free of toxic chemicals and plants. If you treat your lawn with fertilizer, for example, ensure that it’s pet-friendly before letting your dog run free. If the chemicals get on their paws and your puppy licks them, it could cause health problems.
Introducing a new puppy into your family can be a lot of fun, but it also puts a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders. Keep these tips in mind to protect your little furry friend from some of the dangers the world can throw at them, and watch them grow into a happy and healthy dog that can be with your family for years.
Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience with nose boops and chin scritches. You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.