A new pet is more than an adorable bundle of fur; it’s also a big responsibility. That pesky puppy or curious kitten can find lots of ways to get into trouble. A pet’s safety always comes first, but you’ll also want to take steps to safeguard your furniture, carpeting, and other belongings (including that favorite pair of shoes). Read on for tips that will help you pet-proof your home.
Pet Safety: Gates and Latches
It’s important to restrict a new pet’s access to your home by shutting off rooms with a closed door or child gates. Establishing boundaries for your puppy or kitten early on leads to a well-trained adult animal.
Household Cleaners, Chemicals, and Plants
While your pet is still getting accustomed to its new home, install childproof latches on cabinet doors and keep household chemicals and cleaners — such as bleach, ammonia, and antifreeze — well sealed and out of your pet’s reach.
“People Food” and Other Common Pet Dangers
Animals of all ages be kept away from “people food” — onions, garlic, chocolate, and raisins, in particular, are harmful to pets. Pet medicine is designed to taste good to dogs, which can tempt them to chew through the bottles, leading to overdose. Some owners give their pets medications meant for people, such as ibuprofen, a hazardous practice that can cause damage to pets’ intestines and kidneys. Keep human and pet medications separate, and keeping both safely stored away. Electrical cords are another potential hazard, because teething puppies enjoy chewing on squishy wires. Unplug unnecessary cords and purchase protective covers for outlets and power strips.
The Great Outdoors
Many pet owners believe that their new pets’ instincts will keep them away from harm, a common assumption that can seriously endanger pets left free to roam outdoors. Letting dogs and cats run loose outside can lead to fights with other animals, as well as injuries from cars and people. Keeping dogs on a leash at all times outside. Cats should be kept indoors for the most part, although they can be allowed to venture into a backyard if they’re kept on a leash under their owner’s supervision.