Adopting a Pet? 5 Tips for Pet-Proofing your Home and Yard
When you are preparing to welcome a new pet into your home, you will need to make a few changes to ensure that your new furry friend will be safe inside and outside the home. If you've never owned pets before, you might have to make a lot of adjustments—you will have to get rid of things, move things around, and invest in a few things that will get your house pet-ready. Consider the following tips when getting your home ready to welcome a new pet.
Install Fences and Playpens Inside and Outside
Just as you would do for a baby, you can keep your new pet out of high risk areas using safety nets (this may be necessary if your new pet is a flighted bird), removable fences, and playpens. If your new pet is a puppy or kitten, and you are in the potty training process, it is a good idea to invest in a playpen, or plastic gates so that your pet won't wander into every room in your home and ruin the carpet. This is also a good idea for young animals if you have steep stairs where the little ones could fall and hurt themselves if left unsupervised. Until your pet gets a little older and more mature, these playpens will help you to keep track of them and keep them safe from harm.
Put All Hazardous Chemicals and Products Out of Reach
There are many household and yard care products that could be lethally poisonous to a new pet. Cosmetics, cleaning products, fertilizers and pesticides, medications, skin and hair care products, detergents and car supplies like antifreeze are all dangerous for pets. Be sure to move these behind locked doors or to high shelves. The professionals of Pest Free Now suggest that if you have your home or yard sprayed for pests, you make sure to keep your pets away from the sprayed areas because some pets will try to eat the chemicals that are meant to kill bugs or rodents.
Cover All Electrical Outlets and Wires, Cables, and Cords
Electrical outlets are not just fascinating to young humans - those small dark spaces can be alluring to young pets as well. Cover them with child-proof safety covers before your pet arrives. In the same way, electrical wiring can at the least induce a nasty shock and at worst cause a fire if your pet starts chewing. Buy pet-proof cord and cable minders or run your cables up and over the walls (instead of down along carpets or behind tables) to be sure your pet cannot get to them.
Keep Plants Out of Reach
There are many plants that, when ingested, are toxic to animals and humans. Some plants can provoke a rash just with casual contact (like brushing the leaves). Be sure to put all of your plants - inside and out - behind barriers such as netting or fencing or up out of reach of your new pet (for instance, hanging plants can pose less risk to all but pet birds).
Keep an Eye Out for Small Objects
Even if you do not think your pet will be harmed by chewing on your child's shoe or sock, you need to know there are instances where pets have died from complications of ingesting laundry, the stuffing from toys (even supposedly "pet safe" toys), panty hose, shoe laces, and other small items. If you can imagine a child gumming it, you can assume your pet might do the same. So be sure to remove it out of harms way before your new pet arrives.
You will soon learn what types of things pose a hazard for your particular pet, but take as many precautions before hand as you possibly can. If you need more suggestions or advice about how to pet-proof your home and surrounding area, the American Humane Society has a list of suggestions on their website about precautions to take before bringing your new pet home. Animals are curious, mischievous creatures, and unless you take the necessary precautions, they will get into everything. After a quick walk-through of your home, you will soon be able to remove any hazards, making it a safe place for you, your pet, and the rest of your family.
This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women's interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband, three daughters, and a spunky Jack Russel Terrier who makes life interesting! You can follow her on Twitter: @DixieSomers