Pets are inquisitive and mischievous, and these behaviors can get your furry pal in trouble by causing them to become ill or injured, requiring an emergency veterinary visit. To protect your adventurous four-legged friend from hazards and accidental poisonings, you should pet-proof your home. To help you ensure your home is safe for your pet, follow our Towne Centre Animal Hospital team’s room-by-room pet-proofing tips.
5 Tips to pet-proof your kitchen
The kitchen is a popular family gathering place, but also poses many pet hazards. Follow these tips to help ensure your pet’s safety in your kitchen:
- Store food securely — Several common foods, such as grapes, raisins, chocolates, onions, and certain sugar-free foods, are toxic to pets. To prevent your pet from ingesting a potential toxin, keep all foods behind securely latched cabinet doors or in airtight storage containers.
- Keep your garbage in sealed containers — Many pets enjoy looting the garbage for tasty morsels. In addition to a potential toxin ingestion, by rummaging through the trash, your pet may gobble down small discarded items, causing them to experience a foreign body gastrointestinal (GI) blockage. To help your pet avoid a health emergency, store your garbage in stable, sealed containers.
- Close your dishwasher — Dirty dishes are tempting to pets who may pre-rinse the plates with their tongue. However, sharp utensils can lacerate your pet’s face and mouth.
- Block small spaces — To help prevent your pet from getting trapped in a dangerous place, block small spaces such as under or behind kitchen appliances.
- Wash pet dishes regularly — Many pet owners keep their pet’s food and water bowls in the kitchen, and these items can become extremely germy. The slimy biofilm that forms on the surface can contain bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Wash your pet’s dishes daily using soap and water, and disinfect them by running them through the dishwasher’s hot wash cycle at least once a week.
6 Tips to pet-proof your living room
Whether you are cozying up on the couch to watch a movie or gathering for a family game night, you want your pet to be safe. Follow these tips to help ensure your pet’s safety in the living room:
- Ensure your houseplants are nontoxic — Many common houseplants, such as lily, aloe vera, dieffenbachia, and sago palm, are toxic to pets. Ensure all plants and floral arrangements in your home are pet-friendly.
- Secure furniture and appliances — Use stable wall hooks to secure heavy or precarious furniture and appliances.
- Store toys and games — When toys and game pieces are not in use, put them away to ensure your pet doesn’t ingest a stray item.
- Avoid scented oils — Many essential oils and potpourris are toxic to pets. If you use these products, keep them out of your pet’s reach.
- Use flameless candles — Curious paws and enthusiastic tails make a burning candle a fire hazard. Use flameless candles to prevent fire-associated problems.
- Store cords securely — Cover electrical cords to prevent your pet from chewing them, and secure window cords to ensure your pet doesn’t get tangled.
5 Tips to pet-proof your bathroom
Your pet doesn’t understand why you need privacy in the bathroom, and they are always happy to join you there. Follow these tips to help ensure your pet’s safety in the bathroom:
- Keep medications secure — Many over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications are toxic to pets. Keep all medications stored securely on a high shelf, and consider using a child safety latch.
- Clean your sink — After brushing your teeth, remove all toothpaste residue. Many dental hygiene products intended for people contain xylitol and other ingredients that are toxic to pets.
- Close the toilet lid — Small pets can fall into the toilet bowl and potentially drown. In addition, chemicals used to clean the toilet can cause your pet harm.
- Store appliances securely — To prevent your pet from chewing appliance electric cords, store electric toothbrushes, razors, and hair dryers securely. In addition, never leave your pet unsupervised around a hot curling iron.
- Cover your toilet paper — Use a toilet paper cover or storage container to prevent your pet from making a mess.
3 Tips to pet-proof your bedroom
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, and you want your pet to be comfortable when they commandeer your bed. Follow these tips to help ensure your pet’s safety in the bedroom:
- Check drawers and closets — Before closing your drawers and closet doors, ensure your pet is not inside.
- Keep your clothing stored safely — Store your clothing and shoes safely so your pet can’t destroy a favorite item and to help prevent them from ingesting a foreign body.
- Clear your bedside table — Keep items, such as jewelry, hair accessories, sleep aids, and earbuds, off your bedside table. Store these items securely out of your pet’s reach.
2 Tips to pet-proof your laundry room
The laundry room offers your pet many interesting spaces and scents to investigate. Follow these tips to help ensure your pet’s safety in the laundry room:
- Store household products safely — Store household products, such as cleaning products, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and drain cleaners, on a high shelf behind a latched door.
- Check your washer and dryer — The dryer’s drum makes a good napping place for a pet, especially if warm clothes are inside. Keep appliance doors closed to help ensure your pet can’t access the washer or dryer drums, and check them before running the machines.
3 Tips to pet-proof your garage
If your pet has access to your garage, learn to recognize hazards that lurk within. Follow these tips to help ensure your pet’s safety in the garage:
- Store chemicals securely — To help prevent your pet’s poisoning, securely store products, such as antifreeze, motor oil, rodenticides, and deicers.
- Honk your horn — Some cats like to hide under your vehicle’s hood, seeking warmth. To ensure no cats are snoozing in this dangerous place, bang on the hood or honk your horn before cranking your vehicle’s engine.
- Check your surroundings — Before putting your car in reverse, ensure your pet is not in your vehicle’s blind spot.
Follow these pet-proofing tips to help ensure your furry pal’s safety at home. However, accidents happen, and if your pet encounters a household hazard, contact our Towne Centre Animal Hospital team to provide them with the treatment they need as quickly as possible.
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