Pet-Proofing Your Home – You’ve just brought home your new furry friend, and you’re excited to start spoiling them rotten. But wait! Before you let them run wild in your home, you first need to pet-proofing your home! From essential dog supplies to making your home safe for cats, here are some tips on making your home safe for both you and your pet.
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Here are someTips on Pet-Proofing Your Home:
1) Start Before They Arrive
It’s important to pet-proofing your home before bringing a new pet into the equation, whether they’re a puppy, kitten, or a full-grown adult. Even if you’ve had pets before and think you know what to expect, every animal is different and may have their own quirks that could lead to trouble.
Start by researching what kind of mischief your chosen pet is likely to get up to. Be sure to be specific in that research. For example, different breeds will be predisposed to varying kinds of antics when it comes to dogs. A Labrador retriever, for example, is likely to be much more energetic than a bulldog and may need more attention in terms of pet-proofing your home.
2) Know Your Pet’s Instincts
All animals have natural instincts that can often lead them into trouble. It’s essential to consider these to anticipate any potential problems. For example, many cats like to climb to high places and often scratch at things.
This means you need to make sure that any valuables or breakables are kept out of reach and that there are no sharp edges for them to scratch themselves on. Similarly, dogs will often dig and chew things, so it’s important to keep anything edible or dangerous well out of their reach.
3) Keep Things Tidy
One of the best ways to pet-proof your home is simply keeping it tidy. Pets can be curious creatures and often investigate anything that catches their eye. This means that if any loose cords or small objects are lying around, they may be tempted to chew on or play with them, leading to an accident. So this is your opportunity to, at least temporarily, embrace a minimalist lifestyle and get rid of any clutter.
4) Be Prepared for Meals
Pets can be very messy eaters, so it’s important to be prepared for mealtimes. This means having a mat or tray that they can eat off of and ensuring that human food is kept well out of their reach. It’s also a good idea to have a designated area for their food and water bowls so that they don’t end up spilling them everywhere. This will assist you with keeping your home cleaner and save your pet from getting into trouble.
5) Put Away Your Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning supplies can be hazardous for pets, so it’s essential to ensure they are put away and out of reach. This includes things like bleach, detergent, and even some types of air fresheners. And don’t forget pet items like dog grooming supplies, which are great for that at-home spa day experience but not great if ingested.
Finally, if you use any type of pesticide or herbicide in or around your home, keep your pet away from the area until it has had a chance to dry completely. Visit the ASPCA for a list of poisonous household items and medications.
6) Consider Pruning or Relocating Your Plant Collection
Unfortunately, many popular houseplants are poisonous to dogs, cats, and other pets if consumed. So, if you have a lot of plants in your home, it’s a good idea to either rehome or relocate them. Also, ensure you choose a location in your home where your pet can’t get to them.
Common household plants that are toxic to pets include lilies, aloe vera, and philodendrons. For a complete list of poisonous plants that you should keep from your pets, you can visit the American Kennel Club.
7) Block Off Dangerous Areas
Some areas of the home are simply too dangerous for pets. This includes things like the laundry room, where there may be exposed wires or chemicals, and the bathroom, where they could potentially drown in the toilet or tub. Therefore, it’s essential to block off these areas so your pet can’t get to them.
This is where you can use pet gates or baby gates in doorways to limit access. Many varieties are available, including ones that use pressure to stay in place. In contrast, others fasten directly into doorframes or walls. With so many options available, you can find one that will work for your home.
8) Keep People Food Out of Reach
Much of the food we enjoy can be dangerous for our pets if they ingest it. This means we have to be diligent about where we leave food and mindful about what our pets can reach or get into. This is where knowing your pet’s behaviors and capabilities comes in. For example, a cat can quickly jump onto a countertop, so keeping anything edible well out of their reach is important.
On the other hand, dogs might be more apt at opening cabinet doors or knocking over trash cans in their quest for food. As such, it’s important to take these things into consideration when pet-proofing your home.
9) Keep an Eye on Your Pet
Last, even if you think you’ve pet-proofed your home as much as possible, it’s still important to watch your pet. They can be very curious creatures and may find a way into something you thought was safe. Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet for any signs of illness or injury. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, take them to the vet as soon as possible.
An Ongoing Process:
So, what have we learned? First, pet-proofing your home is an ongoing process that should be revisited. Things will change—your pet will grow and discover new behaviors, your house will get rearranged as you move things around, and new dangers will crop up.
The best way to keep both you and your pet safe is to be diligent and mindful of potential hazards and to always put your furry friend’s safety first. Have you ever had to pet-proofing your home? What are some of the tips or tricks that worked for you? Let us know in the comments below and keep the conversation going.
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