Post by Nicole M.
In the excitement of adopting a new furry member of the family, many first-time pet owners (and even second-time pet owners) forget the most basic procedures for keeping their homes fur-friendly. Most of the safety hazards for pets are things you didn’t have to worry about prior to their arrival.
Every pet deserves a habitat that he or she will feel comfortable in, in addition to all of the care and love they can get. Here are a few tips for pet-proofing the house before you bring your companion home for the first time:
Pet proofing your home
Many pets have a tremendous amount of energy and natural curiosity, and they love to explore the world around them. This is part of what makes them so much fun, but it can also lead them into harmful situations. Before you bring your new pet home, make sure you survey your home for potential dangers. In many ways, making your home safe for a pet is similar to making your home safe for a toddler. The following tips are designed to help you keep your pet safe.
- Know which plants are toxic and place them out of reach, or replace them with nontoxic plants. Toxic plants commonly found indoors include dieffenbachia, azalea, Calla lily, and philodendron.
- Keep all medications, including any pet supplements, in a safe area the pet cannot access. Do not leave vitamins or other pills out on the kitchen counter or table. A determined chewer can make short work of a plastic container. Pets are surprisingly quick at pulling things off of end tables or other low surfaces.
- Put bathroom trash cans up high where your pet cannot get into them. Sanitary supplies and used razors are only 2 of the hazards here!
- Full sinks, bathtubs, or toilets with open lids can be a drowning hazard. Avoid automatic toilet bowl cleaners if you cannot keep your pet from drinking out of the toilet.
- Keep household cleaners in high cupboards or use childproof latches to secure lower cupboards. Remove the pet from the area when you are using liquid or spray cleaners. They can get into the eyes of a curious pet, and the vapors can be harmful to lungs and eyes.
- Be careful of your pet around furniture. A rocking chair can harm a pet’s tail or leg, and a curious pet may crawl under an open recliner or sofa bed.
- Any type of fire can be dangerous. Screen off fireplaces and wood stoves. Never leave your pet unattended in a room with an open flame or space heater.
- Swallowed clothing may cause a dangerous intestinal blockage. Keep socks, nylons, underwear, and other clothing put away. Keep laundry baskets off the floor.
- Keep small objects (coins, jewelry, needles and thread, straight pins, yarn, dental floss, rubber bands, paper clips, toys, etc.) out of your pet’s reach. Jewelry and coins are easily swallowed and can contain metals that are toxic.
- Be careful about closing doors as you walk through – your pet may be right behind you and get caught.
Living Room/Dining Room
- Curtains, blinds and electrical cords tied up, preferably hidden out of sight.
Whether you’re bringing home an older pet or a younger pet, some accidents are bound to happen! Purchase non-chemical, enzymatic cleaners. Chemical cleaners contain ammonia, which can make the accident area more appealing for pets to eliminate.
- Toilet seat covered Added Bonus: the women in the house have one less thing to nag the men in the house about.
- Store all of your bathroom cleaning products out of your pet’s reach.
- The garbage can is a very tempting indulgence for a pet. If they manage to get the trash out, they’ll end up rifling through the contents and possibly choking on something.
- Put any sharp cooking utensils in a drawer.
- Fences should have no holes or open spaces for a dog to escape from. With that being said, don’t let your companion be outdoors without their collar and ID tag. All it takes is one rogue squirrel to get their engine revving.
MANY plants are toxic to pets; including some very common flowers Azalea, oleander, and cyclamen can kill a pet if they are consumed. Other plants to look out for: juniper, carnation, hyacinth, tulip, and morning glory