If you’re a pet owner, you needn’t be told how curious and adventurous our little bundles of fur can be. But you can rest assured, both your house and your pet will be in safe hands if you follow these 10 top tips to pet-proofing your home.
1. Buy a bin that your pet can’t open
Given the opportunity, our pesky pets would adore the chance to rummage their way through an old bin bag, digging out unfathomably desirable, decomposing treats and old tissues. Unfortunately, this behaviour results in two very unpleasant outcomes. One, your kitchen floor is riddled with disagreeable bin juice. Two, yep, you guessed it; your kitchen floor is full of your pet’s vomit… (And the rest.)
Avoid this unnecessary unpleasantness by purchasing a bin that your pet can’t get into. The best solution would be to have a pull-out bin in a kitchen cupboard. (This would store all household waste out of the sight of tiny prying eyes). However, if this isn’t a feasible option, there are bundles of sturdy metal bins with a step-on lid that will stop your pet from getting into your household waste. You could even try storing your bin in a room your pet doesn’t have access to, like the garage.
2. Keep the toilet lid closed
Yes, small pets can, indeed, fall down the toilet. If fishing your damp companion out of the toilet isn’t bad enough, your toilet harbours harmful bacteria, not to mention a multitude of chemicals which are extremely dangerous if consumed by animals. Larger animals will, on occasion, try to use your toilet as a water bowl. Again, this is extremely harmful to your pet. So, every time you use the toilet, remember to close the lid behind you!
3. Store medications, chemicals, and household cleaners out of reach
Animals are instinctively curious, so don’t for a second think that your little angel won’t get into boring household items such as medicines and cleaning products. These items are toxic to your pet so store them out of reach in a locked storage cabinet at all times. Likewise, when cleaning a room with chemicals keep your pet out of sight until the room is dry. Remember, our pets groom themselves, so any chemical transferred onto their fur will be digested and can cause them significant problems.
4. Keep wires secured and out of reach from chewing
Use household items such as bookshelves and cabinets as a barrier between your pet and household wires. By storing as many wires as possible behind household items you avoid the risk of your pet chewing at them and injuring themselves. If you are unable to cover wires with household items, try lifting wires and cables out of the reach of your animal by using cord clips.
5. Remove all household plants that may be poisonous
Household plants, surprisingly, are a common threat to our pets. Especially kittens! Lilies may be lovely to us humans, but to cats, they are extremely poisonous. If your cat consumes the pollen from lilies it can lead to kidney failure and result in death. (Yikes!)
You can find a list of household plants and flowers that are poisonous to our animals here. If you must keep household plants that may be toxic to your pet, keep them stored well out of reach, or in a locked room that your pet doesn’t have access to. Nevertheless, the best solution would be to avoid bringing toxic plants into your home completely.
6. Block all small spaces
Check throughout your home for any small spaces, holes or nooks. Look inside cupboards, furniture, floorboards… anywhere in fact, that your pet could get stuck. Cats, in particular, are prone to scouring the house for small dark spaces to nestle up in for the night. Block any holes or access points to unsafe or off-limit areas, doing so will protect your pet from hazardous objects like wires, nails, pipes and chemicals.
7. Put away child toys and games and any other small objects that can be swallowed
Watch out for objects that would otherwise go undetected, like Lego and other small children’s toys. Although they appear harmless, our pets will play with them, and possibly chew them. This, in turn, could cause intestinal obstruction and possibly even end up in surgery. Keep all small items and toys in storage throughout your home. Try a toy chest or boxed storage that your pet can’t get to.
8. Check your washer and dryer
Unfortunately, this is one of the most common household accidents for cats. If your cat is locked inside the appliance, even for a matter of seconds, it could cause severe injuries. Like heat stroke, trauma and broken limbs. Always check your washer and dryer before putting a wash on for any felines catching a few zzzs.
9. Store all food in cupboards
No, not the Kibble! Surprisingly, what we actually mean is human food. There is an abundance of food that is safe for us to digest but is toxic to our pets. Chocolate being one of them! Even if the food isn’t toxic to our pet, the wrapper might be! So, keep all human food stored away in cupboards, so our animals can’t get to them.
10. Remove automotive products from your home
Automotive chemicals such as antifreeze are some of the most toxic household chemicals to our beloved pets. Antifreeze has a sweet smell that can entice our curious canines to have a taste. Unfortunately, even one slight taste of this chemical can be lethal, so avoid the risk and keep this out of your home completely.
Keeping a safe home for your pet to live and love is a critical component to being an animal carer. And trust me, it’s not an easy one. From storing everyday items in locked cupboards to banishing your favourite plant to the garage. But, what would a home be without our wonderful companions, right!