The art of pet proofing your home is something all pet owners present and future should master. It is also the key to maintaining a happy and healthy pet. Your home and your pet will thank you when you know how to protect them both.
Hazardous food is the ultimate worry when it comes to pets. Chocolate is the most obvious, but other possibly toxic foods consist of macadamia nuts, avocados, onions, garlic, coffee, grapes, and raisins. Be mindful when using these items and store them in a safe location or in containers that are unable to be opened by paws and claws. Perhaps you’d consider installing a door or gate to keep pets out of the kitchen when desired. Also watch out for sharp knives, as well as small items like twist ties, which can easily be swallowed.
Bathrooms / Laundry Rooms
Obvious hazards are detergents, cleansers, bleach, fabric softeners, vitamins, medications, and even dental floss—these can all be dangerous if ingested by your pet. Severe gastrointestinal problems oftentimes trace back to towels and stray socks that dogs in particular are tempted to munch on. Avoid leaving unattended sinks and tubs filled with water, as these can be drowning hazards for curious pets (depending on size). If you use chemical cleaners in your toilet, drinking out of a toilet can be deadly as well. Make sure you keep them out of reach as well as train your pet to stay away from them.
Living Rooms / Bedrooms
Installing a simple screen in front of a fireplace can save pets from hazards like flames and flying ashes. Fire-starter sticks should be kept out of reach as well, as they have a somewhat sweet taste that attracts dogs. Small objects, such as puzzle pieces, children’s toys, jewelry, hair clips, and other everyday items, can all be dangerous if ingested. A less obvious hazard is mothballs. These are highly toxic, so if you use these, store them in a safe storage container. Open doors and windows are great for letting air in, but pets can be tempted out into the dangerous world of traffic. Ensure that screens are installed on all doors and windows. Sunburst shutters also serve this purpose nicely—these can be installed inside your window, allowing for a chew-proof window treatment that hinders pets from escaping.
In order to tackle inevitable pet messes, always have an odor eliminator on hand. Find a reliable product that truly eliminates odors on soft surfaces and in the air, rather than just masking the scent. Be aware of the dangers, but know you can’t protect them all the time.
While there are many dangerous hazards lurking inside your home, taking proper precautions ensures a happy and healthy life for your pet. Always know what your furry friends are up to, but most importantly, give them the attention and the love that they deserve, and they will remain loyal forever. Everyone wins.