Are you a first-time pet parent about to experience the joys of having an animal? Or are you tired of your bored cat or dog getting into everything when you leave your home? Either way, we're here to give you some advice on how to pet-proof your home - believe me, you'll be happy you did.
What is a Risk?
Risks can lurk in many places or lie within an object (if chewed or swallowed). You may not have thought of these as risks, but they could pose a potential problem to a curious pet. These include;
- Garbage pails, and recycle bins
- Toilet bowls, especially those using sanitizing flush products
- Sharp objects on the floor or low-lying tables, bookcases, etc.
- Small children's toys
- String, yarn, elastic bands or twine
- Electrical Cords
- Some household and backyard plants
- Breakable items such as glass vases
Be sure to keep these objects out of reach of your kitten or puppy. In addition, read this article about how to prepare your home for a recovering pet.
Eliminate Possible Poisons & Toxins
To pet-proof your home a good place to start is by locking away all those substances that could be a possible poison or toxin. These would include medications, cleaning products, antifreeze, and other vehicle products, as well as those toxic foods such as garlic, onions. and chocolate.
Read this about 10 ways to keep your dog healthy and safe.
If you are pet proofing for a puppy, placing these objects in a cabinet, a drawer or higher up on a shelf may be all it takes; however, be aware that the feline species is more dexterous at climbing and opening doors. Secure any toxic items in a locked cabinet or an area where your cat cannot easily access it.
Use Baby Locks
Baby locks aren't just for children; they work wonders for keeping the animal species out, as well. The great thing about these devices is they come in a variety of styles. Some work my using magnets and are invisible from the outside of the cabinet or drawer, while other units use 3M adhesive technology, so they are easily applied and removed without marking the surface. There are also ones that simply tighten by pulling a cord or sliding into place to secure. Regardless of which style you choose, the baby lock method is foolproof.
Create a Safe Space for your Dog
If you can't lock them out, lock them in. Creating a safe space for your new puppy is a must-do especially if you plan on being away from home. Designating a safe room for your pup where everything is put away and only puppy-approved items are available to "play" with will keep baby Fido safe and sound. If that room doesn't have a door to close, try a baby/puppy gate that your dog cannot climb or jump over.
Some pet parents find it helpful to use the crate training method. Using a kennel that is big enough for your puppy or dog to stand up, turn around and lie back down, not only aids in potty training and keeps your fur baby out of trouble, but it also provides him with a safe and secure place to call all his own. You may be surprised at how many adult dogs retreat to their kennels when they want to sleep or just get away from the hustle-and-bustle of a busy home.
And remember safe outdoor spaces are also beneficial. Be sure to repair any holes in your fence, remove toxic plants, pick up sharp items (or those that could become a sharp item) and provide your pooch with safe outdoor toys to encourage safe chewing.
Buy a Trash Can With a Tight Lid
If you've ever had to pick up garbage that has been strewn all over your kitchen floor, you will never want to have to do it again.
Trash cans to some dogs are like bees to pollen; irresistible. However, think about what can end up in the garbage - chicken bones, rotted food, expired products - it's a bin of danger just waiting for your dog to consume it. For this reason, be sure to purchase a trash can with a tight-fitting lid or one that is not accessible to those prying paws. If this isn't possible, then put the garbage behind a locked door or a baby-proof cabinet.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Pet proofing our homes by identifying the risks then eliminating them will help ensure the health and well-being of our furry pals. Lock up or dispose of toxic substances, use baby locks to keep things secure, create a safe space and get a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid are some of the best ways to avoid an emergency trip to the veterinarian. It's better to be safe than sorry.