Whether you’re bringing home a new fur baby or you’re simply trying to be a better pet parent, there are a few key home adjustments you need to consider. Here, ten ways to pet-proof your home to keep your animals safe and healthy.
How to Pet Proof Your Home in 10 Easy Steps
1. Cover All Cords
This is a biggie, especially for puppies and kittens who can’t resist the allure of a dangling wire. You have a couple of options here: 1) Tuck the wires away behind a cabinet where they can’t be reached; 2) Use a bitter deterrent spray in the area so the cords smell and taste too unappealing; 3) Conceal them with cord covers.
2. Use Pet-safe Products
Hey, you like animals, but someone tell those ants you have enough pets already, thank you. If your dog is a messy eater or likes to eat a little at a time (i.e. often leaves food in the bowl), it’s not uncommon for that to attract pests. And certain types, like fire ants, can cause real issues if they invade your pet’s space and bite. Avoid that scenario altogether by using Raid® Ant & Roach with Plant-Based Ingredients to kill over 20 household pests. It’s safe to use around pets (and kids!) when used as directed, and it’s made with plant-based active ingredients like lemongrass extract and geraniol synthesized from pine trees* to make it the fastest plant-based roach killer on the market.
*Ingredients found in lemongrass oil and geraniol may cause allergies for consumers with sensitive skin. See Raid.com for details.
3. Buy Waste Bins With Lids
One whiff of a nice full can and they think they’ve hit the jackpot. But getting into the kitchen garbage runs the risk of bacteria, and a dive into the tissue-filled bathroom bin could yield intestinal blockages. Tight fitting lids that are tough for paws or maws to remove are your friends.
4. Pay Attention To Your Plants
A lot of common houseplants are toxic to pets, so be wary of the greenery you bring inside. The hard truth is that all pets—especially cats—often like the taste and feel of chewing on leaves, so if you’ve got ivy, elephant’s ear, pothos, aloe vera, jade, etc…move them out of reach or rehome them, stat. If you’re unsure, a quick Google search will tell you for certain if the plant is safe or not.
5. Keep Closet Doors Shut
You know the fabric softener sheet sitting on top of that fresh pile of laundry? Super appealing to dogs and also super toxic. If your pet is extra mouthy or loves to chew, things like buttons and shoe laces can also be quite dangerous (again, blockages are a big concern here).
6. Clear Countertops Of Food
Anyone with a counter surfer knows: If those chocolate cupcakes are left out, they will get eaten, no matter how well you wrapped them up. So tuck all food away in the fridge, pantry or cabinet, and save everyone the hassle of another trip to the vet (or bakery).
7. Guard Your Fireplace Screens
A stray ember or spark is pretty traumatizing for fur babes who like to lounge by the warmth. And fire starter registers a slightly sweet taste to pets, so the temptation to sample is real. Avoid it all by simply putting a barrier around the fireplace—a well-made one won’t block the ambiance from reaching the humans, but it will keep your little companions safe.
8. Sweep For Choking Hazards Regularly
Remember: Pets will put anything and everything in their mouths. So those puzzle pieces, buttons and small toys are choking hazards waiting to happen. Keep a frequent eye on areas that are potentially tough for the vacuum to reach but where pets can still access, and pick up anything that shouldn’t be there.
9. Store Medicines Up And Away
The detriments of this one are probably pretty obvious (animals and human meds don’t mix). But it’s worth noting since frankly, it’s easy to not think twice about that package of allergy medicine or ibuprofen, and curious animals that like to explore don’t know any better.
10. If All Else Fails, Use Child Locks
We’ve all seen the videos of dogs and cats who’ve taught themselves how to use door handles and open cabinets. And it’s funny until it happens to you. If your pet simply can’t be stopped from getting into your stuff, child locks are the way to go.