6 Essential Tips for Pet-Proofing Your Home
Getting a new pet is an exciting time as you two bond and learn each other’s unique quirks and habits. It also means that you’ll need to think about your home in new ways you’ve probably never thought of before. Your entertainment center is now a playroom for your pet as they try to climb on furniture and nibble on your remote. From tips on how to remove pet hair to learning about what plants and food are toxic to your furry friend, check out our list of six essential tips for pet-proofing your home.
- Dangerous Foods for Pets — What’s considered a yummy treat for us can be toxic for your pet. While each pet, like humans, may have different allergies, the following are some generally common foods that can be toxic to your pets. Coffee grounds, candy (especially chocolate), avocados, and certain kinds of nuts like macadamia nuts and walnuts are hazardous to pets. If you tend to keep potatoes, tomatoes, or garlic in your pantry, keep them away from your pet because the potato and tomato leaves and stems, along with garlic, are also toxic to pets.
- Dangerous Plants for Pets — The list of what’s poisonous to dogs and cats can vary. Cats tend to be more vulnerable when exposed to any part of a lily. In general, keep your pets away from tulip bulbs, azaleas, oleander, and English ivy. Marijuana can also be toxic to pets, leading to symptoms such as increased heart rate or even seizures and coma. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s 24-hour emergency poison hotline at 888-426-4435 if you think your pet may have come in contact with anything poisonous.
- Important Things to Buy for Pet-Proofing — Pet-proofing a home can be pretty similar to baby-proofing. Just like you want baby gates for your human child, you’ll want to make sure you have a doggy gate to keep Fido out of places he shouldn’t be. As your pet gets comfortable in your home, you’ll notice that their pet hair gets everywhere. You’ll want to make sure you have a vacuum that’s specifically designed to take care of pet hair on carpets and furniture. That way, you can always get a deep clean and get rid of pesky pet hair. When you’re doing laundry, get dryer sheets for pet hair that will help reduce pet hair and static cling on your clothing.
- Preventative Tip: Bond with Your Pet — Can you imagine you’re being brought to a brand new home, and you’re expected to integrate with strangers you’ve never met before? It sounds like college or that one time you backpacked through Europe and stayed at a hostel, but even then, it always helps to familiarize yourself with your environment. Allow your pet to get comfortable in their new space. To help them feel more comfortable, it’s important to bond with your pet. Bonding could mean you get them a toy and you play tug-of-war or throw the ball in the backyard — or it could be as simple as your cat sitting in your lap as you groom them with a cat hair removal tool.
- Preventative Tip: Keep Your Pet Entertained — Bonding with your pet will help your furry friend grow comfortable in their environment. When you’re not home or simply too busy to give them enough attention, you’ll want to make sure they can be entertained on their own for a bit. For cats, get them a dedicated scratching post so they scratch that and not your furniture. Dogs should have plenty of chew toys to keep them occupied as well.
- Pet-Proofing Your Kitchen and Laundry Room — According to Apartment Therapy, you’ll want to make sure you lock away anything that can be toxic to pets. That includes foods that aren’t pet-friendly in your kitchen and using a trash can with a pet-proof lid so they don’t get into the trash. In your laundry room, you’ll want to make sure that any laundry detergents, especially detergent pods that can be swallowed, are kept out of your pet’s reach.
No matter the size of your home or if you have a cat or dog, at some point, your furry companion will attempt to turn your humble abode into a giant chew toy or scratching post. It’s in their nature, and it’s in both of your best interests to ensure you do everything possible to make your pet at home while still placing literal and figurative boundaries in place. The most important thing is that your pet feels well-loved. If that means you need to give them extra snuggle time when you groom them with a pet hair removal tool, then treasure every special moment with your new member of the family.