Your home should be a safe haven for your pet – young or old, newly adopted or as a long-time family member. However, protecting your pet from potential accidents or emergencies can still require your daily attention.

There are, unfortunately, lists of household items that seem harmless enough to us, but can be deadly for our precious pets. For new pet parents, especially, scrutinizing each room and analyzing the risk of certain objects can be a daunting task, and we are here to help.

Follow along on our household guide to know the best practices for pet proofing your home.

Great Explorers

Your pet will follow his or her natural instincts to map out a new environment. This means lots of sniffing, of course, but can also include scratching, chewing, or spraying. Keep doors closed or use baby gates to cordon off the areas of the home you do not wish your pet to claim as his or her own, and consider these preventive measures:

  • Double-stick tape on upholstery
  • Investing in scratching posts
  • Providing plenty of chew toys
  • Getting your pet accustomed to having nails clipped from an early age

Get down on the floor to get a picture of what your pet sees. Chances are, your vacuum didn’t get into the hard to reach spots to pick up things (string, wrappers, pills, coins, Legos, and game pieces to name a few) that can severely injure your pet with an intestinal blockage if consumed.

Bathroom & Laundry Room Safety

Cleaning products and medications are the biggest culprits in the bathroom and your pet’s curiosity could land him or her in the ER. Even the toilet beckons to many pets; but keep in mind that taking a big sip from the bowl is not only rather disgusting but potentially dangerous due to cleaning products and their residue. Keep all cleaning supplies, floss, vitamins, and medications off the counter or hidden away in locked cabinets.

The dryer can also be an inviting space that appeals to a cat’s secretive nature and love of warm hidey-holes, so please keep this appliance’s doors closed at all times. Likewise, dogs like to chew on textiles such as towels and socks, often leading to major gastrointestinal problems. Like the bathroom, all laundry products (detergents, fabric-softeners, bleach, etc.) should be stored appropriately.

Pet Proofing The Kitchen

There are several toxic foods in the kitchen that are should definitely be kept out of reach due to their potential risks.

Additionally, take care to stow these items out of your pet’s reach:

  • Twist ties
  • Plastic bags
  • Wrappers
  • Sharp knives

You may want to install child-proof locks on your cabinets to keep pets away from risky foods or objects stored low.

Your Home Office and Bedroom

Your pet may be attracted to things like paper clips or stray staples which, if ingested, can also pose significant risks. Electric wires, phone chargers, and other cables should be kept off the floor and out of reach, if possible. Pets like to chew on these, often resulting in electric shock.

Your boudoir is most likely your pet’s favorite place in the house and, as such, the safest. However, conduct a daily sweep for hair ties, earrings, anything that may fall out of pockets.

Outside Smarts

Leaving your pet unattended – even in the relative safety of your own backyard – can potentially invite danger. Being mindful of the following can play a big part in your pet’s outside safety:

  • Supervise or get involved in your pet’s playtime
  • Inspect fencing regularly
  • If tethered, check that your pet cannot get tangled up
  • Lock up lawn or pest-control chemicals
  • Familiarize yourself with plantlife to ensure landscaping safety
  • Secure pool, spa, or other water features unless your pet swims easily
  • Check on shelter and re-fill fresh water bowl
  • Keep antifreeze and other fluids well out of your pet’s reach, all year long

Sharing The Love

Your pet won’t instinctually make the connections between what is safe versus off-limits, so provide a safe and healthy frame in which he or she can thrive. Praise good behavior and try not to scold your new pet while learning the rules. Remember, it is a process and your pet does want to please you. Please contact us with any questions or concerns… And let the pet proofing begin!