Just like a curious child, dogs will often find ways to cause mischief around the house, possibly hurting themselves in the process. Providing a safe living environment for your pet is a necessary part of responsible dog ownership. The process is very similar to baby-proofing your home, so if you’ve done that before, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Best of all, we will teach you how to make your home safer for your pet without spending a lot of cash.
This guide also works for those who are moving into a new place entirely. With unfamiliar wiring and nooks for your dog to hide in, it’s best to stay on the cautious side in a new home.
Before we begin, it’s also important to note that pets undergo stress when moving. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help your dog feel and stay safe before, during, and after the moving process. Things like providing a familiar toy or blanket before the move, giving your dog food and water before the drive, or putting your dog in a quiet area of the house while you move in your furniture can really smooth out the experience.
Kitchen and Bathroom
Kitchens and bathrooms harbor a variety of potentially lethal chemicals like cleaning supplies and medication, along with dangerous sharp objects that your pet could get into. Pet-proofing is imperative since pets can accidentally harm themselves in these two areas of the house.
- To prevent small paws from prying open cabinets, use child-proof latches to keep them shut.
- Place medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves.
- Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet.
- Check for and block any small spaces, nooks, or holes inside cabinets or behind washer and dryer units.
- Small animals love to hide in small places, so be sure to check the washer and dryer before turning them on.
- Keep foods out of reach (even if the food isn’t harmful, the wrapper could be).
- Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent drowning or drinking of harmful cleaning chemicals.
You may look around the living room and find there isn’t much to pet proof. But again, many house pets, especially younger ones, are inquisitive by nature and will investigate, sniff, chew, and play with every square inch of the house. Consider the following:
- Place dangling wires from lamps, televisions, stereos, and telephones out of reach.
- Put away children’s toys and games.
- Fragile things are at risk from uncoordinated younger pets. Put them away until your pet finds its proper footing.
- Younger pets always seem to find debris-filled spots in the house where the vacuum doesn’t reach. Be sure to locate and clean these spots by hand and remove anything they could choke on.
- Move common house plants that may be poisonous out of reach. Don’t forget hanging plants that can be jumped onto from nearby surfaces.
- Make sure all heating/air vents have covers.
- Be cognizant of electrical safety and have up-to-date heating and air commodities.
- Put away all sewing and craft items, especially thread and sharp needles.
If your pet sleeps in the same room as you do, there will be restless nights when your pet would rather go off exploring than sleep. Look around your nightstand and the walls for any low-hanging objects. Here are some quick precautions you can consider in the bedroom to keep your pet safe:
- Small, mouth-sized objects like drawstrings and buttons can cause major problems if swallowed, so keep laundry and shoes in a restricted area.
- Keep any medications, lotions, or cosmetics off accessible surfaces (like the bedside table).
- Move electrical and phone wires out of chewing range.
- Younger pets often nestle in clothes drawers. Be sure you don’t accidentally trap your dog inside.
- Look out for paws, noses, and tails when you shut doors behind you or scoot chairs.
If you spend a lot of time in the garage, you’ll want to provide a safe place for your pet to explore. Similar to the kitchen, the garage is home to a number of dangerous chemicals and sharp objects. Here are some prevention steps to make the garage safer for your dog:
- Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors.
- Clean all antifreeze from the floor and driveway, since some types are enticing to pets.
- Keep all sharp objects and tools out of reach.
For many owners, pet-proofing is a process that will take days or even longer, because no matter how many cautionary steps are taken, pets always seem to find something that you missed.