Aside from making sure your Chihuahua will be comfortable in your home, you also have to ensure that your home is safe, which means taking the proper precautions to keep your pup away from things that are dangerous for him.
Puppy proofing your home, is the first thing you need to take in consideration before bringing your Chihuahua into your house for the first time. Place breakables out of reach. If he is limited to certain places within the house, keep potentially dangerous items in off-limit areas. If your Chihuahua is going to spend time in a crate,make sure that there is nothing near it he can reach if he sticks his curious little nose or paws through the openings.
The outside of your home must also be safe. Your puppy will want to run and explore the yard, and he should be granted that freedom- as long as you are there to supervise him. Do not let a fence give you a false sense of security; you would be surprised how crafty (and persistent) a dog can be in figuring out how to dig under a fence or squeeze his way through small holes.
The remedy is to make the fence embedded into the ground. Be sure to repair or secure any gaps in the fence. A small dog, like your Chihuahua, can fit through the smallest hole. Check the fence periodically to ensure that it is in good shape and make repairs as needed; a very determined toy dog pup may work on the same spot until he is able to get through.
Smart owners will watch out for the following common problems in their homes:
- Electrical cords and wiring: No electrical cord or wiring is safe. Many office supply stores sell products to keep wires gathered under desks, as well as products that prevent chair wheels-and puppy teeth-from damaging electrical cords. If you have exposed cords and wires, these products aren’t very expensive and can be used to keep a puppy out of trouble.
- Trash cans: Don’t waste your time trying to train your Chihuahua not to get into the trash. Dogs love bathroom trash (cotton balls, cotton swabs, dental floss, etc.), all of which are extremely dangerous! Simply put the garbage behind a cabinet door, using a child-safe lock, if necessary; and make sure you always shut the bathroom door.
- Household cleaners: Make sure your Chihuahua puppy doesn’t have access to any of these deadly chemicals. Keep them behind closed cabinet doors, using child safe locks if necessary.
- Pest control sprays and poisons: Chemicals to control ants or other pests should not be used in the house, if possible. Your pup doesn’t have to directly ingest these poisons to become ill; if your toy dog steps in the poison, he can experience toxic side effects from licking toxins off his paws. Roach motels and other poisonous pest traps can also be attractive to dogs, so do not drop these behind couches or cabinets.
- Fabric: Here’s one you might not think about; some puppies have a habit of licking blankets, upholstery, rugs or carpets. Though this habit seems fairly innocuous, over time the fibers from upholstery or carpet can accumulate in the dog’s stomach and cause a blockage. If you see your dog licking these items, remove the item or prevent him from having contact with it and give him something more suitable to sink his teeth into.
- Prescriptions, painkillers, supplements and vitamins: Keep all of your medications in a cabinet. Also, be very careful when taking your prescription medications, supplements or vitamins. How often have you dropped a pill? With a Chihuahua, you can be sure that your puppy will be at your feet and will snarf up the pill before you can even start to say “No!”. Dispense your own pills carefully and without your Chihuahua present.
- Miscellaneous loose items: If it’s not bolted to the floor, your puppy is likely to give the item a taste test. Socks, coins, children’s toys, game pieces, cat bell balls-you name it; if it’s on the floor, it’s worth a taste. Make sure the floors in your home are picked up and free of clutter.