They give us many years of joy and are wonderful, caring, loyal companions. Easily worming their way into our hearts, never to be forgotten.
An unfortunate reality of loving our furry family members is that we don’t get to keep them as long as we’d like. Which is why it’s so important to do everything we can to make sure that our homes are safe for our pets.
While accidents can and do happen, taking some preventative measures can help to reduce the odds of injury or premature death of our beloved pets. Here are tips to make your home pet friendly.
Keep chemicals/poisons out of reach
Remember that our pets’ sense of smell is much keener than ours, so keep poisonous household chemicals well out of reach by either placing them up high or putting them behind a cabinet or door locked with a childproof latch.
If pets get into your kitchen trash it can cause much worse damage than a mess. For example, raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure and fruit seeds can contain natural contaminants that can cause cyanide poisoning in dogs.
Even caffeine from coffee grounds are potentially hazardous to pets.
Throw away perishable trash every day to keep your pet from being tempted to dig in your trash can. Or add a sealed lid so that your pets cannot get into the trash.
When placing your trash outside before they’re picked up for disposal, toss some baking soda on the bags and make sure the garbage bin lid is tightly secured.
Store bulk pet food in airtight containers to ensure that it doesn’t spoil or lose its nutrients because of exposure to heat and air and to prevent pests such as insects or rodents from having access to it.
Avoid electrical shocks
Electrical cords plugged into the wall can cause electrocution if chewed on (something puppies love to do) so keep them tucked away from where your pets can get to them.
Also, don’t let wires dangle where your pet can run into them, either knocking over your favorite lamp or worse, getting tangled up in them and potentially getting hurt.
Get a “pet’s eye view”
Get on your hands and knees as you go through each room to get a good view of things from your pet’s perspective. This will help to zero in on areas that need to be addressed.
Limit access to prevent accidents
While it’s never a good idea for your dog to drink from the toilet bowl, it’s especially harmful if you use tank chemicals to keep the bowl clean.
Train everyone in the household to always keep the toilet lids closed.
Close the dryer and front load washer lids to prevent pets from getting inside them. Many animals love to find a good corner to curl up in. Give your pets their own space that belongs to them. This will prevent them seeking out someplace that might be unsafe.
Give your pets lots of toys and make sure they get plenty of exercise to avoid any damages resulting from being bored! Make sure the toys are strong and sturdy and won’t break into a lot of little pieces that could get caught in their throat. Plus, sturdy tools keep your home clean.
If possible, give your pets access to the backyard anytime they want via a doggy door. And for those times when you’re gone all day consider adding a pet fountain to ensure your dog has access to clean fresh water.
And speaking of the great outdoors, make sure there are no poisonous plant species in your backyard and that your pet won’t be able to easily escape. Think about electronic fencing (if applicable) and make sure there’s nothing that your pet can get into (e.g. rat poison in the shed) should they be able to sneak past your defenses.
If your floor is tile or hardwood, the slippery surface can be harder for an older dog to maintain his traction. Rubber runners are a good choice to give your senior dog confidence and to help him maneuver safely around your home.
For a more pet friendly home, set up a “pet station” just inside the entrance to your home. Keep your dog’s accessories (leashes, outdoor apparel, dog towel (to wipe dirty feet),etc.)
Something as simple as a bakers’ rack or bookcase can pull double duty as a place to keep your pet’s things and your own (e.g. book-bags, purse, keys, etc.)
As responsible pet owners we’re careful to make sure our beloved pets are well nourished, groomed, and exercised for their well being.
And one of the best ways that we can return the love and affection they lavish on us is to make sure we’ve done everything possible to ensure their home is as safe as it can possibly be.