Many injuries and health emergencies can be avoided by routinely following care guidelines for safety. Of top concern is ingesting non-food objects (choking, internal blockage, poisoning) and injury via falls or being tripped over.
Why this may not be done: Owners may do this task when first bringing home a new puppy, but then phase out of this, assuming that the dog has learned. It is important to note that most dogs to not mouth objects with the intention of ingesting them. They mouth things to find out what they are, to chew them or simply out of boredom.
In regard to injury, you may be surprised to learn that based on a 20-year study by the University of Georgia, the top leading cause of death for puppies (all breeds) is trauma.
And for adults Poodles, trauma is the 3rd leading cause of death for both standard and miniature Poodles (10.1% and 10.8%, respectively) and the 2nd leading cause of death for toys (11.7%).
Yet, so much of this can be avoided.
What to do:
1. Puppy-proof the house, regularly, no matter how old your Poodle is. Always be on the lookout for items that may have fallen to the floor, check right under furniture (where a dog’s paw could swipe something out) and use cord concealer for any electrical cords that may be accessible.
2. Use gates to block off any steps or other areas that may be dangerous. This is particularly relevant with puppies and with older, senior Poodles that may have trouble navigating around the house.
3. Use child-proof locks on lower cabinets. There are cases of dogs getting into cabinets and chewing on/ingesting everything from feminine hygiene products to Band-Aids.
4. Never let your Poodle off leash, unless you are in an area such as an enclosed yard under supervision, a gated dog park or other area in which you are sure that there is no chance that your Poodle can run off.
5. Part of ‘death by trauma’ involves injuries received as a passenger in the car; we address this next.