Your Pet May be in Danger and You Don't Even Know it
Updated: Jan 21
Introducing a new pet to your home is a special occasion. However, much like baby-proofing, you must ensure that your home and yard are safe from hazards that may injure your new four-legged friend. Any time you add a furry family member to your home, you need to make it safe for that puppy or kitten. You may not realize it, but your home is filled with numerous hazards to pets. Here are a few ways in which you can pet proof your home to make it safer for your four-legged friend.
1 – The Stairs
Dogs and cats are not as graceful or coordinated as you may think when they are at the puppy or kitten stage. As they are curious, stairs present an interesting challenge in many ways to these little fur babies. This means that falls may happen if you do not block stairs off until your pet has grown enough to comfortably use them. A baby gate is a great solution for this. Also keep in mind that stairs can be a hazard to pets once they reach their senior years and lose mobility.
2 – The Cords
Pets see electrical cords as toy ropes or as something to chew on. This is particularly true when your puppy or kitten is teething. You can eliminate an accident from happening by using cord protectors that are available at any hardware store. Pets can trip on cords, get electrocuted by chewing on them and even cords that hang down from window blinds present hanging hazards. Your hardware store will have several handy solutions to prevent these accidents.
3 – The Chemicals
While you may find it handy to store cleaning supplies under a sink or vanity, this also makes these harmful chemicals easy to reach for your pets. You can prevent an accidental poisoning by either storing these items in a location that is out of the reach of your pets, or in a closet that has a child-proof locking mechanism. Animals are smart and can figure out how to open cupboards and therefore you would be best to use a latching system that requires a lock.
4 – The Bathroom
It is always a good idea to ban pets from the bathroom. This is because dogs will see the toilet as a welcome water dish with fresh water on a regular basis. If you use any kind of toilet bowl cleaner and leave it in, you could harm your pet. The same situation exists if you spray your shower daily with any kind of cleaning solution. Cats and dogs will lick things that seem interesting to them and these products can result in serious illnesses in both.
5 – The Garden
If you are one of those types that puts a ton of effort into the appearance of your yard and garden, you may have some products that are harmful to pets. Herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers can get into your pet’s paws and we all know that dogs and cats lick their paws. You may want to seek pet-friendly products and should also store them in safe places out of your pet’s reach.
6 – The Furniture
Your recliner and rocking chair may be sources of comfort to you at the end of a long day. However, these pieces of furniture can be quite dangerous when a puppy or kitten gets trapped or has a tail that gets under a rocking chair. High cushioned chairs and sofas also present falling hazards to small pets that can result in various types of injuries if one slips and hits the floor.
7 – The Easy Stuff
Anything that can be accessed by your cat or dog will be considered fair game. In other words, if your pet can reach anything on a countertop, bedside table, on the floor, in low shelves and racks, you have the potential of things going missing. Small items can be chewed and just like with babies, choking hazards can exist. Remove all small items that sit within their reach.
8 – The Litter Box
If you have both a cat and a dog, you will need to provide some way of keeping your dog out of the cat box. Puppies and dogs are fascinated by cat feces but if they start enjoying them like treats your dog could end up sick. Intestinal parasites can be spread this way as well. If you can, use a baby gate or a platform that your dog can’t reach as a way to barricade the litter box.
9 – The Garage
It may be kind of fun to have Rover or Fifi spend time with you in the garage or work shop. However, if you store a lot of tools in this area, you may have chemicals such as anti-freeze and motor oil in there as well. Both items are dangerous to pets. Store them out of reach or in a cabinet or cupboard that has a child-proof locking mechanism to keep them safe.
10 – The Pool
If you have an outdoor swimming pool, you probably have had a dog in it once or twice already. Dogs are swimmers and depending on the breed, can get a lot of exercise out of it. However, they also see a pool as a giant water dish. If your swimming pool is filled with chlorine, it may cause skin irritation to your dog. Be sure to rinse them off after a swim.
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