While puppies are no doubt adorable, they are also prone to getting into piles of trouble.

If you're planning to adopt a furry friend, here are some potential dangers to look out for. (And many of these safety tips apply to adult pets as well.)

7 house hazards

Electrical cords. Puppies love nothing better than to chew on things -- and electrical chords are no exception. Chewing on cords can cause burns to the mouth, electrical shock or even death. Be sure to conceal or cover them whenever possible.

Houseplants. Some houseplants -- such as Calla lilies, azalea, ivy and begonias -- can be toxic to dogs. Be sure to do your research on what plants are toxic and replace them with nontoxic plants or place them out of reach. (The APSCA has information on plants that can be potentially poisonous to pets.)

Small objects and clothing. Swallowing a small toy or an object like an earring or a coin can cause a dog to choke or result in a dangerous intestinal blockage. Keep laundry baskets off the floor to prevent your dog from ingesting socks, nylons, etc.

Food. Certain food items such as chocolate, onions, chicken bones, plastic food wrap, coffee grounds and the string from a roast can be hazardous for your dog. Uncooked meat, fish, and poultry can contain disease-causing bacteria, such as E. coli. Be especially aware of kitchen risks during holiday feasts and celebrations. (See Pet-proof your celebration.)

Medications. Keep all medications out of reach from your puppy. Do not leave vitamins or other pills out on the kitchen counter or table. Remember: a determined puppy can chew quite easily through a plastic container.

Cleaning supplies . Similar as you would with an infant, keep cleaning supplies in high cupboards (or use childproof latches to secure lower cupboards). If you're using liquid or spray cleaners, remove your puppy from the area because the vapors can be harmful to his lungs and eyes.

Bathroom. Trash cans can pose a number of potential risks including razors and dental floss. Be sure to put them up high where your dog cannot get into them. And avoid using automatic toilet bowl cleaners if you cannot keep your pup from drinking out of the toilet.


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Cynthia Ross Cravit