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9 Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home

Everyone loves their pets, but pretty much any pet owner will claim that their biggest pet hate, pardon the pun, is the mess that comes along with welcoming an animal into the family and into the home. If you want to make it less of concern, have a read of some of these top tips which should make the process altogether a more enjoyable one.

There are 9 suggestions here to enable a change of habits, but this list is far from exhaustive. It’s all about striking a balance. We want the benefits of having our furry friends around, whilst maintaining a reasonable standard of cleanliness and hygiene. These tips should help you on your way to installing a place for both your pets and those of particular disposition hygiene wise, to live together in, as one happy family.

Rubber Gloves

If you’re looking to remove pet hair from your home, be it from carpets or the sofa, donning a pair of dishwashing gloves can make all the difference. You’ll feel like a superhero as the fur sticks to your fingertips and it’s even more satisfying to see how, once submerged in soapy water, the fur parts company with the gloves and settles on the surface of the water. Pet owner hack numero uno right there.

Lint Rollers

With your rubber glove magic trick in your back pocket, you won’t need the lint roller as much as you used to, but it’s always a good idea to have it ready, just in case the mother in law comes over, or to smarten yourself up before a big day out.

Baby Wipes

Not the most environmentally friendly solutions it’s true, but the power of the baby wipe when it comes to collecting pet hair, even surpasses the mighty rubber glove. Try it for yourself and be amazed! Don’t go to town with the baby wipes though, think of the planet!

Vacuum Your Pets

No, really. They might even love the sensation of the warm pull of the vacuum. Like a hairdryer in reverse. You could pretend you’re a professional dog groomer if it helps you stop feeling like a crazy person running the vacuum over your bewildered dog. For tips on actual grooming, there are plenty more here at Pet Town, none of which require the use of a vacuum.

Bicarb Soda

Extra freshness guaranteed. If you know your little furry friends are prone to sharing the furniture with you, and if you know that you’re prone to letting them get away with this, adding a cup of bicarb soda to your washing load can do a lot more than just detergent alone.

Clean That Collar

How long has it been since the collar was cleaned? Months? Years? Never? These often go unnoticed, but remember, wherever your dog has been, so too has their collar. You’ve probably stopped reading and are already on the way to wash the collar right now. That’s a good thing. Ew.

Lavender Oil

This is a contentious one, as it has been claimed that some essential oils can be potentially harmful to pooches, however, this is usually only if they are consumed and swallowed. Pamper your pooch and sooth your fellow humans in the process by dropping a little lavender oil on to the fur. Odors will be eliminated, whilst ticks and fleas will be kept at arm’s length.

Win, win. All of this considered though, you have to way up the risk of poisoning from consumption, as some of the symptoms to watch out for include painful convulsions, cramping in the abdomen and nausea. If you know your dog is a bit of a licker, it’s probably best to give this one a wide berth. For none nosey dogs, a drop of lavender oil between the shoulder blades should be absolutely fine.

A Place to Clean

A muddy walk in the woods doesn’t need to turn into a muddy afternoon indoors. An outside tap, if you can fix it up, is a great way of ensuring that muddy paws don’t get indoors.

Wash Toys

Don’t ignore them. The longer they remain unwashed, the worse they get, and although our pets’ immune systems are far harder than ours, they’ll surely appreciate a cleaned toy every now and then. Hard toys can go in the dishwasher if that doesn’t sit too uneasily with you, whilst soft toys can be tossed into the washing machine. For some reason, it seems to make sense that they should go in with the socks and underpants.

Top Plants That Are Poisonous To Pets

Many people are unaware the dangers that some plants, many common while others are not so common; the dangers that plants can oppose on our dogs. Beings as there are many plants that are poisonous to pets, I have broken down a small list containing the top most poisonous to pets.

Essential Oils (many come from plants)

Unlike humans, many animals are sensitive to essential oils. As the using and diffusing of essential oils has become quite popular in the past few years, it is important to know what oils can be harmful or even fatal to your animals.

Specifically speaking, cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils; some are even poisonous.

The main reason essential oils are so dangerous to cats is due to the difference in human and cat livers. Their livers don’t produce the same enzymes that would allow their bodies to breakdown certain chemicals in essential oils, like we can.

When they are exposed to specific oils on a regular basis, toxins will begin to build up in their livers; in turn this will make them extremely sick very, very fast.

Oils to Avoid

Any oils that have phenol and monoterpene hydrocarbons are specifically toxic to cats.

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Citrus Oils
  • Pine Oils
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Tea Tree
  • Eucalyptus
  • And many more, these are just a few more commonly used oils to avoid.

Water Hemlock

(Cicuta maculate)
 This plant has been known to be the “most violently toxic plant in North America”. I think this will go without saying but yes that means for your pet as well. The Water Hemlock is a wildflower, large in size and belongs in the carrot family.

The reason this plant is so deadly is because it is infused with deadly cicutoxin, mostly in its roots. When it is ingested the symptoms come on quite fast.

What to look for:

  • Convulsions that can be very painful
  • Death is common when ingested
  • Cramping in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Animals that survive, people even, have long-lasting tremors or get amnesia.

Autumn Crocus

These plants grow in the springtime and are poisonous to your fur babies so be careful the flowers you plant! This plant is also referred to as the Meadow Saffron or Naked Lady. These are very toxic to animals and can show a variety of symptoms and signs when ingested by your pet.

What to look for:

  • Severe drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (uncontrollable bowels)
  • Lack of appetite or not eating at all
  • Blood in their stool
  • Black or tarry like stool
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures (central nervous system signs)
  • And in some cases, if it is too late, death will occur

It is very important to remember with this plant, after ingested it may take days for the signs to show up, some may come on immediately but that is not always the case.


The daffodil flower contains something called lycorine; this is an alkaloid that has properties that triggers severe vomiting. The toxic and poisonous part of this plant comes from the bulb, plant or actual flower itself.

What to look for:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Uncontrollable bowels and or diarrhea
  • Heart rate increased
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Breathing will become abnormal
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

It is vital to seek veterinary assistance if you feel your pet has ingested this flower or is showing these signs or symptoms.

Sago Palm

These palms are typically and naturally found in tropical/subtropical environments; these plants are also commonly found inside houses. Therefore, they can pose a threat to your animals. They are severely poisonous. The seeds and nuts are the most poisonous part of the plant.

Signs or symptoms can occur anywhere from fifteen minutes to many hours after the plant is ingested. Central nervous system signs and liver failure can be apparent within 2-3 days after ingestion.  Aggressive treatment is vital as soon as symptoms show up; because aggressive treatment still only has a 50/50% chance for survival.

What to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Lack of appetite or not eating at all
  • Abnormal fluid buildup in the abdomen
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Black-tarry stool

With this plant it is more than important to seek IMMEDIATE medical attention to potentially save your pets life.

Christmas Tree

The oils that the Christmas tree (fir tree) produces can irritate the mouth and stomach. When ingested the tree needles can cause gastrointestinal issues such as, irritation, obstruction or even puncturing.

The water that is used to nourish your Christmas tree to keep it alive can also be very poisonous to your animals. Because this water contains bacteria, molds, fertilizers it can make your animal very sick, very fast.

What to look for:

  • Excessive vomiting
  • Excessive drooling

As for pet owners, as pretty as they might be, these trees can cause your pets to become extremely ill in a short period of time.

Holly and Mistletoe

Another nice and popular holiday plant, that’s extremely poisonous to your animals. The plans and even the berries on these plants are more toxic than the poinsettia.

Mistletoe contains many substances that are toxic to not just cats but dogs as well; if a decent or large amount of this plant is ingested seizures and death may follow.

Mistletoe is commonly known for causing:

  • Severe intestinal issues
  • Upset stomachs
  • Sudden and severe drop in their blood pressure
  • Breathing problems
  • Hallucinations or unusual behavior

If you must have these plants for the holidays, pet parents should keep them out of reach of animals or out of the house completely. Even when these plants are dried, they are still just as poisonous to your fur babies.

What to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Abdomen pain

As pet owners we love our fur babies and correct me if I’m wrong, but it is our responsibility to care for them in the best way possible. We are their care takers; after all they are our four-legged children.

As pet owners or caretakers, we should always be aware of what we could be exposing our animals to; you know your animals’ behavior better than anyone so be cautious of what plants to have around your house to avoid any illnesses.

Remember this is just a small list and if your pet has any of these signs or you’re concerned your pet might have ingested something it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.