It’s estimated that 164 million Americans have pets. And we spend a whopping $52 Billion on their care. Most of us consider our pets a part of our family, so it’s important to make sure that our furry family members are safe at home. Let’s take a look at pet-proofing your home, room by room.
Pet-Proofing the Kitchen
Pet-proofing the kitchen is simple if you are able to install a baby gate to keep your pet out of the kitchen area completely. Not the case for you? Get cabinet locks like you would use for children to keep inquisitive pets out of cabinets where they can access household cleaners, sharp objects or even shards of glass from broken dishes. Keep your pet out of the trash by buying a trash can with a locking lid. Numerous foods in our food waste are hazardous to our pets and can get them very sick.
Pet-Proofing the Bathroom
Similar to the kitchen, use cabinet locks to keep pets out of cabinets where they could access household cleaners, medications (RX and OTC), toothpaste, dental floss, razors and choking hazards such as cotton swabs and cotton balls. It’s best to keep these items in a high cabinet off of counters and where pets cannot reach them. Also, always keep the toilet bowl closed to keep your pet from drinking or playing in toilet water. Toilet water can make your pet seriously ill. Also be especially careful with medications as many human medications such as aspirin or Tylenol can be deadly to pets.
Pet-Proofing the Living Room and Bedrooms
Dangers in these rooms for your pet are exposed electrical cords, tobacco products, mothballs, batteries, rubber bands, string, corded blinds and anything small enough to be a choking hazard. Electrical cords pose an electrocution risk if your pet chews on them. Keep electrical cords hidden, use cord covers, tape cords to the wall and use chew deterrent sprays to keep pets safe from electrical cords. Keep blind cords tied up where pets cannot reach, as just like children, blind cords can pose a choking hazard for your pet. Help pets get up and down from the couch or bed with ramps when they get older to avoid injuries.
A Special Note About Plants
Before you bring any kind of plant into your home, research it on the internet to ensure it is safe for homes with pets. Pets often eat or dig in plants. The fertilizer or plant food in the plant soil can be hazardous to your pet and the plant itself can be hazardous to your pet. There are a great number of plants that can cause serious illness if ingested by your pet. One of the most common ones in warmer areas of the U.S. are Sago Palms or Sago plants. Their leaves are poisonous to pets but even more deadly are the seeds/nuts they produce. Just one seed is sufficient to kill your dog or cat. Symptoms of poisoning include excessive drooling, excessive water drinking, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, coma and death.
Just like with children, it’s important to pet-proof your home. Go room by room looking for choking hazards, chemicals, plants and other items that could get your pet sick if ingested. Always keep the toilet lid closed and keep hazardous items such as household cleaners in high cabinets that pets can’t reach. A little bit of prevention now can possibly save your pet’s life.