How to dog and cat-proof your home
Dogs and cats are naturally curious but not all that safety conscious. They get bored and start sniffing around for things to do and that’s when the trouble starts. While it’s important to pet-proof your home to protect your belongings, it’s also a great way to keep your pets safe from harm. We’ve put together some great ideas to help pet-proof your home room by room.
Where to start
It’s a good idea to look at any space from your pet’s point of view. Think about what they might see as something to play with, chew, or just get their nose into. If any of these could injure or even kill your pet, then you need to remove, relocate or lock it up.
Take into consideration any damage that your pet might do to your furniture or personal belongings, and take steps to prevent that as well. Pet doors are a great way to give them access outside to play but to keep them out of your rooms, think about installing a child safety gate. However, pets do have a knack for getting into places they shouldn’t, so it’s important to be prepared.
With the lure of tasty treats, kitchens are a very attractive destination for hungry pets. Use safety locks to stop any paws from prying open cabinet doors. Also, keep your rubbish bins covered or inside a latched cabinet. Pedal bins are a good idea because they’re much harder to open. Plus, you should keep any food out of reach because even if it isn’t harmful, the packaging or wrappers can be.
To protect your pets, place any cleaners or chemicals up on high shelves, but it’s best to lock them away. If you have any small spaces, nooks or holes inside your cabinets, it’s a good idea to block access so your pets don’t get stuck in them. You should also keep the toilet seat closed to stop them drinking any harmful cleaning chemicals and prevent drowning.
Place any dangling wires from lamps, televisions, stereos, or telephones out of reach so your pets can’t chew on them and electrocute themselves. Put away children’s toys, knick-knacks or any loose batteries that could be swallowed. Plus, tidy up any sewing and craft materials, especially thread or string they could choke on.
Move any indoor plants that may be poisonous out of reach. Never leave lit candles unattended to avoid any burns or accidentally starting a house fire.
Make sure all heating or air vents have covers to avoid pets getting trapped in them. Also, block any small areas that a puppy or kitten could crawl into.
Most people keep poisonous chemicals and paint in their garage, so install some cabinets or shelving to make sure these are locked away or at the very least stored up high. Also, keep any dangerous tools or sharp objects in a toolbox.
Clean any oil or chemicals from the floor and driveway because one lick could be lethal to an inquisitive animal.
And before you drive anywhere, check under the car or even inside the hood to make sure your pet isn’t hiding in there to keep warm.
Some pets sleep in the laundry, which can be full of dangers for them. Keep any detergents or cleaning chemicals locked safely away. Pick up any loose socks they could choke on and place them in the clothes basket, which you should also put up on the shelf.
If you have an ironing board, make sure the iron cable is out of reach because you don’t want your pet pulling that down onto its head.
Shoelaces can be a choking hazard so keep any loose shoes behind closed doors. Lock away any medications, creams, cosmetics that could be poisonous. Remove any potential choking hazards like jewellery off the bedside table and keep them in a container. You should also move electrical and phone wires out of chewing reach. And check your cupboards or drawers for any sleeping kittens before you close them.
Your pets will spend a lot of time in the yard, especially when you’re not home. If you have any holes in the fence, get them fixed. You don’t want them wandering off and getting lost or into a fight with a neighbouring animal.
Remove poisonous plants from the yard, and put up some wire mesh around your garden beds to keep nosy pets out.
If you have a pool, make sure you install some fencing, so your pets don’t fall in and potentially drown. And don’t leave any harmful cleaning chemicals lying around.
Get started today
Start pet-proofing your home today and also check out our Pets and Wildlife D.I.Y. Advice section for more hints and tips.