Pet proofing your home just makes sense. First and foremost, your pets will be safer and your home will thank you for it, too. As much as we love our furry friends, they can be tough on carpets, furniture, wood floors and well, frankly… everything. Giving them safe and secure boundaries can help maintain your home’s value.
Kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms are the most dangerous rooms in your homes to pets and children. It is important to install childproof (pet-proof!) latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets. Keep medications, cleaners, household chemicals and laundry supplies on high shelves.
If you have a frisky kitty, you may need to install safety latches on upper cabinet doors, too. Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched pantry or cabinet. Keep food out of pet’s reach at all times. Many of the foods we love (chocolate!) are dangerous – and can be deadly – to our precious pets. Even if the food is safe for them to eat, the packaging can be harmful. In the bathroom, make sure that toilet lids are closed to prevent accidental drowning or ingestion of cleaning chemicals.
Curious kitties love dangling cords, so make sure that your family room’s electrical cords, lamp wires, etc… are bundled and out of reach. Many pets are harmed each year by ingesting children’s toys. Keep a toy box or basket with a lid handy and make sure your children know that picking up their toys will keep you happy and your pets safe! Many common house plants can be dangerous to pets. Make sure they are kept out of reach, including hanging plants that may be jumped on from nearby surfaces. After vacuuming, give the room a quick sweep under and around furniture – especially in areas where your vacuum can’t reach. Thread, strings and small objects have a way of migrating under furniture and can cause serious trouble for inquisitive pets.
In your bedrooms, make sure that laundry, clothing and shoes are kept behind closed doors. Buttons and drawstrings can cause major problems if swallowed. Keep medications, lotions and cosmetics off accessible surfaces, such as bedside tables. Move electrical and phone wires out of chewing range.
Garages and carports should really be off-limits to pets. Even neighbors’ pets or wild animals might seek the warmth of your car engine if they have access to your garage. If you can’t secure your garage from prowling pets, please make sure they are safe from chemicals. A tiny taste of antifreeze can be fatal to your dogs and cats. Keep sharp tools and objects out of reach. Make sure that your pets are safely away from the garage before moving vehicles into and out of the space.
Many clients find it helpful to use baby gates to limit pet access to certain areas of the home, particularly if they are away from home long hours. I know this list can seem daunting, but know that as you complete these pet-proofing tasks, you are providing your pets with a safe and secure environment and helping to maintain your home’s value!