If you're planning on buying your first puppy, you might have already chosen their name, bought their dog bowl and purchased a flashy lead for their daily walks, but have you thought about any potential dangers that might be lurking in your house? Although cute, loving and extremely loyal, puppies can also be very mischievous and have the ability to find trouble as soon as your back is turned. To make sure your home is ready for your new arrival, here are a few things to look out for before you welcome your puppy:

Plants

Low-level plants can be a big temptation for puppies, but some plants can also be toxic for your puppy and cause an upset tummy or worse, a trip to the vets. Some common house plants that are toxic for your dog include Calla Lily, Dieffenbachia, Philodendron and Azalea, so it's advisable to check your plants and move them to a safer height, away from your puppy. It's not just the toxic dangers that you need to be aware of, imagine the mess if your puppy starts playing with the soil! Muddy paw prints all over the house!

Wires

Just like human babies, puppies go through stages of wanting to chew everything in sight, so make sure that any wires are out of reach. Phone chargers were a particular favourite of our office dog Ruby.

Kitchen Cupboards

Low kitchen cupboards can be easier to open than you think and if you are storing food in them your new puppy will get the scent of whatever's being kept inside. You can buy security accessories for toddlers, so it might be advisable to invest in some of these or move your food into higher cupboards.

Rubbish Bins

Bins hold massive appeal not only for puppies but also fully grown dogs too (trust me I know). Kitchen bins without lids and smaller bathroom bins can easily be knocked over causing their contents to spill out all over the floor. In bathrooms, we often throw away cotton buds, dental floss, plastic toothpaste tubs and makeup products, which can be really harmful to dogs if they decide to chew or swallow them. Kitchen bins are full of old food, plastic packaging and even meat bones that you don't want your dog eating. It's advisable to buy bins that have a secure or automatic lid that can't be opened easily by younger or older dogs.

Medicines

If you have recently purchased your first dog, it can sometimes take a while to get out of habits that might not have seemed important until your puppy arrived. For instance, where you keep your medicines. If you take daily pills, you might keep them on a low table to remind you to take them each day. As you can imagine, human medicines can be extremely dangerous for dogs and other pets, so be sure to leave these in high cupboards or locked boxes away from your curious puppy.

Toys

 If you have children, imagine how upset they will be if their favourite toy is crewed by a teething puppy. Not only that but toys, small parts and even batteries can be very attractive for inquisitive little puppies but will cause major problems if they are eaten.

Toilet Paper

This is something that I learned the hard way. When my now fully grown (and well behaved) dog was a puppy, he had a habit of pulling the end of the toilet paper and running around the whole house, decorating each room. After much nagging, my family eventually remembered not to leave the end of the roll hanging down where he could reach. Luckily our dog didn't eat the paper, which would have caused blockages and probably a trip to the vets.

As I've mentioned previously, it can take a while to change your habits and routines to fit in with the puppy and you will usually be reminded of this on a daily basis for the first few weeks. The right kind of training will help your dog learn the do's and don'ts in your house, just remember who's in charge!

If you have any more tips for new puppy owners, we would love to hear from you. Simply email us at [email protected]