Have you ever come home to find your four-legged friend giving you those guilty puppy dog eyes? You know he’s been up to something, but you don’t know if it’s something as harmless as hiding your odd socks, or something that could really cause him trouble—like nabbing medicine from your nightstand or gobbling up your secret stash of dark chocolate. Both dogs and cats are naturally curious animals, and they’re bound to explore, if given the opportunity. This is why one of the best things you can do for your furry family members is pet proof your home. If your home environment is safe and secure, your pets can feel free to roam, and you can be sure that they’re safe in the process.
Wondering where to start? Here are five top tips for pet proofing your home from top to bottom.
Keep poisonous plants out of reach.
As spring moves towards summer, our plants are thriving, our flowers are blooming, and our pets are often intrigued by the new life all around them. While plants add beauty and freshness to our indoor and outdoor living areas, some can be harmful to our pets. So before you plant—in a pot or in the ground—do your research and keep poisonous plants out of reach. Indoor plants should be placed on high shelves, and outdoor plants that are harmful to animals should have a fence around them. Hanging plants should be kept from drooping too low—especially for cat owners, as our feline friends could be tempted to pull them right down. For a helpful list of some of the most harmful plants to cats and dogs, visit Rover.com.
Properly store your medications.
The most common medications in our households, including pain relievers and cough medicine, can be extremely toxic to our pets. Small doses can cause upset stomachs, and higher doses can be deadly. A nightstand or table is not a safe spot for medication, even when it’s in a tightly sealed bottle, as dogs can easily chew through plastic containers. The safest place to store medicine is in secured cabinets or drawers, preferably high and out of reach.
Store food on high shelves.
Some pets—especially dogs—are incredibly food driven and can sniff out a tempting treat from a mile away. To keep your pets from chowing down on human food, it’s best to keep it on a high shelf or behind closed doors. Certain foods, like chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and anything containing Xylitol, can be particularly toxic—but the packaging on any food can cause major problems when ingested. Storing opened food like cereals, pastas, and snacks in sealed containers can keep your pets safe from unexpectedly swallowing plastic bags or cartons.
Cover electrical wires and loose cords.
We all have a number of items around the house that require electrical cords, from computers and phone chargers to kitchen appliances and televisions. These cords can be tempting for cats that love to pull and play and for pups that love to chew. Keep your pets safe by using wire covers to cover up any cords that are near the ground or within easy reach of your animals, and be sure to store any loose cords when they’re not in use.
Keep cleaning chemicals behind secured doors.
With so much extra time spent at home and the extra emphasis on sanitizing surfaces, many of us are cleaning house more than ever these days. This means keeping cleaning products like bleach, ammonia, and a variety of window, kitchen, and bathroom cleaners handy. All of these chemicals can be extremely toxic if accidentally ingested by our pets—even in small amounts. It’s best to store all toxic substances behind secured cabinets, or on high shelves in pet-free zones, like a garage or outdoor shed. Check out additional tips for pet-proofing your home from SafeWise.
Our pets are family, and we want to do all that we can to keep them safe. If you’re planning to bring a puppy or kitten into your new home—or if you have a dog or cat of any age—keep these pet-proofing tips in mind to create a space that’s safe for even the most active explorers.
Looking for a new home that your whole family will love—including the four-legged family members? Visit SheaHomes.com to explore homes that were designed for your active, animal-loving lifestyle.