Pets, particularly inquisitive kittens and nosy puppies, are notorious for getting into trouble while exploring their home. Each room hides a multitude of hazards, plus outdoors areas, like the garage and garden, can cause your pet serious harm. But, pet-proofing your home can greatly minimize potential risks, so follow along as our team members walk through a standard home and pet-proof each room.
How to pet-proof your kitchen
Ah, the kitchen. The room filled with drool-inducing smells and tantalizing treats. No room entices your pet to be naughty quite like the kitchen, so pay special attention to your pet-proofing efforts in this room. Keep your pet safe by:
- Learning which foods are toxic to pets — Many common foods are toxic to pets, and can cause issues ranging from vomiting and diarrhea, to heart arrhythmias and kidney failure. Keep grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, xylitol, macadamia nuts, and yeast dough away from your pet. Other foods can pose a choking or gastrointestinal hazard, including nuts, bones, corn cobs, fruit pits, and foods high in fat or salt.
- Clearing the counters — Avoid leaving food out on your countertops, including food that is still packaged or stored in a tupperware container. Your pet can easily chew through plastic to reach tempting foods.
- Installing child-proof locks on cabinets and drawers — Exceptionally determined pets may be able to nose or paw open drawers or cabinets that contain forbidden foods, sharp utensils, or the various items that make up a junk drawer. Securely stash your snacks, knives, batteries, rubber bands, and other odds-and-ends in drawers and cabinets with child-proof locks.
- Covering stove knobs — Your pet can accidentally bump a stove knob and turn on the burner, which can scorch paws or cause a house fire. Keep your furry pal and your home safe by installing stove knob covers and always checking that they are turned off when not in use.
- Securing the trash can — Dumpster-diving pets can find a treasure trove of forbidden treats in the trash. Greasy aluminum foil, chicken bones, steak fat, and other hazardous food items can make your pet ill, so ensure the trash can lid is always securely shut.
How to pet-proof your bathroom
Bathrooms are also chock-full of pet hazards, from medicines, to cleaning supplies, to toiletries. The best—and easiest—way to keep your pet safe from bathroom dangers is by shutting the door to keep them out. However, accidents happen, so ensure your bathroom is a safe place for your pet by:
- Shutting the toilet lid — A fresh, cold drink may entice your pet to lap from the toilet bowl, but cleaning chemicals can make them sick. Keep the toilet lid shut, and install a child-proof lock, if necessary.
- Hiding the trash can — Used tissues, wads of toilet paper, and other bathroom waste can appeal to a nosy pet, who cannot digest large amounts of paper products. Hide the trash can in a cabinet under the sink, or ensure that the lid locks.
- Searching for dropped pills — Medications, vitamins, and supplements can spell danger to your pet who gulps down dropped pills, as most human products are pet-toxic. Scan the floor before leaving the bathroom to ensure you did not drop any medications.
- Latching all cabinets — Bathroom cleaning supplies, toiletries, cosmetics, and medications can prove hazardous to your pet if ingested, so ensure that all cabinets latch securely.
- Unplugging hair styling tools — Unplug rather than only turning off your hair straightener when not in use, which will prevent your pet from accidentally turning on the appliance and being burned.
How to pet-proof your bedrooms
Bedrooms can hold many easily forgotten hazards that pets can ingest, inhale, or come in contact with, so check the remaining rooms in your home thoroughly for hidden dangers. Protect your pet by:
- Covering electrical cords — That phone charger next to your bed could appeal to your pet as a chew toy, so cover all electrical cords or run them out of your furry pal’s reach.
- Avoiding the use of essential oil warmers — Essential oil and wax warmers may add a delightful scent to the air, but they can be dangerous to pets. Hot oil or wax can scald paws and noses, while certain oils and fragrances can cause respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal distress, or toxicity. Avoid using warmers, scented candles, and aerosol air fresheners in your home.
- Picking up small toys and clothes — Legos, game pieces, and other small toys that may litter your children’s bedroom floors can become a choking hazard or lodge in your pet’s GI tract if swallowed. Pets also have a penchant for sniffing out and chewing on dirty socks and other clothing items, so ensure all potential “chew toys” are picked up and stored away safely.
These tips should help prevent many opportunities for your four-legged friend to find trouble. However, some pets are too devious for their own good. If your pet gets past your pet-proofing defenses, contact our Animal Care and Emergency Services team for help.