How to pet-proof your home
If you’re a pet owner, we’re sure you’re already well-aware of how sneaky your pet can be. Despite the angelic little faces, your pet can get into anything and everything—making it that much more important to be prepared. So when moving into a new home, you’ll want to make sure your space is thoroughly pet-proofed by tackling each of these issues.
The dangers of dropped food
Your pet may love to beg for scraps of food from the table (with occasional success), but people-food is people-food for a reason. Lots of common household foods that wouldn’t normally attract attention can prove disastrous to your pet’s digestive system. Chocolate and grapes are both especially dangerous to dogs, and can be deadly if consumed in large amounts. And coffee grounds can be hazardous for smaller dogs, as it dangerously amps up their circulatory system. Make sure all dangerous foods are stored in sealed plastic containers, and on shelves too high for your pet to reach.
Latch those cabinets
Another common threat are the household cleaning items you might have lying around your home. If you store chemical products in the cabinet beneath your sink, make sure to secure those cabinets with a plastic safety latch, like you would for a toddler. Also, be sure to watch out for containers of detergent pods stored on the ground, as their plastic wrapping can prove too tempting for your pet to resist.
Really… my retainer?
There’s often not a lot of rhyme or reason behind why your pet goes after certain items. Maybe it’s your smell, maybe it’s the color, but for whatever reason the items on your bedside table can often be particularly attractive to your dog. If you sleep with a night-guard or retainer, make sure to put it back in its case each night and store it in the drawer of your bedside table. And if you sleep with soft foam earplugs, make sure to keep their container locked away as well—dogs love those squishy plastic treats!
‘Hmm, that black wire sure looks tasty…’
As anyone who’s ever come home to a demolished pair of running shoes can attest, pets have strong chewing and oral instincts. A behavioral trait leftover from when their ancestors hunted their own food, your pet’s fierce chewing is not a big deal when it’s just shoelaces, but with electrical wires it’s a different story. Chewing on live wire can lead to oral burns and even electrocution, and many wires contain metals like zinc or copper, making them dangerous to consume. Make sure all loose wires are secured, preferably behind furniture and out of reach. You can also bundle groups of wires together, which makes it harder for your pet’s tiny mouth to pick apart.
Greens that aren’t healthy to eat
While houseplants are a wonderful and simple way to add color and vibrancy to an interior space, you need to be careful which flora you select if you’ve got pets around. Certain types of common plants can be toxic to your little critters, including lilies (shown to cause kidney failure in cats), and rhododendrons (which can cause vomiting and seizures). And if you’re a homebrewer, make sure your dog doesn’t eat any hops, which can cause their body temperature to rapidly increase past the point of safety.