Getting a pet, whether a cat, dog, bird or even a snake, is a fantastic way to grow your family and bring everybody together. However, you can’t just bring them into the home without first thinking about pet-proofing every room, space, and outdoor area.
Pets, especially young ones, can be curious creatures, and while you might not consider anything in the house dangerous, the same can’t be said for your new family member. There is a wide range of hazards that could impact your pet’s health and happiness, so here are ten easy ways to pet-proof your home before you bring them back.
No matter how old they are when you bring them home, pets are still a lot like children. They won’t know what’s right and what’s wrong. They won’t understand certain safety aspects that will prevent them from hurting themselves or causing a disaster when you turn your back.
With this in mind, you must go around the house and make it safe for them. Childproof latches will stop them from trying to get into cabinets and cupboards, while door closers will prevent any slamming that could catch their cute little paws in between.
You can also install a gate inside the home that stops them from going upstairs, as they might be able to get up easily, but also get stuck when they want to come down. This can cause stress and anxiety and means you’ll come upstairs to a puddle, or worse, soaking into your brand new carpet.
It’s also useful to keep your furniture safe from pets. Their claws could dig into the fabric. They might even have an accident or two if they aren’t properly house trained. It may not be the most attractive of things, but transparent plastic sheets can keep most of your furniture safe while teaching them, and it will give you peace of mind that you can leave them alone when you need to go back to work.
If you’re planning on letting your pet sleep in the same room as you, consider looking at Bedroom Furniture Discounts to stop them from damaging more expensive pieces. While your pet might be on their best behavior when you’re around, separation anxiety could cause them to act out, and you’ll come home to a snowdrift of feathers strewn all over the bedroom floor.
Hide the Wires
We live in a world where we have more cables littered around the house than anything else, but you know what pets love to do? They love to play with things they can bat around or tug at.
It’s no surprise, then, that you should make sure to hide all of your cables and wires so that their curious claws or teeth don’t get too close to it. Not only could this hurt them, but it could also severely damage your cables, and while this isn’t the end of the world, especially compared to an injured pet, it’s certainly not convenient.
Plenty of Space
Pets of all ages need plenty of space to run around. They need to burn off energy so they can snooze happily later on, and the exercise will also help them grow up big and strong.
This means that you’ll need to find or create the space for them to use. Ideally, you’ll need a yard. There, they can at least run around if they seem restless. Likewise, you should consider where you can take them for walks.
For smaller pets, such as cats, you can find cat towers and scratching posts that will allow them to explore. If you’re proficient with DIY, you could even make some cat furniture yourself to maximize the number of play options they have.
Check the Plants
Just like in humans, some plants and flowers can be poisonous to pets. If you’re going to pet-proof every inch of your home, you mustn’t forget about your yard and any plants you have.
You can find plenty of information online about which plants are safe. While you may think it’s okay to risk it or install precautionary fencing to keep them away from the plants, it’s perhaps best to remove anything that could be dangerous to your pets.
In the same vein as cables, pets can be curious, and they will try to eat anything they come across at first, so it’s always worth being extra careful to avoid any accidents that could make your pet sick.
Watch For Closing Doors and Drawers
You don’t want your cat, dog, or rabbit to get caught in a door or trapped inside a cupboard, so it’s essential to watch for closing doors and drawers.
At first, your pet might follow you wherever you go, and they might take a liking to particular parts of the house. These can be your food cupboard, your refrigerator, or even your underwear drawer! Their paws may reach in between open hinges, and if you’re not careful, there is the risk of trapping their poor legs (arms?) in between.
It’s crucial to make sure that everyone in the house understands this danger, and if you need to put up signs around the house to remind them, then that’s what you’ll need to do.
Cover Up the Vents
If your house has lots of vents all over for the heating and air conditioning system, you must make sure these are fully covered so they can’t get in and hide. There is nothing worse than thinking you’ve lost your pet, and if they are smaller, like cats who are explorative, you might think they have run off while you had your back turned.
It’s easy for them to get trapped inside a vent, and the darkness can be terrifying to them, which could cause them stress. If you have any damaged or old vents, it might be worth replacing them to be on the safe side.
Even if you don’t have vents, there are still other places around the house where your pet could get trapped. They might get stuck behind the sofa or the bookcase. Push these as close to the wall as possible, or fit something in the way that blocks the entrance.
Gates and Fences
An indoor gate has already been discussed, but you should think about installing one outside on the driveway. Cats won’t have much trouble getting over this, so keep an eye on them, but dogs can be prone to running away, especially if they are still in training.
A gate at the end of the driveway will keep them safe and stop them from running off. Furthermore, it can deter thieves from taking the opportunity to snatch your pet as they walk past. To take this a step further, you can put a homemade fence in the garden that will stop them from going walkabouts while relaxing in the yard.
These measures won’t need to stay here forever, but while your pet is getting used to their new surroundings and still being trained, they can make a huge difference and teach your pet which boundaries are safe.
Put Delicate Objects Out of Reach
New pets can be curious, so make sure you keep all delicate items and valuables such as glasses and phones out of reach. You don’t want to come home and find out some of your most expensive things have fallen victim to a random act of destruction.
This often happens because of separation anxiety. Your pet might look for something that smells like you, and they will do everything they can to get it. In the process, your exquisite vases could end up smashed on the floor. Not only will this cost you a lot, but it can also scare your pet.
Another issue arises with the shards and remnants of such items. Your pet might try to snack on them, and this could be a choking hazard or damage their stomach should they manage to swallow it.
All The Essentials
To top it all off, you will need all the essentials to make sure your pet lives a happy life in their new home. You will need a bed, food, bowl, and plenty of toys for them to play with, build their strength, and have fun.
It’s always best to purchase the essentials before you bring your pet home. This will give the items time to absorb the smells of your home, and this makes it easier for your pet to get comfortable with them.
You can also purchase something like a blanket and take it to your pet for them to sleep with before you adopt them, as this will make the transition away from a familiar environment less stressful and help them adapt better.
The safety and happiness of your new pet are paramount, and while they will take some time to get used to their new surroundings, doing everything you can to create a safe and comfortable space will help them adjust quickly. From inside to out, you need to ensure that every inch of the home is ready to bring a pet home, so they can enjoy it just as much as you do.