Making the decision to bring a pet into your family takes a lot of careful consideration. From figuring out who will be responsible for the early morning walks to putting out their food, there is a great deal of responsibility that goes along with owning a pet.
Once you have decided that pet ownership is for you, it’s time to buy the supplies you will need such as leashes, dog bowls and beds, and litter boxes, if you are adding a kitty to your family. One of the most important things to do before bringing your new best friend home is to safety proof it. Here are some tips to make sure your space is a pet-friendly as possible:
Your kitchen is a natural gathering place for family and four-legged friends alike. However, if not pet-proofed, the kitchen can potentially be a hazardous place for your pet. Be aware of foods that are toxic to cats and dogs. To remove culinary curiosity, purchase a trashcan that has a tight-fitting lid and is difficult for your pet to knock over. Also make sure that your knives and other sharp items are properly stored, so your pet doesn’t accidentally get hurt.
Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms
Just like with children, many household cleaners can harm your pet if ingested. To avoid an emergency visit to the vet, keep items such as detergents, cleaners, bleach, medicine, fabric softeners, vitamins and dental floss out of reach or in a cabinet with a safety lock.
As much as we don’t like it, many of our beloved furry friends love taking an occasional drink from the toilet. Therefore, it is important to use non-toxic cleaners in your toilet bowl and keep the lid down when you’re not in the room.
Close all doors on appliances, like dryers and washing machines, after you’re done using them. Pets are known for napping in the strangest places and probably wouldn’t enjoy being woken up with a ride on the spin cycle!
One of the most overlooked dangers in the home is the fireplace. Install a screen in front of your fireplace to protect your pet from unruly flames and flying ashes. In addition, put any fire-starting sticks far out of reach or in a pet-proof container as dogs can’t resist their sweet smell and taste.
All loose cords and valuables should also be neatly tucked away so that they don’t end up as your pet’s new favorite chew toy, or become a strangulation or choking hazard.
Consider switching out your furnishings for more pet-friendly pieces with fabrics and materials that are more durable and made to withstand heavy use.
Pets, especially puppies, love to chew. Look for any accessories around your room, like hair clips or rubber bands, and store them in a locked container or in a drawer where your pet won’t have easy access to them. Also relocate shoes to the top shelf in your closet. You certainly don’t want to end up putting your favorite leather pumps or running shoes in the dumpster, and your puppy in the dog house!