In the spirit of National Pet Month, we’re exploring how you can make sure your home is safe for your new furry (or not so furry) best friend! Dogs and cats, as well as all kinds of other pets, are naturally curious and can get themselves into trouble or even danger if your home isn’t properly pet-proofed. Just like you would with a new baby, you should take the time to look at each area of your home with a critical eye to ensure that is safe for your pet.
Whether you are a new homeowner, a new pet parent, or both, you may be unsure of where to begin. We’ve outlined what to look for in each part of your home to simplify pet-proofing.
Your dog, and even maybe your cat, will spend a lot of time out in your new yard for exercise and fun. Having a fenced-in yard will keep many threats away like stray animals, but you’ll need to pay special attention to what is within that fence. Some additional safety measures you should take include:
- Examining the plants in your yard and removing any poisonous ones,
- Never leaving a pet unattended around a fire pit (when in use) or by an unfenced pool,
- Schedule regular flea and tick control services,
- Store any chemicals for lawn treatment in an enclosed shed or high up in your garage,
- And keep your pets away from the yard while the lawn is being treated with fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemicals.
Often what you use in your yard (or use to maintain your yard) is stored in a garage or basement. Just like with your yard, there are harmful chemicals and other hazards that come with keeping your new yard in great condition. While your pet likely won’t wander into this space often, you’ll still want to take precautions. To keep your pet safe, be sure to:
- Store any loose hardware in a jar with a lid,
- Always store chemicals in a high, closed cabinet,
- Check the floor of your garage for spilled chemical leaks,
- And always check the car engine by banging on the hood before starting your car.
Beyond just being able to jump on counters, kitchens are full of hazards like trash cans, toxic food, and cleaning chemicals. When it comes to pet-proofing your kitchen, be sure to:
- Keep cleaning products in a childproof locked cabinet,
- Never leave food unattended and always put food in a covered container,
- And only opt for garbage cans with a secured lid.
At first glance, it may seem like the most trouble a pet could get into in a bathroom is just splashing water around, but often bathrooms (and laundry rooms) also contain cleaning products and harmful chemicals, medicine, and more. Even just drinking the water from a toilet bowl could be fatal to your dog. To ensure your pet is safe when they wander into your bathroom, you’ll want to:
- Always keep medicine in a closed cabinet,
- Close the toilet lid when not in use,
- Ensure all bathroom cleaners, bleach, laundry detergents, and fabric softeners are in a childproof locked cabinet,
- And always check the washer and dryer before starting a cycle (and always keep the washer and dryer doors closed when not in use).
For most families, the living room is where you spend most of your time. You watch tv together, you relax together, and your children play with their toys there. Your pets are part of your family, so they participate in this regular family time. To make family time safe for all, you’ll want to:
- Ensure any electric cords are tucked away and out of reach,
- Always make sure that there is a protective screen in front of a fireplace if you have one,
- Put away anything that could get knocked over if a pet were to jump or reach it,
- Never leave a candle unattended,
- Cover any heating and air vents,
- Make sure your plants are not poisonous to dogs or cats,
- And always put away your child’s toys after they are done playing.
Bedtime should be a time for unwinding. What can make bedtime not peaceful, is if your pet suddenly gets hurt. That’s why you’ll want to be sure that you:
- Keep any wires out of reach,
- Double-check your drawers and closet before closing,
- Keep your laundry and shoes behind a closed door,
- Store jewelry, hair products, medications, and lotions in a closed container or cabinet,
- And if your bedroom is on the second floor, keep the window closed.
National pet month is a time to celebrate our furry friends that are a part of our family. Celebrate your pet by ensuring that your new home is safe for them.
If you’re on the market for a new home for your pet, or if you have questions about how to improve your home for your family, Coldwell Banker Elite can help.