If you share your home with your beloved pet, you need to take care of his safety as much as you would your own. As most of the pets are similar to children and can’t really predict what could happen to them in certain situations, it’s best if you take all the precautionary measures and keep them safe.
1. The outdoors
Like most pets, yours will probably enjoy wandering around the garden and the backyard, and the biggest problem there could be the plants. There are certain plants that can cause issues if eaten by an animal, so you better inform yourself on which one are those.
Insecticides, fertilizers, compost and pesticides, as well as other garden chemicals, are also pretty dangerous for your pet. Keep them safely stored away or locked up.
What you may not know is that traditional slug and snail baits are also toxic, so you better install a barrier or get a pet-friendly formulation rather than using these baits.
In case you have a pool or a spa outside, chemicals inside it can be dangerous if your pet drinks the water from it. Your pet could also drown in them, so install long, low steps so that they can get out in case they fall in. However, the best thing is to cover the pool when you’re not there or fence it.
Lastly, the railings on the balconies could be too wide for your pet to slip through or even get stuck halfway.
2. Garage and basement
These rooms are perfect for storing numerous things, and many of them pose a threat to your pet.
All the chemicals and sharp tools and objects should be kept on high shelves, together with small objects like bolts, screws and nuts.
Antifreeze should be cleaned from the floor and driveway because even one taste of it could be lethal to your pooch. There are also alternative pet-friendly de-icing compounds you can use instead.
Every time before you start your car, bang on your car hood to make sure your cat isn’t in the engine to keep warm.
Being full of various foods, the kitchen is potentially dangerous for your pet.
Chocolate is the best-known problem but grapes, raisins, avocados, onions, garlic and coffee are also potentially toxic for your furry friend.
Of course, you should also watch out for sharp knives and small objects that could be easily swallowed. It’s best to install a gate or a small door you can close while you’re cooking.
Cabinets are dangerous not only because they are full of food but your pet could also get trapped in them. It’s best to install a latch on every cabinet.
4. Living room
Your living room is usually crowded with toys, decorative items and electrical devices and cords.
Teach your kids to always put away the toys when they are done playing. Dangling wires from TVs lamps and stereos should be out of reach from kittens and puppies.
Sensitive, easy-to-knock-over items should be put away until your little kitten has the coordination to watch out for them.
Watch out for small corners and narrow spaces where your vacuum cleaner can’t reach – your little pet probably can.
As it’s been said before, some plants can be toxic for your pet, so make sure you’re not keeping one of them inside your home.
Cover all the heating and air vents inside the room.
In case you like sewing and other crafts, always put away the notions, especially thread.
Electrical cords can be dangerous to both people and animals. You need space that fits your needs and is also safe for everybody. Many pets enjoy chewing and playing with cords, which could be lethal to them. So, it’s best to get a floor cable cover to prevent tripping over exposed cables and to prevent your pet chewing on the cables. This type of cover also allows wheeled objects to pass due to a big slot in the underside, not interfering with the usual movements and actions in the room.
5. Bathrooms and laundry rooms
The following rooms are filled with various chemicals and cleaning products, so it’s obvious how they can pose a threat to your pet. Detergents, cleaners, bleach, fabric softeners, vitamins and medications and even dental floss could be dangerous if your pet eats or swallows any of them.
Dogs are particularly prone to chewing almost anything they can get their paws on, including socks and towels. Eating fabric could also cause some serious gastrointestinal problems.
Drinking from the toilet isn’t just unhygienic but also potentially dangerous for your pet, especially if you use chemical cleaners for the toilet.
Be careful if you leave the sink or the tub filled with water – small pets could easily drown in them.
Washers and dryers are very tempting to cats to take a nap in, so check them before you put clothes in them and never leave the door on these appliances open.
Items like laundry and shoes need to be kept behind closed doors because buttons and drawstrings can be very dangerous to your pet’s stomach if swallowed.
Cosmetics, medications and lotions need to be kept in a drawer or a bedside table.
It’s also possible your pet can stay trapped in your closet or dresser drawer so always check them twice before you close them.Pet Safety Tips
Lastly, your jewelry is perfect for chewing and swallowing, so keep your earrings, rings and bracelets somewhere safe, as well as hairpins and clips.
7. Gathering spots
There are a few gathering areas in your home where the potential risk for your pet is higher.
The fireplace is one of the big ones – your pet could be easily harmed by flames or even flying ashes. Installing a screen is the safest options for everybody. Fire-starter sticks are another dangerous thing for your pet. Many types of fire-starter sticks are a bit sweet, so many dogs can’t help themselves but chew on them.
Open doors and windows are the usual things in areas where most family members spend their time. However, if your pet is not accustomed to the outside world full of traffic, then you should keep them closed unless you want them to go out and get hurt. Every opening is an escape route and most pets are excellent at finding a way to get out. Make sure you have deadbolts on doors and locks on windows, as well as baby gates for stairs. Motion sensors will let you know when your little friend is trying to get out and alerts to your mobile phone will warn you if they are trying to get inside a forbidden zone.
The best way to make sure your pet won’t get too far away or won’t touch things inside your home they’re not supposed to is to create a pet-friendly zone. Create a space just for your kitten or your puppy made up from a bed and toys. Every item in this area should be pet-friendly and they would keep the pet in that area most of the time. Let these toys be chewable so that your pet doesn’t get the urge to chew on something dangerous.
Allergens can be anywhere, and many pets are susceptible to health problems when they are exposed to allergens. They can become itchy or develop more serious problems. The usual allergens are pollen, mold and dust mites.
Allergens can even make respiratory problems, like asthma in cats, even worse. Secondhand smoke can also lead to respiratory problems in animals.
If allergens coming from the outside pose a threat, then close the windows and keep your house as clean as possible. Your vacuum cleaner should have a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which minimizes allergens inside your home.
It won’t just help your pet – it is also highly beneficial for people with allergies. If you are not a smoker, ask smokers to light up their cigarettes outside.
Pet-proofing your home will take some time but the result will be your pet enjoying your home without any danger. You will both sleep better if your home is a safe place for your furry buddy.
About the author: Emma Williams is an Australian writer with a master‘s degree in business administration, who has a passion for anything lifestyle and design related. She spends most of her time redecorating and participating in house projects. As a great nature lover, her biggest pleasure is spending time in a small cottage by the river.
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