Providing a safe home for your pets includes more than just giving them some food, water, and a place to sleep. Other factors come into play, such as removing any poisonous plants and choking hazards, and providing a place for your pet to get away from the stress created by other animals and humans.
This article walks you through how to create a pet-friendly home so your beloved animal companion remains safe and content.
Inspect Your Home for Pet Hazards
Before bringing a new pet into your home, you need to inspect your property for various hazards to ensure that your pet has a safe environment in which to live. Here are some of the more common hazards pets may encounter at home and what you can do to fix them:
Choke points: Choke points, such as looping electric cords and long window blind cords, could present a hazard for your pet.
If you see such hazards, take steps to remedy them, including tying up electric cords and shortening blind cords.
Human foods and drugs: Many human foods and drugs can adversely affect your pet, so put them away and out of reach.
Some examples include the caffeine found in chocolate and leftover coffee grounds. And in addition to representing a choking hazard, some fruits can cause cyanide poisoning in dogs.
Finally, mundane food items such as grapes and raisins can actually cause kidney failure in some animals.
Poisonous plants: If you keep plants in or around your home, make sure they are pet-safe. Plants such as lilies, poinsettias, and amaryllis are toxic to pets. Opt for options such as spider plants, palms, and bamboo instead.
Dangerous chemicals: You need to keep chemicals dangerous to pets — such as antifreeze, pesticides, and many home-cleaning products — in a safe location.
The best place to keep them include cupboards that are locked up or high up, since some pets can open low-lying cupboards in your home. In addition, if you must set traps for mice and other rodents, restrict your pet’s access to those areas.
Open toilets: In addition to representing a drowning hazard, an open toilet could also provide access to poisonous chemicals. By putting the toilet lid down after each use, you can keep your pets safe.
High windows: Open windows high up represent a falling hazard for pets, especially for cats that like to climb. If you must open your windows, make sure that the screens are sturdy and properly in place.
Give Your Pets Their Own Space
Whether it’s a particular corner, a pet bed, or even a pet crate, your pet should be given exclusive use of an area in which they can relax and get away from the rest of the household. To make it even more comfortable, place adequate food and water nearby, and make sure that the area is nowhere near the place where they relieve themselves.
When trying to determine what your pets need when it comes to relieving themselves, keep the following information in mind:
Cats: Make sure to place the litter box for a cat in a quiet area where they can get plenty of privacy. You should also make sure to clean the litter box regularly or your cat might refuse to use it, going elsewhere in your home.
Dogs: Dogs usually relieve themselves outside in the yard or elsewhere. You should consider installing a pet door for this purpose. When it comes to a doggie door, keep in mind that you should buy one in a size appropriate for your pet.
Other pets: Other small pets such as birds, fish, and gerbils typically relieve themselves in their cage or aquarium. In this case, you should clean the pet’s living space regularly.
If you don’t, the pet could become sick and even die. This includes changing out the paper and any materials placed in the bottom of a cage, or the water in a fish tank.
Providing a safe environment for your pets at home means identifying and eliminating any potential hazards. You should also make sure that your pet has an area they can call their own, making them feel like a part of the family.