You pick up your puppy and are so excited to bring him home, but is home safe? Before you let your puppy run wild, take a look in your house and around your house for any toxic dangers your puppy could come across. Here are some you probably have thought of, but you will also find items you probably never thought could hurt your new furry friend.


All pets need to be guarded against ingesting human medications both intentionally and accidentally. Never try and treat your dog with human over-the-counter medications, including herbal supplements. These can all be toxic to your pet, and some medicines such as naproxen and ibuprofen, to name a couple, can cause acute kidney failure. If your puppy is ill or in pain, you need to consult your veterinarian for a treatment plan.

You also need to remember that pets are very curious. If they can reach a bottle of medicine, they will likely chew it and ingest whatever is in the bottle. This is dangerous for both human medications and pet medications. Sometimes, if you are giving your pet some medication or supplements, they will see them as treats, and if they can get their little mouths on that bottle or box, they may eat the whole thing.

Make sure all medications are up high enough in a cupboard that your pet cannot reach them. You might be surprised and how clever they are at getting into lower cabinets and drawers.


There are many foods that we, humans, love and sometimes want to share with our puppies. This is not a good idea. Some foods that we love are deadly to our pets. As with medicine, you will want to make sure the following foods are safely put away. If you have children in the house, make sure they do not have any of these items in their hands or on a table when around your dog. Those cute puppies are known to snatch a treat away if they can reach it.

Here are some foods that are toxic or can cause internal problems to look out for:

  • Sugar-free Gum. (contains Xylitol)
  • Garlic
  • Yeast Dough
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Almonds
  • Bread
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Drinks with Caffeine
  • Raw Meat
  • Avocado
  • Fruits that have stems and seeds
  • Cooked Bones
  • Dairy
  • Coffee

Household Items

Recently, diffusers have become very popular. Usually, these are used with essential oils as a way to make your room smell good or for aromatherapy. Unfortunately, as there has been a surge in diffusers, there has also been a surge in pets becoming very ill and even dying. If a pet gets hold of these essential oils, you will need to be on your way to your veterinarian right away. This is a partial list, and all essential oils should be kept away from your puppy. This includes air fresheners that are on a table or plugged into a wall.

  • Pine Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Clove Oil
  • Pennyroyal Oil
  • Cinnamon Oil
  • Wintergreen Oil
  • Anise Oil
  • Thyme
  • Citrus Oil
  • Sweet Birth Oil
  • Yarrow
  • Ylang Ylang Oil

There are other household items you need to look out for as well. Cleaning supplies are a danger. You may think your puppy wouldn’t be interested, but they will tend to try anything. Antifreeze actually has a sweet taste, and your pup will lap it up, given the opportunity. Paint, glue, fabric softener sheets and batteries also need to be safely put away. Proper storage of these items is essential, but you do need to go one step further. Check for spillage from antifreeze, detergents, and the usage of de-icers. Even if these products just get on their paws, they can lick these chemicals and become very ill.

Poisons such as insecticides and rodenticides also need to be stored and used with great caution. Make sure you read all labels and warnings and follow directions to keep your pet safe. 


Most people don’t think to worry about what houseplants or outdoor plants they have around their home when they bring their puppy home. You do need to take note of the plants around your house and the fertilizers you use. Here are some of the most common, but for a full list, visit ASPCA.

  • Daffodils
  • Azalea
  • Sago Palms
  • Tulips
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Hyacinth
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Oleander
  • Cyclamen

Getting a puppy is very exciting, and with a little research and puppy-proofing, you can feel confident that you are bringing your new furry friend home to a safe environment. The Humane Society is a great resource for information on preparing and caring for your puppy. The ASPCA has an Animal Poison Control Center that you can access at any time.

Make sure you have these numbers and your veterinarian’s number stored where you can easily access them in case of an emergency.

Now, just enjoy that puppy!!