Important Tips on Pet-Proofing Your Home

by Heather Roberts

Pets make great companions and friends. Having a dog or a cat can truly bring a lot of joy to your life. Pets require some care, that is true, but the amount of love they will give you back in return is worth the time and effort invested in raising, training and looking after them. That dog will surely be your best friend and your cat will calm you every time you hear their relaxing purring. Get a pet today!

Looking after a pet requires both knowledge and special care. Above all else, there is the need to pet-proof your home. A house clean will not get you far once you bring that puppy or kitty through your doorstep. You'll have to implement a number of pet-proofing projects, which will ensure that your home is well suited for your pet and that their comfort and wellbeing is guaranteed.

Here are some home pet-proofing tips every pet owner should consider:

Learn to store your belongings in a pet-proof way!

A tidy house does a lot of good for your pets. Staying on top of cleaning and decluttering ensures that there will be less stuff lying around for your pet to mess with. We have all seen the destructive force of puppies, who can and will chew on just about anything, or the accidental breaking of an heirloom vase that your cat walked past! Learn to store and/or display your belongings safely so that there are no such accidents. As an added bonus, you get a lot of extra room for yourself and for playing with your pet.

Get down to your pet's level!

This may sound absurd (and it looks even more so), but getting on your hands and knees and looking at things from floor level will enable you to spot potential problems with your home. That way you can see dangers like electrical wires and cords, lost toys and game pieces (or medicines) under furniture, where your vacuum cleaner didn't reach during the last carpet cleaning session. Seeing as such things may be a real threat to your pet, you will do well to look for them and deal with the problem in time.

Be very careful with plants

Even though plants make a necessary part of every interior and can be quite helpful in cleaning and purifying the air, some of them may be dangerous for your pets. Dogs and cats like to chew on plants, so you need to have types that are harmless to pets. Also keep in mind that some pets might find digging the dirt out of potted plants a particularly interesting activity, so be prepared for some cleaning services or just don't keep a lot of these around.

Lock up your cabinets

You likely store various items you would rather not have your pet mess around with in your cabinets. Cleaning supplies come to mind first, as the majority of people keep a number of those in the coveted space under the sink. Since they contain dangerous chemicals and ingredients, you want to have them locked up securely at all times when your pet is wandering around. Adding child-proof latches is an easy way to secure your cabinets and deny your pet access to them.

Be prepared to deal with pet hair

Pet hair is one of the main troubles associated with cleaning you will have to deal with. Even if you teach your dog not to get on the upholstered furniture, chances are pet hair is still going to get there one way or another. The best way to deal with this is to groom your pet regularly.  Go to your local pet store and purchase specialized grooming tools, such as rollers and brushes, to help you collect and dispose of hair before it ends up on your furniture and carpets where it is harder to clean up.

Put down the lid on your toilet

Some dogs see a thirst-quenching opportunity in your toilet. Obviously, you don't want them using this item for that purpose... which is why you should be sure the lid is down at all times. Installing a lid lock (another child-proofing tool) can help you further in that regard, and is in fact recommended since some pets are smart enough (and strong enough) to lift it!

Secure your garage

The garage is full of many dangerous items that your pet can get hurt on. And it's not just sharp tools... various liquids such as antifreeze, oil and car cleaners are kept there. Some of these chemicals, are attractive to your pet in smell and/or taste, but more than a casual taste of these chemicals may be lethal.  If at all possible,  keep your garage under lock and key and off-limits to your pets if you can't keep these dangerous chemicals out of your pet's reach.

Keep your watch in the garden

If you allow your pet outdoors, be careful not to keep pesticides, insecticides and fertilizer in the open. Keeping such garden inventory litems locked up or out of reach is best. Also keep in mind that certain plants may cause problem for your pet, so be very careful with allowing them outside, if your garden is rather rich in plants.

Ponds and other water features may be fun for your dogsā€¦ until they realize they cannot climb back out. Ensure your pond has a sloping side or fencing to avoid accidents, especially if they are puppies!

In summary, pet-proofing your home is necessary to ensuring you have not invite trouble for your pet. Be thorough in your efforts. Once you have done that, you can get to the more fun part of living with pets... the games, the cuddles and all the joy your furry friend will bring you and your whole family. For more ideas: