How to pet-proof your home

Before your pet arrives, take some time to pet-proof your home. Image: Pixabay

Expert advises on how to pet-proof your home

Bringing home a furry friend is a joy, but first, it’s crucial to pet-proof your home to guarantee their safety and happiness.

How to pet-proof your home

Before your pet arrives, take some time to pet-proof your home. Image: Pixabay

Welcoming a new pet into your home is an exciting experience but requires thoughtful preparation to ensure their safety and well-being. 

Pet-proofing your home involves identifying potential hazards and implementing preventative measures to mitigate risks of injury or accidents. 

Andrew Leal, co-founder and CEO of Waggel and an expert in pet safety, shares his expertise on making your home a pet-friendly haven with us.

Pet-Proofing Your Kitchen and Bathroom:

Securing Cabinets

“Pets are naturally curious and can easily open cabinets,” says Andrew.

To avoid this, install childproof latches on all lower cabinets to keep your furry friends from accessing harmful substances like cleaning supplies, medications, and sharp objects.

Removing Toxic Substances

Many household chemicals and foods are toxic to pets

Andrew advises, “Store cleaning products, medications, and certain human foods like chocolate and onions out of reach.” 

Ensure trash cans have secure lids to prevent pets from rummaging through and ingesting something harmful.

Pet-Proofing Living Room and Common Areas

Managing Electrical Cords

“Electrical cords might seem like an enticing chew toy to your pet”, says Andrew, “but they pose a serious electrocution risk.” 

Use cord organizers or protective covers to keep them out of reach. Alternatively, secure them along baseboards or behind furniture where pets can’t access them.

Investing in Pet-Friendly Furniture

Opt for durable, easy-to-clean fabrics for your furniture. 

Materials like leather or microfiber resist scratches and are easier to clean in case of accidents. Consider slipcovers that can be washed regularly.

Flooring Considerations

Hard surfaces like tile, laminate, or vinyl are ideal for pet owners. They are very durable as well as resistant when it comes to scratches and stains. 

“If you prefer carpeting, choose a low-pile, stain-resistant variety to minimize damage from claws and spills,” suggests Andrew.

Pet-Proofing Outdoor Spaces

Securing the Yard

Ensure your yard is fully fenced and regularly inspect for any gaps or weak spots where pets could escape. 

“Every year, thousands of family pets drown,” warns Andrew. “If you have a pool, make sure it’s fenced off or covered to prevent accidental drowning.”

Removing Toxic Plants

Many common garden plants are toxic to pets. Remove or fence off plants like azaleas, lilies, and sago palms. Replace them with pet-safe varieties like marigolds or snapdragons.

Understanding Pet Behavior

Identifying Hazards

Understanding your pet’s behaviors and needs is crucial for effective pet-proofing. 

“Pets, much like children, are naturally inquisitive and can get themselves into trouble if we’re not careful,” says Andrew. “It’s important to think from their perspective to identify potential hazards.”

Implementing Preventative Measures

Monitor your pet’s behavior to spot potential risks. For example, if your cat loves climbing, secure tall furniture to the wall to prevent tipping. 

If your dog is a chewer, provide plenty of safe chew toys to deter them from gnawing on furniture or shoes.

Safe Environment 

Pet-proofing your home requires a combination of foresight, understanding your pet’s behavior, and making practical adjustments to your living spaces. 

“When you create a safe environment for your furry companions, you ensure your home is not only pet-proof but also a comfortable and secure place for both you and your pets to enjoy,” Andrew says.