Getting a new pet is exciting, introducing him to the family and his new surroundings. But before you bring a new pet home, it’s a good idea to ensure your home is safe. Dogs and cats can be pretty curious and are bound to get into trouble if you don’t prepare your house ahead of time. Here are a few essential tips to help you start pet-proofing your home.
Several common houseplants are toxic to animals. Many people don’t realize this until after their pet gets injured from ingesting a plant. If you have any plants in your home, it’s best to double-check each one to ensure it is safe. Here are some of the most popular houseplants that can be toxic:
- Aloe Vera
- Bird of Paradise
- English Ivy
Many everyday cleaning products you use around the house can harm pets. Cleaning products can leave behind a residue that can be absorbed into your pet’s skin or licked. Even products labeled “natural” or “green” may not be safe. The most common ingredients to watch out for are ammonia and bleach. These are found in everything from glass, multi-purpose, carpet, and toilet bowl cleaners. To be on the safe side, find cleaning products that are specifically labeled safe for pets. There are also a ton of homemade cleaning products that you probably already have around the house, like vinegar and baking soda, that are safe for pets.
Like cleaning supplies, chemicals you use on your lawn can also be toxic. These include pesticides, fertilizers, and even certain types of mulch. Make sure to read the directions clearly if you use these products. There is often a waiting period after the product is applied until it becomes safe for humans and animals to walk on the lawn.
It’s hard to know ahead of time what dangers are around your home until your pet gets into something that can harm him. Some common hazards include:
- Trash Cans- secure trash lids or put them somewhere inaccessible so your pet doesn’t consume what is inside
- Cords and Wires- ensure all cords and wires are out of reach for your pets. Any low-lying cables can become a chew toy for a bored pet, which can be dangerous. It’s also a good idea to cover electrical sockets.
- Medications/Make-up- make sure any medications and make-up are secured in a cabinet or drawer as they can be toxic to pets
There are certain areas of your home where it may be close to impossible to pet-proof. These areas need to be closed off entirely to your pets, either by keeping the doors to these areas closed or installing gates. The garage would be a perfect example, as yard chemicals and tools stored there are things you don’t want your pet to get access to.
Nobody wants that fear of finding out your pet just got into something toxic. A little preparation can help you feel secure that your pet will be safe at home. And if you’re worried your pet might have gotten into something toxic, immediately call your vet or the Animal Poison Control hotline at (888) 426-4435. If you need a safe place for your pet to stay while you are gone during the day, check out Hillrose Pet Resort’s dog and cat daycare.