Stay in Control
Teach your dog to behave and make it a functional, mannered member of the family. Every dog needs to learn basic commands such as "sit," "stay," and "come" to stay out of trouble. An uncontrolled dog might run into traffic, wander away, get injured, or hurt another dog or human.
Get training tips for your dog.
Identify Your Dog
No matter how carefully you watch your dog, he or she might get lost. That's why a flat, buckled collar and ID tags are everyday essentials. Don't let your dog leave home without them. If you're feeling rushed and think your pup can go a day without them, think again. Your dog might sense your distraction and choose that moment to break loose and run off.
Editor's Tip: Make sure you have a good photo of your dog to use for identification purposes in the event he or she gets lost.
Learn more about dog tags.
Avoid Dangerous Plants
Unless you are an experienced gardener or horticulturist, stay on the safe side and keep your dog away from all plants. Dogs commonly react to poisonous plants with severe stomach pain, but the outcome could even be fatal. Ask your vet or the local agricultural extension service for a list of poisonous local plants and risky houseplants.
Learn more about plants that could harm your dog.
Lock Away Antifreeze
Dogs love the sweet taste of toxic antifreeze. Store antifreeze in a locked cabinet or high above Rover's reach. Clean up garage or driveway leaks immediately. Dispose of spilled antifreeze or empty containers in a securely lidded container.
Learn more about household products that could harm your dog.
Chocolate is a treat for you, but a disaster for dogs. Although a little chocolate won't kill your dog, too much can cause pancreatic problems, gastric distress, hyperactivity, and seizures. Sometimes these reactions are fatal. Stash chocolate and other sweets where your dog can't grab them.
Reconsider Dogs & Errands
We all enjoy spending time with our dogs, even when running errands. But you should leave your dog at home, lest you be tempted to leave it in the car while you shop or stop off for an appointment. Never leave your dog in a parked car in warm weather, even with a partially open window. In a matter of minutes, your vehicle might become so hot that your dog suffers heatstroke or brain damage. It could even die.
Lock Up Cleaning Supplies
Keep your pooch out of the cleaning-supplies cupboard and laundry room. Contact with household chemicals causes gastric upset, severe internal burns, or worse. Store all cleaning products in tightly sealed containers, in locked cabinets, or on high shelves.
Be Careful with Lawn Chemicals
If your lawn is chemically treated, wait until it's completely dry before letting your dog venture back into the yard. Chemicals on recently treated lawns adhere to dogs' feet, and they might become ill from licking the residue. Fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides can be toxic. If your dog spends a lot of time on the grass, you might want to opt for organic lawn care.
Learn more about organic lawn care.
Store Medicines Safely
Prevent accidental doggie overdoses by keeping medicines (both for humans and pets) in a safely closed cupboard. Don't treat your dog with medicines you use. Human drugs, such as aspirin, can poison a dog.
Safeguard Electrical Cords
A dog who chews on electrical cords can cause a fire or be electrocuted. If your dog is a curious chewer, tack or tape the electrical cords down in your house to make them harder to find and chew.
Never Offer Bones
Bones aren't necessary for a healthy dog diet. What's more, they can cause broken teeth, mouth injuries, constipation, and intestinal perforations that land your dog in the hospital. Indulge your doggie with a toy rather than a bone.
Keep Tobacco Out of Reach
Dogs should not have access to cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco. Canines might develop nicotine poisoning from ingesting tobacco products. If you entertain smokers in your home, ask them to place butts in ashtrays out of your dog's reach.