Pet-Proofing Your Home

Keeping your pets safe at home is pretty much like keeping your children safe. It’s something you have to do and it’s pretty easy to get it done if you keep it up on a regular basis. The first thing to realize is that if something happens to your pet or your pet tears up your favorite pair of shoes is that it’s not his fault, it’s YOURS. You left knives on the counter, you left a plate of food sitting on the table, and yes, you left your shoes lying under the bed. Pets are like young children, they don’t know any better, so it’s best just to predict the worst and do your best to prevent it.

The first thing to do is get a dog/cat’s eye view of your home. Get down on all fours and look around. Are there any dangling electric cords, loose nails, plastic bags or other tempting objects that will be in your pet’s reach? If there are, be sure to put them away immediately.

Next, clean your house! Keeping things picked up and put away (like your shoes!) will discourage your pet from making them chew toys. Make sure there are no small objects lying around where your pet can get them. These include things like coins, pins, needles, rubber bands, paper clips, staples, nails, screws, yarn, thread, dental floss, earrings and other small jewelry, bells and small balls.

If you don’t want your pet in a certain area of your house (like your bedroom) close the door or use a baby gate to keep him out.

Poisonous Items
This includes cleansers, dish soap, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, antifreeze, plants, etc. Keep all poisonous items out of reach, either in a locked cabinet or in an area your pet is not allowed, such as the garage or the basement. If you have a plant that is poisonous to your pet, consider getting something else instead. Even if it’s up high your cat can still get to it if he’s determined enough.
Puppies and cats alike learn about their world with their mouths. Chewing on things is natural. So if you have any exposed cords, either cover them up or spray them with a repellent, such as Bitter Apple to deter your pet from chewing on them. You also want to be careful of dangling cords, as your pet can pull on them and the next thing you know your antique lamp is shattered on the floor. You might even want to get those plug covers too!

Let’s face it, your pet loves to look out the window. To keep accidents from happening, keep the blinds open enough so that they are out of reach of your pet. If the cord hangs lower after you raise them, tack it up and out of your pet’s reach. Also try to keep breakable things or things that can easily be knocked over away from the windows (such as lamps). If you open your windows for your pet, make sure that the screen is properly installed and won’t fall out. Many pets are injured from falling out of windows.

The Bathroom
Not only are there poisonous medications in the bathroom, but there is also poisonous cleansers in the toilet bowl (if you use one of those drop-ins). Keep the toilet lid down and medications out of reach of your pet.

The Office
Keep your paper shredder either in a cabinet or unplugged when not in use or get one of these Safe Sense Shredders. Paper shredders can be deadly to your pet! I’ve seen where a dog’s tongue has gotten stuck in one and believe me it’s not a pretty sight!! Keep small supplies, such as paper clips, thumbtacks, erasers, etc. picked up and in a closed container or drawer so they cannot be easily spilled and eaten.

The Kitchen
Keep the counters clean and food free to discourage your pet from getting up there to get a tasty morsel. Also keep any sharp objects, such as knives put away in drawers. Keeping the trash can covered with a lid will also discourage your pet from going “trash can” diving. Keep spices, etc. put up as some can be deadly to your pet, such as onions and macademia nuts.

Remember if it’s not safe for your children, it’s not safe for your pet either!! Got other pet-proofing ideas? Let us know about them!