· Fit child locks on floor-level kitchen cupboards, especially if there are cleaning materials inside.
· Hide all trailing electrical cables behind furniture.
· Some dogs can be fond of drinking from the toilet. Switch to a non-toxic cleaner and always keep the lid down.
· Dogs and cats lack our sense of height and depth. If you live in a high-rise building or if your pet has access to second-story windows and decks, use screens and safely spaced bars to prevent jumping or accidental falls.
· Place non-skid matting or carpet on slick linoleum and hardwood floors where your pet is likely to move quickly. An accidental slip can result in serious injury such as torn ligaments.
· If you have a young puppy or elderly dog, a baby gate at the top of an accessible flight of stairs can help prevent falls and serious injury.
· Remove or avoid household toxins including toxic plants, strong chemical cleaners and environmental insecticides. Whenever possible, consider the use of alternative, 'green' products.
A lot of plants, shrubs and trees are poisonous to dogs and cats. You should always discourage your pet from chewing anything he finds in the garden, and contact your vet if you are concerned. If you would prefer to play it safe and remove all toxic plants, ask for advice in your garden center or from your vet. The more common ones you need to watch out for include:
Houseplants - Philodendron, mistletoe, poinsettia
Garden plants - Lily, azalea, daffodil, tomato, foxglove, yew, hydrangeaIf your pet does eat part of a poisonous plant, go straight to the vet, taking the plant with you if possible.
· Your exercise area for your dog should be fully fenced, at the correct height for your breed.
· Check there are no gaps that your dog can squeeze through or under, making sure that fence panels are sunk well into the ground. Many dogs love to dig.
· Check the fence regularly for any repair needs, and make sure everyone who comes and goes shuts the gate behind them.
· Swimming pools should also be fenced off securely, or covered firmly when not in use.
· If you are a keen gardener, fence off your favorite plants! Consider building your puppy a sand box to dig in.
· Provide a wind and waterproof shelter for your dog if they are outside for extended periods of time.
· Always use care when backing your car out of the driveway, ensuring your dog is well out of the way. Puppies are sometimes excited by car movements, so keep them restrained around moving cars.
· Some road and pavement surfaces can irritate your dog's paws. In particular, avoid hot asphalt or black sand beaches in summer. Remove ladders or anything your dog may feel the urge to climb, particularly if it leads to balconies or flat roofs. Make sure you select dog friendly plants for your gardens to reduce the risk of poisoning and skin irritation. Your garden center should be able to advise which varieties are safe.