Preparing a home for a new Dachshund requires just as much diligence as it does to prepare for a child. If the house isn't Dachshund-proofed, Dachshies — who'll gnaw on or swallow just about anything and who are too short to jump safely — can get themselves in a lot of trouble or even hurt.

How do you Dachs-proof your home? Try to see the world from his point of view and then you get busy and make a few changes before you let that puppy loose in the house.

  • Prepare for a demolition dog: You'd be surprised how much of a mess your little Dachsie can create. Keep collectables well above the level any Dachshund can reach or put them away for a while. Puppies are exuberant and curious, and they haven't yet learned what areas are off limits to them. Protect your breakables the same way you would if you were dealing with a child.

  • The world is his chew toy: Although a Dachshund is small, he has a pretty big mouth, and he loves to chew and chew and chew. In fact, just about anything he can get his teeth around will be considered fair game. The best way to combat this is to have a good supply of acceptable chew toys on hand. Stow them everywhere so one is always within reach.

  • Choking hazards: Take a good look around your home for small objects on the floor or within reach that would fit in your Dachshund's mouth like bottle caps, rubber bands, string or thread, loose screws, twist ties, small blocks or balls (such as cat toys), and even small wads of paper trash. String-like objects can actually cause internal damage.

    Avoid giving your Dachshund cat toys, even if you have a Mini. Dachshunds are more determined than cats and can break up the toys to reveal a number of choking hazards.

  • Put away poisons: When you have a chew-happy puppy, the number of things that could poison them are everywhere. Common household poisons include cleaners, medicine of any kind, pesticides, houseplants, coffee grounds, potpourri, and even foods. Don't forget to include your garage and your yard when looking for poisons.

    Many people foods can be poisonous to dogs. The worst are chocolate, onions, grapes or raisins, and even sugarless gum. Even small amounts can be fatal.

    If you know or suspect that your dog has been poisoned, call the National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPCC) at 1-888-426-4435, a 24-hour emergency veterinary poison hotline.

  • Stairs: A big thing to consider when Dachs-proofing your home is how to make your stairs Dachshund-friendly. If you have stairs in your home, the best bet is a baby gate at the top and bottom of the stairs. A ramp is great alternative outside.

  • Ledges, couches and beds: Some Dachshunds are impossible to keep off beds and couches, and when they decide to get down, they get down before you can stop them. Some people build little ramps everywhere; others recognize that their pets are going to jump. You have to determine what works best for you.

  • Dealing with diggers: Dachshunds love to dig, almost as much as they love to chew. If you have a digger, you may want to consider purchasing a few carpet squares or remnants that are reserved for your Dachshund. He can dig and scratch on them to his heart's content.

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