5 Ways to Pet Proof Your Home
1. Remove Items from the Floor
Animals spend a great deal of their time at the lowest level of a room, especially if they are unable to jump great heights. Because of this, they are likely to spot something on the floor they wish to play with, whether this be shoes or a child’s toy. To prevent a pet from chewing on, stealing or otherwise damaging an item, such possessions should be removed from the floor. Closing cupboard doors that give access to personal items such as shoes and clothes can help reduce the amount of damage inflicted. Make sure that there is no easy way for an animal to open the door, for example, if the door is left slightly ajar.
2. Sit Down on the Floor
Although this tip may seem strange, it can help pet owners when it comes to figuring out how to make a home suitable for animals. The owner should sit down on the floor, getting on their hands and knees to take on the perspective of their pet. When they do this, they will see things that they may never have noticed otherwise. The pull string on the blinds will reveal itself as a potential toy for a cat’s claws; pills that may have fallen to the floor that could be easily swallowed will be found; food wrappers that could be chewed will be discovered. By recognizing these hazards they can be easily removed.
3. Secure the Front and Back Garden
Some pet owners believe that their animals simply ‘do as they should’ without any kind of guidance. They believe they can just leave them outside for a certain amount of time and things will work out. However, this is not necessarily true. While some animals are well behaved and will stay within the vicinity of their owner, other animals may decide to follow their inquisitive nature and run off. If such a thing happened there is always the upsetting possibility that they could be taken away by other people or hit by a vehicle. They could also eat something that is harmful to them, leading to a serious illness or worse. A lead or harness should be used to secure animals let outside, or a fence should be installed. Even if your garden appears secure it might be a good idea to check that there are no small gaps in fences or hedges an animal may be able to escape through.
4. Safely Store Away Chemicals & Medicines
If a household has never had a pet before, they may not be aware of certain hazards that do not necessarily harm humans. While prescription medication may help the person that is taking it, if an animal should find and chew any of it, they could become very sick. Be aware that an animal could access chemicals if they are not kept in a locked or otherwise well-secured area.
5. Remove Plants from Your Pet’s Reach
Just as some animals would think of blinds as a toy, so would some animals assume that plants are something to eat. Many cats enjoy nibbling on the leaves, leaving chewed leaves around the home for the owner to find. If they are not chewing the leaves, they may decide to use the area as a place to relieve themselves. This can lead to smells that the owner may not be able to locate right away. Some plants can also make animals sick if digested, and should be taken away. There is no need for drastic action immediately, but if you notice that your pet is eating the plant, it might be time to move it outside.