Like children, pets enjoy exploring their surroundings, but sometimes that can get them into trouble. When you have a young child, you take precautions by child-proofing your home to ensure their safety, and pet-proofing is equally important for your four-legged kid’s safety. Placing dangerous items out of your pet’s reach requires you to take a look throughout your home from your pet’s perspective. To do this, observe each room from your pet’s low vantage point. To help ensure your furry pal’s at-home safety, read our Little Animal Hospital team’s pet-proofing checklist.  

Pet-proof your kitchen 

Many families commonly gather in their kitchen. Kids often do their homework here as they enjoy an after-school snack, and parents cook dinner while trying to help their kids with math homework—if they can still remember arithmetic’s basics! The kitchen is also likely your pet’s favorite spot where they enjoy savory cooking aromas and the potential for gobbling down a tasty morsel that has fallen to the floor. While the kitchen is often your home’s hub, the room also poses many pet hazards. Take a look at your kitchen, and check off these pet-proofing tasks: 

  • Store foods intended for people out of your pet’s reach — Many foods people eat contain pet-toxic ingredients, including chocolate, grapes and raisins, xylitol (i.e., birch sugar), and garlic. For your pet’s safety, keep food out of their reach—stored up high—and always clear the table immediately after eating. 
  • Secure trash cans — To prevent your pet from searching for forbidden snacks in the garbage, ensure your trash can locks, or store the bin behind a closed door. 
  • Install child-proof cabinet locks — Pets are amazingly adept at figuring out how to open cabinet doors. To ensure your pet cannot access dangerous medications, foods, or cleaning products, install child-proof cabinet locks. 

Pet-proof your living room  

Family members and pets typically wind down from the day, get cozy, and cuddle in the family room. However, the living room poses quite a few pet hazards if you haven’t adequately pet-proofed this gathering place. Take a look around your living room, and check off these pet-proofing tasks:

  •  Cover electrical cords — A curious pet who mistakes a cord for a chew toy can end up with a life-threatening shock if they gnaw a plugged-in electrical cord. Keep cords and wires covered, and always keep an eye on your pet to ensure they are not chewing these dangerous household items. 
  • Place small decor or knick knacks out of your pet’s reach — If your pet chews or ingests a fragile item or a small knick knack, they could choke. Place these items out of curious paws’ reach.
  • Remove toxic plants — Many popular houseplants and flowers are toxic to pets. Check the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List to determine whether you have pet-toxic plants in your home, or simply keep all household plants out of your pet’s reach.

Pet-proof your bathroom

Bathrooms may be small, but they pose several pet hazards. Take a look around your bathroom, and check off these pet-proofing tasks:

  • Shut toilet lids — Your pet may view the toilet as a giant water bowl. To prevent your pet from being poisoned by drinking water that contains cleaning products, keep all toilet lids closed. 
  • Lock away cleaning supplies — Store household cleaning products out of your pet’s reach because they likely contain chemicals, including bleach, ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, phenol, and isopropyl alcohol. If your pet ingests a cleaning product that contains a toxic chemical, they can be poisoned. Lock all household cleaning products out of your pet’s reach. 
  • Store medicines in a secure cabinet — Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications intended for people are potentially hazardous to pets. Store all medication in a secure cabinet out of your pet’s reach, and never give your pet medication unless your veterinarian has prescribed the drug for your furry pal. 

Pet-proof your yard

Your pet likely spends a lot of time in your yard, running around, rolling in the grass, and napping in the sun. Your yard should be your pet’s safe haven, but unrecognized hazards can transform this idyllic area into a danger zone. Take a look around your yard, and check off these pet-proofing tasks:

  • Secure the perimeter — Repair fence gaps, missing or broken fence boards, and holes dug beneath. Ensure fence gates stay closed and latched.
  • Ensure plantings are pet-safe — Plants add beauty to any yard and garden. However, not all outdoor plants are pet-safe. To find out which plants to avoid growing in your yard, check the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List.  
  • Use fertilizer carefully — Many fertilizer products are not safe for use around pets. Read fertilizer package instructions carefully to determine the appropriate drying period to wait before your pet can safely play on the grass again. 
  • Avoid pesticides Pesticides are poisonous, and if your pet ingests a treated planting, they can experience devastating consequences. To keep your pet safe, choose pet-safe alternatives and natural pest control methods. 

To help keep your pet safe in your home, pet-proofing is the best strategy, and to help ensure your pet’s overall health, regular preventive veterinary examinations are best. To learn additional pet-proofing tips and schedule your pets wellness visit, contact our Little Animal Hospital team.