Stairs and Your Puppy

In many ways, having a young puppy is a lot like having a small child. Everyday things in your house can be dangerous to your kid, and many of those same things can be dangerous to a little dog. Stairs can be especially dangerous to short, two-legged people, but they are dangerous to four-legged animals as well.

Here’s how to keep your puppy safe if you have stairs in your home.

Prevent falls

Just like young children who are learning how to walk, puppies aren’t very coordinated. They’re prone to tripping over their own feet, so it’s no wonder that a professional veterinary clinic recommends blocking off the top and bottom of the staircases in your home!

The easiest way to keep your pet away from the stairs is to install baby gates. Make sure you install one at the top of the stairs, but it’s a good idea to install one at the bottom too. That way he can’t run to the top, discover it’s blocked, and tumble back down to the bottom.

If you want to take your puppy up or down the stairs, carry him.

Make sure his head doesn’t get stuck between the rails

When your dog gets old enough to use the stairs, which is usually around four to six months, make sure you protect your pup from getting his head stuck in the rails.

Curious dogs love to stick their head in places where it doesn’t belong. On your staircase, that means getting his heads stuck between the rails. To keep this from happening, cover the rails in a mesh fabric until your pup’s head is too big to get stuck. Then, you can take it off.

Protect your staircase

Puppies love to chew, but adult dogs can do their fair share of damage too. Make sure your pooch isn’t interested in chewing on a wooden staircase by using a bitter spray. Once your pet associates your staircase with a nasty taste, he won’t want to chew on it ever again.

If your dog likes to tear, you may have to watch the carpet on the stairs. Rowdy pets can be damaging too. Consider using a stair liner to protect the carpeting on your stairs.

For more tips on keeping your puppy safe around your staircase, schedule an appointment with your local animal health care.

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