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5 Tips to Pet-Proof Your Home

Owning a pet requires a lot of responsibility, and their antics can sometimes endanger their wellbeing and damage your possessions. Our Island Animal Hospital team knows how chaotic owning a pet can be. To protect your pet and your belongings read our home pet-proofing tips.

#1: Ensure your pet gets adequate exercise

Pets need mental stimulation and physical exercise to improve their wellbeing and prevent behavioral problems. Tips include:

  • Take your dog exploring — Take your dog for a vigorous walk, exploring new locations so they can see, smell, and hear new things. Allow them to sniff to their heart’s content, and as long as they are fit enough, keep them moving at a brisk pace so they get the exercise they need. 
  • Motivate your cat — Use wand-style toys and laser pointers to entice your cat to run and jump. Schedule time at least twice a day to get them moving.
  • Use a food puzzle toy — Feed your pet in a food puzzle toy to make mealtimes more interesting and mentally challenging.

#2: Provide appropriate pet resources 

Ensure your pet has the resources they need to feel secure and content in their environment. Tips include:

  • Provide comfortable resting places — Ensure your pet has a comfortable place to sleep, so they get the rest they need.
  • Ensure your dog’s chew toys are appropriate — Dogs need to chew, and they will chew your belongings if they don’t have appropriate chew toys. Ensure the toys you provide your dog are safe (e.g., not too small, not too hard), and that they don’t resemble any off-limits items such as shoes.
  • Ensure your cat’s litter box is acceptable — Cats prefer a clean litter box placed in a quiet area. We recommend providing one litter box for every cat in your home, plus one extra.
  • Provide appropriate scratching posts — Similar to a dog’s need to chew, cats need to scratch. Ensure they have appropriate scratching surfaces throughout your home to prevent them from scratching your furniture and carpet.

#3: Protect your pet from foreign body ingestion

If your pet ingests a foreign body, they can experience a gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction, which may require surgical removal. Tips to protect your pet include:

  • Store toys appropriately — Keep all children’s toys and board game pieces stored in closed bins when not in use.
  • Place garbage in sealed containers — Pets like to dumpster dive, and they may ingest a foreign body, such as plastic wrap, when gobbling an off-limits treat. Keep your garbage in sealed containers to ensure your pet cannot access the hazards within.
  • Keep drawers and closet doors closed — If your pet ingests shoelaces, drawstrings, or socks they can experience a GI obstruction. Always keep your dresser drawers and closet doors closed. 
  • Store bath-time accessories appropriately — Your pet may find bath toys and loofah sponges intriguing. Store these accessories in a secure cabinet. 
  • Keep hair accessories off the floor — Your pet can easily swallow hair ties and small barrettes, potentially experiencing a GI obstruction. Store these trinkets securely.

#4: Protect your pet from toxins

Many common household foods and products are pet-toxic. Toxin storage tips include:

  • Clear your kitchen counters — Many foods, such as chocolate, grapes, and sugar-free foods containing xylitol, are pet-toxic. Always keep your kitchen counters clear.
  • Install pet safety latches — Install pet safety latches on your kitchen and bathroom counters.
  • Secure all medications — Many over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications are pet-toxic. Keep all medications on a high shelf behind a latched door. 
  • Secure all cleaning products — Keep all cleaning supplies securely out of your pet’s reach.
  • Shut your toilet lid — Pets always seem to love drinking from off-limit water sources. Toilet cleaners can harm your pet, so keep your toilet lid shut.
  • Ensure plants are pet-safe — Many indoor and outdoor plants are pet-toxic. Ensure all plants in and around your home are safe for pets. 
  • Clean your garage floor — Antifreeze and de-icing products can be pet-toxic. Immediately clean spills from your garage floor.

#5: Protect your pet from injury

Pets, especially small pets, can easily get injured in your home. Injury-prevention tips include:

  • Block access to exercise equipment — Ensure your pet can’t investigate your exercise equipment.
  • Cover electrical cords — Many pets love to chew electrical cords. Cover your electrical cords to prevent your pet from experiencing a shock injury.
  • Contain window cords — Contain curtain and blind cords to ensure your pet can’t get tangled in them.
  • Close reclining chairs — Small pets can get inside reclining chairs and be injured. Keep recliners closed when not in use.
  • Close washer and dryer doors — Pets love to investigate small places. Always keep washer and dryer doors closed, and check inside before starting a load of laundry.
  • Install a stove guard — Install a protective stove guard to help prevent your pet from jumping on a hot surface.
  • Use a fire screen — Place a fire screen around your fireplace to prevent your pet from investigating the fire, smoldering embers, and potentially hot log grates.

Follow these tips to pet-proof your home, and protect your pet and your belongings. Try as you may to ensure your pet’s at-home safety, accidents can still happen. If your pet ingests an off-limits food, item, or product, contact our Island Animal Hospital team.

By |2024-02-14T23:52:37+00:00March 11th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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