Your home is meant to be a relaxing haven, but your pet may have other thoughts. To them, home is an intriguing place to explore and enjoy fun adventures. However, their idea of fun may lead them into trouble should they become stuck in small spaces, sneak through a hole in the backyard fence, or lap up a spilled cleaning solution. Let your four-legged friend have fun in their home, but keep them safe with our pet-proofing tips.
#1: Shield your pet from injuries
A variety of accidents that can injure curious pets occur at home. Keep your furry pal safe by:
- Covering electrical cords — Your pet may see electrical cords as rubber chew toys, so purchase cord covers, hide cords behind furniture, or use cable ties to keep cords out of reach.
- Keeping washer and dryer doors closed — You may think it could never happen to your pet, but many cats and small dogs have leapt into a washer or dryer to investigate, and then become trapped. Always keep appliance doors closed, and ensure you check inside before starting a load of laundry.
- Storing sharp objects in a secure spot — Knife blocks typically stand on the counter, but a determined pet can paw out a blade, or accidentally knock the entire block to the floor. Store sharp objects, like knives and scissors, in drawers protected by a child lock.
- Wrapping up window covering cords — Curtain and blind cords can dangle enticingly in front of your pet, who can easily become tangled and trapped. Wrap up cords out of your pet’s reach when not in use.
- Installing stove knob covers — Your pet may inadvertently hit a stove burner knob if they jump up to sample an unattended pot. Block your pet’s access to the stove, install knob covers, and keep them from jumping onto the hot stove.
- Keeping doors and windows shut — Your pet can fall or escape through open doors and windows, and then be injured by a moving vehicle, in an altercation with another animal, or by falling from a great height. Keep doors and windows shut to ensure your pet’s safety.
#2: Save your pet from toxins
Homes, garages, and yards contain a multitude of toxins, some that you may not know about. Safeguard your four-legged friend from toxin exposure by:
- Installing child locks on cabinets and drawers — Child locks are designed to keep curious children safe, so they also work well at keeping inquisitive pets out of cabinets and drawers that contain hazardous items.
- Stashing medications in a secure cabinet — Human prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications are some of the most common pet toxins. Prevent your pet from chewing on a pill bottle by stashing medications in a securely latched medicine cabinet.
- Storing cleaning supplies safely away — Many cleaning supplies, such as bleach, toilet bowl cleaner, and drain clog dissolving agents, are toxic to pets, if ingested. A curious pet may lap up a puddle from a spilled bottle, or drink from a freshly cleaned toilet. Protect your pet by storing cleaning supplies in a secure cabinet or closet, shutting the toilet lid, and keeping them off freshly mopped floors until dry. For added precaution, store cleaning supplies in a plastic tote to catch potential leaks.
- Checking plants for toxicity — Before bringing home flowers to brighten up the room, or plants to add to your garden, ensure they are not toxic to your pet.
- Avoiding rodenticides — Rodenticides can cause a variety of serious illnesses that can be challenging to treat, so avoiding their use in your home or garage is best.
- Putting food away — Certain foods are toxic to pets, while others can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, or a gastrointestinal (GI) blockage, if eaten. Protect your pet from food-borne illness by putting food away in a pantry or refrigerator, instead of leaving items on the counter.
#3: Guard your pet against choking and obstruction hazards
Small objects can be choking hazards, or cause a GI obstruction, if swallowed. Prevent choking and blockages by:
- Picking up toys — Pets can be tempted to chew on small items, such as figurines, legos, and puzzle and game pieces, that can become lodged in their throat, stomach, or intestinal tract. Pick up toys from the floor and store them in bins and totes to keep them out of your pet’s reach.
- Hanging up purses, jackets, and backpacks — Many small items are often stashed in purses, jacket pockets, or backpacks. Your pet may sniff out hair ties and clips, batteries, coins, erasers, and other potential choking hazards, so hang up your purse, coat, or backpack when not in use.
- Storing arts and crafts supplies appropriately — Glue, paint, needles, and yarn in craft rooms are some of the worst pet hazards. Keep the door to these rooms shut, and ensure you pick up all arts and crafts supplies before leaving the room. Pets can easily find dropped sewing needles with thread, beads and jewelry pieces, or a misplaced bottle of glue, so check for dropped items and store them appropriately.
If you made all these pet-proofing efforts, but they weren’t enough to keep your furry pal out of trouble, contact our Stone Ridge Veterinary Medical Center family for help.
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