The Ultimate Pet-Proofing Guide (for first-time pet parents, foster parents, etc.)

We all love those pet videos uploaded on social media. They are a mix of adorable, vulnerable, energetic, sleepy, and some of the most hilarious pet mischief on the internet. These are the traits we love in our pets. They are forever young and they also keep us young. As new pet owners, foster parents, or the proud owners of a new addition to our pet family, we can look forward to making our own videos; along with the bragging rights for having the best pets in the world! We just have to keep them safe when we bring them home.

There is a simple trick to going through your home before your new pet arrives. Imagine you’re bringing home a very active toddler who has never been to your home before. Look throughout your home with the same mindset, and those things that would hurt a young child will do the same to your pet whether young or full grown.

As you go through your home, room by room, remember your pet can jump and reach higher than most toddlers, and have been known to chew on everything from electrical cords, to remotes (batteries included), plants, furniture, cabinetry, molding, and stairs. A good precaution when you bring your pet home is to get a low-cost pet insurance plan, and match it with a home warranty repair plan to cover to take care of both pet and home. 

 

Here are some room-specific tips to keep your furry friend safe from harm!

 

 

Kitchen 

  • Install child safety latches to keep animals from foodstuffs, utensils and cleaning supplies – all of which are intriguing things to ingest.
  • Overeating basic foods can cause bloat. Uncooked grains, beans, flour, and the like are dangerous to ingest as they might swell in your pet’s stomach and become harmful.

 

Bathroom

  • Keep all razors, cotton swabs, cotton balls, creams, loofahs, soaps, dental floss, and cleaning supplies away and out of reach.
  • Install child safety latches for under sink cabinets.
  • Medications and supplements are one of the biggest reasons for trips to the vets. Make sure they are higher up than your cat or dog can reach and are locked away!

 

Living Room and Bedroom 

  • Make a cozy place for your pet to call their own.
  • Check out the ASPCA’s poison control list of poisonous plants
  • Clear away any small objects, including toys, coins, jewelry, and manicure sets from reach of your pets as they are easily ingested.

 

Laundry

  • Keep all laundry supplies and any cleaning supplies up high and tightly closed. 
  • Always check before using your washer and dryer to see if your pet has found a new  hiding place in your appliances.

 

Garage and Backyard

  • Fences help keep dogs safe. Make sure yours is appropriately high and strong enough for the size of your dog.
  • Keep all gasoline, antifreeze, cleaning supplies, and windshield washer liquid sealed and stored on high shelves. 
  • Clear away used rags.
  • Store all sharp tools high up. 
  • Keep all screws, bolts, wire, string, etc., in tight containers.
  • If your animals are allowed in the garage, give the hood of your car a smack before starting it to ensure there are no slumbering pets inside.

 

Block Off and Seal Off Small Openings and Enclosures Throughout Your Home

  • Puppies and cats tend to like small enclosures, but they can get stuck and hurt. Seal off these openings to help keep them from bad situations.

 

Holidays

  • If you’re bringing your pet home during any of the holidays, it might be easier to put up unbreakable ornaments until your new pet has had some more training and feels right at home. 

 

A new addition to your family can be the beginning of a beautiful journey. Take the time to pet-proof your home and ensure that it’s a comfortable place for both of you.

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