Tips on Puppyproofing your home
by Jay Bianco
©1996-2007 All Rights Reserved

As a responsible pet owner, steps should be taken to eliminate some of the common hazards around your home when bringing in your new Maltese pup.

Here are a few suggestions to make your home safer.

  1. Electrical cords, extension cords, etc. should be secured to the baseboard or better yet make them inaccessible. Puppies love to chew on them. Your Maltese could suffer electrical shock burns and could prove fatal.

  2. Never burn candles if the puppy is within reach as the flame will attract them.

  3. Anywhere there are steps is a hazard. If you have a cellar, keep the door closed. Pups are curious. Curiosity has injured and even killed many young puppies.

  4. Needles & pins are another deadly hazard if swallowed. Never leave pins or needles out where your puppy make get to them.

  5. Be very careful about other pets coming to your home. Remember that your Maltese puppy is much more likely to catch an infection than an adult dog. Proper vaccinations should bring there resistance to a much more safe level when your Maltese reaches around 16 weeks of age.

  6. Anti-freeze! Extremely toxic!! Its a known fact that the scent of anti-freeze attracts all dogs. Keep it out of reach or locked in a cabinet. Clean up any drippings immediately. Many cars, especially in the summer will overflow coolant (anti-freeze) to the ground. Be sure yours is not one of these.

  7. Toxic plants. Be sure you know which are and which are not. Here is a list of the more common ones.

  8. Pesticides and rodent control poisons should be used with extreme caution. Hanging fly paper is toxic! It was recently in our local newspaper where a puppy had swallowed some pieces of the strips. He survived, but was very sick. If you must use these, keep them out of reach of your puppy.

  9. If you plan on using a flea collar (usually useless), you should wait until your Maltese is at least 16 weeks of age. Flea dips also should not be used until your pup reaches this age. Always read the label as to the precautions and limitations on these products.

  10. Make sure your trash cans, both in the house and outside, have a lid. Puppies could easily get a hold of a chicken or turkey bone. These bones are dangerous to your pup if swallowed and also could prove fatal.

  11. Around the Christmas holidays, many decorations such as Christmas balls are no more than crushed glass if broken. If you have a new puppy around, be on the safe side and purchase the ones that are not made of this material. They're available. Puppys have been known to try to eat a broken Christmas ornament causing serious cuts in their mouth.

  12. If you are a smoker or have cigarette butts in ash trays, caution should be exercised. Cigarette butts consumed by your puppy could easily lead to nicotine poisoning.

  13. Toilet bowl cleaners are toxic. Keep the lid closed as puppies may be tempted to drink out of them.

  14. Any type of medication need to properly stored in a medicine cabinet or just out of reach. Childproof containers are not enough as the bottle are usually plastic. Your pup would have no problem in getting his sharp teeth into the contents of that bottle.

  15. A young Maltese puppy is no different than a human baby. They shouldn't be allowed to go on high places without strict adult supervision. In a split second, they could fall or attempt to jump. A bed is too high in most cases for a 12 week old puppy and would surely break something or be seriously injured if they would fall at this height.

These are only a few of the many hazards that might be in your home. A little commonsense will also go a long way in providing a safer home for your new Maltese pup.
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