Whether you are bringing home a young pet, or simply introducing a new pet into your home, it is in your best interest, as well as the best interest of your new pet, to make sure the house is ready and safe. Failing to animal-proof your house before bringing the new family member home can result in the destruction of your belongings and put the safety of your pet in jeopardy. However, by implementing a few precautions, you can prepare your home and ensure your pet’s safety.
Many plants are toxic to animals, so check to make sure your plants are non-toxic. Cats and dogs each react different to plants, so a plant that is not toxic to a dog could very well be fatal if ingested by a cat. If you are unsure about the toxicity of your houseplants, check your local library or the Internet for information about your specific plants. Often times, cats are drawn to the plants within their reach. If your cat or dog is harming your greenery, the best approach to keeping your pet away is to place the plants in a room that is inaccessible. If you are unable to move your plants, dusting the leaves with cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce often works in deterring cats. If you notice that your cat is digging in the soil, placing gravel or aluminum foil over the soil in the pot should stop the behavior.
Dangling blind cords are as much of a danger to animals as they are to toddlers. While they may appear to be a great source of entertainment, keep in mind that animals can easily become entangled in the cords, which can result in accidental death. It is best to keep the cords up and out of the animal’s grasp.
Bringing an animal into your home greatly affects the way in which you can decorate. Leaving breakables within your pet’s reach can be hazardous for both your pet and your valuables. If you are adding a cat to your family, confirm that breakable items are out of the cat’s reach before he arrives. Even if you plan to train your cat to remain on the ground, jumping onto higher surfaces is a part of cat behavior and it can take some time to break the routine. Until then, relocating your breakables will prevent your cat from knocking something over. Breakables are less of a concern with dogs, but you should still check to see if any decorations on the floor are lightweight enough to be knocked over by an excited dog. If so, moving them to a location where they will be less likely to fall into the dog’s path will decrease the chance of damage.
Electrical cords pose as much of a threat to pets as they do to teething infants. To animals, electrical cords are entertaining objects. To prevent harm to your pets and damage to your electrical wires, keep the cords away by taping them together and placing them in a location that is inaccessible to your pets. If you cannot find a place to hide the electrical cords, purchase safety tubing from a local store and put all of your wiring inside. The animals would then have to chew through the tubing in order to get to the electrical cords.
Windows and Screens
While more of a concern for upper floors, you should check all of your windows and screens before bringing home your new pet. Ensuring that all screens are strong and intact will prevent your pet from falling out of a window.
Just like plants, some foods are toxic to animals. Chocolate, for instance, is particularly harmful to dogs. To prevent consumption of unsafe food, keep all candy and groceries stored safely away from your pets. Dogs, which are particularly drawn to leftovers, have a tendency to attempt to gain access to the contents of trashcans. By purchasing a trashcan that has a lid, is sturdy and hard to knock over, you will deter your dog from eating the spoiled and possibly unsafe trash in your trashcan.
By following the advice above, you can help guarantee your animal’s safety. Remember, animals are often like children and just like you would take certain precautions when bringing home a newborn, you must make sure that your house is safe for your new pet.