If you have a small child or baby, you know that it's important to baby-proof your home. However, you may not know that it's just as important to pet-proof your home, to keep your pet safe.
Most homes contain dangers that young animals – and perhaps some older ones – won't know to stay away from. It's truly worth the effort, since, as the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Take a look at these examples of potential home dangers for your pet. Most of them have quick solutions that can be implemented almost immediately. Doing so will give you confidence and keep your pet safe.
How can you pet-proof your home?
• Remove hanging cords from window blinds
Unfortunately, as with small children, it's all too easy for your pet to get tangled in these cord loops, opening the possibility of strangulation. You can replace the loops with other closure systems, or just cut through the existing loops to remove the danger but leave them in place.
• Lock toxic substances up and away
Paints, laundry room products, solvents, cleaners and other chemical compounds aren't dangerous only to small children; they're also dangerous to pets. Even minimal exposure to these by your tiny kitten or exuberant tail-wagging puppy can be dangerous. Make sure you lock them safely away where pets can't get to them.
• Keep dangerous appliances and fixtures off limits
Puppies, kittens, and even adult animals unwittingly climb inside of washers, dryers, toilets, dishwashers, trash compactors, etc., and put themselves in danger, which sometimes can be fatal. Keep washers and dryers, toilets, dishwashers, and trash compactors closed at all times. Trash cans and recycling bins, too, should be kept off limits by utilizing tight-fitting lids to secure contents inside.
• Stop using tablecloths
Unfortunately, tablecloths can drape downward where pets can reach them and pull them entirely off the table. This can be messy, certainly, if you're eating dinner when this happens, and is easily avoided.
• Be careful with indoor plants
Cats and dogs will almost certainly be attracted to plants. While it's probably going to be unpleasant for you to have your cat or dog dig in the plant, you should know that some plants are actually dangerous and can make your pet very sick or even cause death. Ask your vet or do some research on the Internet to determine which plants are safe to keep around.
• Keep extension cords, electrical connections and electric appliances in a safe place
Puppies and kittens are liable to chew on electrical cords which if plugged into a live electrical outlet can cause electrocution. Also, cords which hang from electrical appliances like irons, kitchen equipment, power tools, lights and other common household items can be tempting to chew or pull on causing a heavy, hot or sharp object to fall on your pet. The residual hot or sharp broken parts can be dangerous to everyone in your home. Be proactive about the vulnerability of these temptations.
• Remove any tiny toys or objects which your pet may swallow
As with babies, puppies and kittens tend to find all kinds of tiny objects to chew on and inadvertently swallow, causing the risk of choking or poisoning. Such objects might be sewing objects, children’s toys, decorative knickknacks, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, contact lenses, etc.
Finally, every so often, get down on your hands and knees and look around your house from your pet's point of view. Remove any dangers you see from that vantage point, so that your pet stays safe.