Puppy Proof Your Home
To keep your puppy safe, you must puppy proof your home much like you child proof your home for
your human toddler and preschooler!
Have you thought to puppy-proof-your-home? Shih Tzu may not be like your own toddler or
preschooler but you still need to keep them safe and out of harm’s way. Luckily puppy proofing your
home for a dog is very similar to child proofing with a few obvious alterations.
To Puppy-proof-your-home requires you to get down to the level of a small puppy and think about all
the neat things they might want to explore:
- House plants
- Wires of any kind from electronics
- Books, newspaper, magazines and any loose paper:
- Shoes, slippers, socks and underwear: Beware
- Chemicals, cleaners, medicines
- The human snack you've been munching on
Wooden furniture is a great toy as Shih Tzu love to chew but removing your furniture may not be a
good puppy-proof option. Outside, a large yard with lots of flower beds make a digging puppy very
happy. Again you don't want to remove the flowers just to puppy proof the property. I've even had my
eyeglasses stolen from my night stand and chewed into a most unusual shape minus the glass part, of
course. My daughter has lost several contact lens cases to the puppies--they must be just the right
size! While puppies might find these things great fun, their human companions may not find them so
amusing. I can certainly attest to that!
If you have small children, you are bound to have a (very) large assortment of human toys that
puppies cannot have. Just as with children three and under, puppies tend to put everything in their
mouth. Small toy pieces are a definite NO NO. Shih Tzu dogs are also notorious for finding board
game pieces and either swallow them or render them unusable. At this point, you might be saying to
yourself, "It's me or the dog!" But alas, there is hope and an easy solution to this dilemma.
Some Shih Tzu puppies can be so calm and dependent that you are lured into a false sense of
security. But don’t let them fool you—they are a very curious little breed. And curious little dogs can
get into big trouble real fast. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your home safe and
puppy-proof for your young Shih Tzu.
Baby gates are great for keeping your Tzu confined to one room or out of another room such as a
craft room. They keep them safe at the top of the stairs or secure at the bottom. But, be sure any
gate you get has adequate protection. Shih Tzu puppies can be very tiny and tend to get through the
If you want still more confinement, but enough room for the dog, you can buy small indoor/outdoor
kennels or enclosures usually about 6 feet square that allow you to fit in a small crate, food bowls,
puppy pads and toys and still have plenty of room for a small dog. This might be the best solution if
you have small children and want to assure that both are safe and happy.
To puppy-proof-your-home, remove all house plants or put them where they can’t be reached. So
many house plants are poisonous that the list is too long to list here. Secure all wires and cords
including computer wires, lamps, and even ear phones and cell phone chargers. Shih Tzu love to
chew and any kind of cords are one of their favorite toys. Chewing behavior is worst when puppies are
teething and improve once they get their adult teeth. However not all Shih Tzu follow this schedule and
will continue to chew if given the opportunity.
When puppy-proofing your home, don't forget about window blind cords. They can be extremely
dangerous to puppies (and human babies as well) Secure cords well about the level where puppies
can reach when standing up on two feet.
Any objects that they can reach are fair game, so when puppy-proofing your home, you must make
sure there are no choking hazards, chemicals or children’s toys that might have removable parts. Shih
Tzu also love shoes, socks, slippers, and small undergarments that they can get, shake, and chew.
Children’s underwear is especially enticing especially if it is within reach.
Any kind of paper is a great fun toy—your unread newspaper, favorite book or magazine or your family’
s heirloom Bible are all fair game for your Shih Tzu. If left in a bathroom, your sweet little Shih Tzu can
unroll and entire role of toilet paper in less than 15 minutes then shred the empty roll. They’ve even
been known to pull out every tissue in a tissue box. SO MUCH FUN--for them, not for you.
They also seem to love plastic, so watch out for your medicine bottles and even your eye glasses!
They are not trying to make your life miserable, they just see something, want to explore it and decide
it is theirs.
Shih Tzu are also notorious for finding food scraps on the floor, love to steal food out of a young child’
s hand or work hard to get a forbidden item. Most human foods may not be very nutritious, but are not
harmful. But, there is some foods that Shih Tzu should never eat.
When puppy proofing your house, remember to remove any food items that might be dangerous. Don’
t ever feed your dogs:
PUPPY NO NOs
- Grapes or raisins
- Chocolate especially dark chocolate
- Coffee or other caffeine drinks
- Fatty food such as fat from a steak
- Macadamia nuts
- Chewing gum, candy and breath fresheners containing xylitol
- Yeast dough
- Hard candies can be a choking hazard
So, going back to the analogy of a human toddler, what do you do when you must take away all these
wonderfully enticing yet forbidden objects. Substitute!
To Puppy-Proof-Your-Home also means providing acceptable things that puppy can chew, such as
bones and toys. Get a good assortment and when the puppy wants to chew on an unacceptable
object, take it away and hand him his bone.