Important Tips For New Puppy Owners

Are you considering getting a new puppy? Do you want to make sure that everything is ready for this new addition to your household? Puppies can be a lot of fun, but they can also be a lot of work. If your home isn't properly puppy-proofed, your four-legged friend could wind up sick or injured. In order to prevent midnight trips to your nearest animal hospital, here are some things to keep in mind:

Don't feed bones: Puppies naturally want to chew on just about everything. That's their way of exploring the world. You may think that it's a good idea to get some bones to channel that chewing energy into a less destructive area. Unfortunately, bones can be dangerous for an over-eager canine. Cooked bones have a tendency to shatter and splinter into dangerously sharp pieces. This may necessitate a trip to the nearest animal hospital for emergency surgery to remove these shards from your puppy's stomach or intestines. Many people will tell you that raw bones are safer, and they can be. Unlike cooked bones, they're less prone to shattering. However, if your puppy over-enthusiastically ingests too much bone at once, his or her digestive tract may still get blocked by the pieces. If you do decide to give raw bones, make sure that your puppy is only allowed to chew on them under your supervision. If he or she starts to gnaw off any substantial pieces, it's time to take the bone away from your dog and distract him or her with a different toy.

Be careful when gardening: You probably already know to keep things like weed killer or pesticides out of reach where your puppy can't accidentally get a taste. But there are also many plants that can be dangerous for your dog if chewed on or swallowed. Not knowing any better, your puppy may decide to "taste" a buttercup by swallowing it whole. This could result in anything from mild nausea to death, depending on the dog and the flower that was eaten. There are many other plants that you may either have growing outside or that you are keeping as houseplants and that can be dangerous for your dog to put in his or her mouth. If you suspect that your puppy has chewed on or eaten any of these plants, bring your puppy and a sample of the plant to your local animal hospital for the vets there to investigate. 

Install outlet covers: If you don't have young children, you may wonder why you should even consider installing outlet covers in your home. After all, your puppy is hardly going to pick up a dropped knife or fork and jam it into the socket. But if you get a male dog, he may start marking his territory before you get him fully housebroken. While chewing on plugged-in electrical cords is a more common source of electrocution, it's also possible for your puppy to get electrocuted while urinating.You'll still have a mess to clean up, but using outlet covers will at least help to prevent your dog from getting electrocuted when he lifts his leg on your walls.

For an animal hospital, contact a company such as Lamb's Gap Animal Hospital.