How to Make Your Home Safe For Your Dog

Every pet owner who has a dog or cat knows that vigilance is important when it comes to pet ownership. Pets are notorious to get into just as much trouble as children. Dogs and cats are naturally curious animals. Puppies and kittens, in particular, can get into everything and break out easily even the tiniest opening. You might see them snooping around your home, but of course, you don’t want them to get into anything that could hurt them. Some of the notable dangers are food, cleansers, electrical wires, and toxic plants. 

But these are not just the things you need to be worried about. Are you aware of other dangers that might lurk in your home and garden? If not, you have to keep your house as pet-proof as possible. From kitchen to your backyard, living room, bedroom, bathroom & laundry room, garage & basement, and even the great outdoors, there are some unexpected and expected hazards your pet might encounter. Fortunately, there are also plenty of safety tips you can follow to protect your furry babies, including some ways you can keep your home clean even when you have a pet. 

Keep Food Out Of Reach

Whether you are adopting a dog or is a seasoned pet parent, you might not realize that there are a variety of foods that, while perfectly safe to humans, can be harmful to pets. The top food dangers are probably anything flavored with real chocolate, but other possibly toxic foods include onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins, avocados, macadamia nuts, and coffee. Dogs and cats are pretty good at jumping on counters. Thus, you should also be mindful of how you store human food. Keep potentially toxic foods in airtight storage containers and well out of your pet’s reach. Get rid of “ladders” that curious pets can climb to get their way in areas like tabletops. 

Other kitchen-related problems to watch out for are knives, skewers, and other sharp utensils, including little items like twist ties that can easily be swallowed by your pet. Don’t leave human and animal medications where your pet can access them. Discard and lock perishable trash every day to keep your pet from rummaging through it. Between trips to the curb, keep any pet temptation and trash odors low with a tight-fitting lid and baking soda. Protect ovens and electric stovetops by providing a barrier that can help prevent injuries. You may also want to install a gate or door to keep animals out of the kitchen area while you’re cooking. 

Paw-Safe Your Living Room

Your dog probably spends his time more in your living room than any other room in the house, so the décors and furniture will take the biggest beating over the years. Generally, there aren’t too many dangers lurking in this room, but there are a handful of possible trouble spots. If you have a fireplace in your house, then this could be a big one. Your pet can be harmed by the flames and flying ashes, so you’ll need to put a simple screen to cover it. Fire-starter sticks are another overlooked danger. They’re somewhat sweet, and some pets, especially dogs can’t resist eating them. 

Hide all cable wires and cords including the remote. Chewing on a plugged-in cord can electrocute your dog. Covering or tucking cords away will keep them out of your pooch’s way and will also leave your living room looking neat and tidy. Protect your floors as well. Consider picking out a spot in the living room for a comfy dog bed. If you want rugs or carpet, consider investing in padded and stain-proof carpets that will have the most durability. The best way to look for items that may be harmful to Fido is to get down to his eye level and crawl around them. As a general precaution, put anything that’s a chewing or choking hazard or anything you value (small toys, puzzle pieces, etc.) out of reach when you’re not around. 

Inspect Your Bedroom

As far as a pup is concerned, anything on or near the floor is a fair game for chewing. Those bedroom slippers on the side of the bed may be nibbled to bits if your dog gets to them before you do since dogs have the instinctive desire to chew items that appear appealing to them. You could find other means to keep them distracted. The best indestructible dog toy is durable, completely safe, and can hold even aggressive chewers. 

Apart from the danger of a pup munching on your good shoes, clothing and other items left on the floor should be tucked away neatly into a drawer or closet where Fido can’t reach them. Other items such as a clothes hamper, jewelry, hair clips, bands, and pins away from exploring pups. Mothballs are also one potential serious hazard. They’re toxic, so if you’re using them in your bedroom, make sure they’re in a place your puppy completely can’t touch. As for bedding, make the bed and tuck corners of the comforter, blankets, and sheets between the boxspring and mattress to make the fabric less tempting to your pet.

Pack Your Poisons

Some apparent dangers are cleansers, fabric softeners, detergents, bleach, vitamins, medications, and even dental floss can all be hazardous if swallowed or eaten. Dogs, especially, may be tempted to chew on, and possibly shallow, stray socks and towels, which can cause severe gastrointestinal issues. Other hazards in the bathroom and laundry area that you might overlook are your pet drinking out of the toilet that is newly cleaned with chemical cleansers. Tubs and sinks filled with water and left unattended can pose a drowning risk for small pets. Washers and dryers can attract a spot for a nap, particularly for cats, and you may not notice them as you load the machine with clothes.

To avoid these potential threats to your pup, make sure to keep the toilet lid and other appliances (e.g. washers) closed. Secure all small items (razors, pins, and other toiletry items). Be careful where you set bath products and use a high-hanging showers caddy instead. Unplug any styling tools. Put your dirty clothes in the hamper. And most of all, always supervise your pet at all times.  

Create A ‘Hazard-Free’ Zone

The garage and basement can be a major danger zone for pets. Both are storage areas for lots of things, including ones that can be a problem if Fido gets into them. The simple solution is to keep items like gasoline, pesticides, antifreeze, solvents, oils, and coolants either high up or contained inside a closed cabinet. The same is true with sharp tools, hardware, and small objects such as screws, bolts, nails, and nuts. If you are in a snowy climate, be aware that deicing compounds may also contain toxic chemicals, so keep an eye on these ones for your pet to be safe. For pet owners who have automatic garage doors, make sure to check their sensors and perform routine door maintenance to avoid accidents. The bottom line here is to create a hazard-free zone for your pet to be protected and safe in these areas.

Petscape Your Backyard

Just as food in the kitchen area can be a problem for dogs, so can plant in your backyard. There are a variety of plants that can cause major issues. Be aware of specific plants that may be a danger to your pet and try to avoid bringing and displaying them into the house. Some common dangerous houseplants that your pooch might ingest are English Ivy, Lilies, Tulips, Azaleas, Chrysanthemum, Oleander, and so much more. If you want to decorate your garden with houseplants, be sure to research those that are toxic to animals before purchasing for your beloved pet’s safety. In addition, cocoa-based mulches, compost, insecticides, fertilizers, pesticides, and other garden chemicals can also cause problems for animals. Your first line of defense here is to keep these things safely stored away and out of your pet’s sight and reach.

Final Tips

Besides these precautions and safety tips, the most important thing you can do to make your home safe for your pooch is a tidier house. Storing things safely out of reach after using them also is apparently much easier than coaxing them away from Fido who is determined to destroy them which would lead to an emergency trip to the vet. Plus, this will leave you with more space for you and your adorable pup to play with the things that are out of harm’s way.

For more tips on living with your pets, check out these posts:

10 Tips for a Clean Home with Pets

7 Cute Dog Bed Ideas You Can Make in a Flash

Weekend DIY Doggie Door Project