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.

Pet Proofing Your Home & Yard

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.

 

Dixie Somers

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

 

By Natalie Gomez 48 days ago at 2:35 pm 0 Comments
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"I Hate Heat Stroke" - An infographic by The Preventive Vet

This summer has been a scorcher and it looks like the heat is here to stay for a little bit longer. For humans, if we get too hot we can easily find shade and get ourselves a glass of water. But for our pets, we are responsible for their safety and comfort. Dogs don't sweat like humans do, so when they're hot they tend to pant and release sweat through their paws and nose. When dogs can't cool down quickly enough, over-heating becomes a serious risk. Just to be safe, make sure to know and recognize the symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Excessive panting that can start and stop randomly
  • Excessive drooling or foaming of the mouth
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Signs of distress including (but not limited to) barking and whining

If your believe your pup is experiencing heat stroke and any of the following signs, it is crucial for you to act immediately and take your pup to the vet.

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Confusion, lack of coordination, loss of consciousness
  • Very red gums
  • Uncontrolled tremors
  • Listless and very weak

To prevent heat stroke, we URGE owners to never, ever leave their pets in the car unattended. Even when the weather is pleasant outside, your car acts like an oven - the temperature can rise very quickly. This video from Red Rover Org shows us just how dangerous leaving a pet in the car can be.

Additionally, avoid rigorous exercise when it's too hot outside (we recommend doing this in the early morning or late evening), and never leave your pet outside without access to shade and water.

By Play Admin on Sep 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm 0 Comments
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Casey R. Doodle

With autumn finally here, the colder weather brings some unexpected hazards for your pup. To help ensure you and your pets enjoy the season, we wanted to share some pet safety tips for fall! 

Shiloh

To help with the colder weather, many car owners need to put anti-freeze or engine coolant in their car. Since the coolant tastes sweet, many animals can’t resist it - but it is extremely harmful to pets; it is fast acting and can result in death in as little as four hours! If you suspect your pet has ingested coolant, call your vet right away! Even when you aren’t using it, make sure you store it in a safe place where pets can’t reach. Also, dispose of old anti-freeze in a sealed container and if you see a spill, clean it up immediately!

Christopher's Group of Boys

If you enjoy taking your pet for long walks through the wilderness, be extra cautious in autumn. Fall is mushroom season and even though most are harmless, some are highly toxic and can cause life-threatening problems. Try to keep pets on trails and away from potentially dangerous plants. It is getting darker earlier, so if you walk your pet at night take extra caution and have your pet wear reflective collars or use reflective leashes.  It’s also hunting season, so make sure to wear bright clothing and ensure that your pup stays close to you. Stay visibile and safe!

McGraw

Our last tip for fall conditions is: keep your pet warm! Indoor pets not used to fall conditions should not be left outside for extended amounts of time. Make sure they stay warm by purchasing jackets—they are cute AND functional! If you keep your pet outdoors, make sure he has a shelter for unpleasant weather and some sort of insulation to keep him warm (P.L.A.Y. beds work great!). Also, your pup needs more food during the colder months to generate the necessary body heat needed to stay warm - so make sure to feed him a little more than usual.

Franklin

Fall is one of our favorite times of the year and we hope you and your pets enjoy it as much as we do! Stay safe and have fun playing in the leaves. Special thanks to all of our fans who posted adorable pictures of their dogs enjoying the fall - we could not have written this without you! 

By Play Admin on Nov 08, 2011 at 6:25 pm 0 Comments
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