Beagle Proofing your home
Make Your Home a Safe Environment for Your New Beagle Companion
Bringing a new beagle companion into your home requires a lifetime of “beagle-proofing”...
Beagles are like perpetual children, commonly have insatiable appetites, and are gifted with a nose like no other. They will sniff out and get into more things than you might ever have imagined possible, and so sharing your life with a beagle can require a great deal of thought and effort to maintain a safe environment and amicable relationship.
Take a moment to look around your home and yard...
It looks safe enough, but is it really? Beagles, especially puppies, are like young children - - they will tend to mouth most anything they can find. You may be merely aggravated with your hound when he chews a pair of shoes, or snatches that unsupervised TV snack; but should he instead investigate an electrical cord, household chemicals, or any number of small items that could become lodged in his throat and cause choking, the results can be downright fatal. It may be a good idea to get down on your hands and knees and look around your home from the beagle’s point of view. “Beagle-proofing” is much like safety -proofing the home for a new baby or toddler, but with additional considerations relating to that inquisitive beagle nose.
The following tips should help you to provide a beagle safe environment for your new family companion.
* Keep all dog food and treats safely sealed away in air tight containers and stored away from easy access by your beagle. These little hounds have an amazing ability to sniff out food items.
* Store all household chemicals and poisons out of reach, preferably in locked, raised cabinets. Install child safety latches on floor level cabinets, but be aware that we know of beagles who have mastered opening them. You will also likely need to keep trash cans behind secure, closed doors to prevent rummaging. Even simple items such as styrofoam packing chips can cause serious problems if ingested.
* Don’t forget the bathroom; beagles have been known to take a liking to womens’ sanitary items with serious consequences. Scented soaps may be a target. And again, be sure household cleaners and chemicals are kept securely out of reach.
* Keep kitchen countertops clear of all food items, including such products as cough drops, medications, and even seemingly inedible items such as potpourri. Also never leave food unattended on a table in the presence of a beagle- - they will not hesitate to jump up on chairs (or whatever) to reach a tempting morsel.
* A women’s purse can be a common target for beagle exploration, especially if it contains mints, candies, or sugar packets. In the car, glove compartments can be a target also, so always keep your hound crated during travel for these and other safety reasons.
* Keep electrical cords out of reach as much as possible. Even an unplugged cord can be a hazard, if attached to an appliance that could be pulled down on top of a small pup. Those that can not be secured out of reach may be sprayed with tabasco or other chew inhibiting products.
* Many houseplants and outdoor ornamental plantings can be poisonous. If you are not sure about the safety of certain species, check with your veterinarian, or browse online for further information regarding toxic plants. Due to the many hazardous chemicals and other items found there, greenhouses and tool shops or garages should be kept strictly off limits to your beagle.
* Cat litter boxes can be especially appealing to the beagle. If you have an indoor cat, be sure to move the litter box to an area accessible to the cat but not the hound. Cat litter, when swallowed, can cause choking or impaction.
* Lets look at the yard... Is the yard safely fenced? Beagles are notorious escape artists, and can dig under, squeeze through loosely hung gates, and sometimes even climb over fencing. The best fencing strategy for containing hounds is to securely bury the bottom of the fencing and/or attach to heavy landscape timbers. Check the fencing frequently for any openings which might be enlarged enough for a determined beagle to squeeze through. If you have a swimming pool, never allow the puppy to play near it unattended.
* One of the wisest investments you can ever make for your beagle is a good quality crate. Keep the crate in one room to provide a secure den for you hound when you must leave him unattended for short periods of time. As long as it is not abused, a crate becomes your hound’s special place, a secure den of his own, and excellent sleeping quarters and safe place to ride when traveling.
* Put away, far out of reach, all of those valued collectable items, small toys, or coffee table books. These are additional items that may be chewed and/or ingested with potentially dangerous results. Always encourage your puppy to instead chew only safe, appropriate items (Kong Toys, and Nylabones) provided just for this purpose.