If you’ve got a pet, you understand the joys of pet ownership also come with some responsibilities. Especially if that pet is young and still curious enough to get into everything and escape through the smallest spaces. We all know to be on the lookout for toxic foods and plants, and select quality, nontoxic pet toys, but what else is there to think about? The good news is, there’s no need to worry, it’s easy to pet proof your home, it just takes a little thought from a pet’s eye perspective.
In the kitchen
Food is the first big deal—make sure the chocolate is kept well out of your pet’s reach. Ditto things like avocados, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and more. Most pet owners keep their trash can well out of Fido’s reach, make sure your compost bin is equally inaccessible as well.
In the bath and laundry
Medications, cleaners, detergents and all those normal things are obvious dangers, but the surprising one is dental floss—make sure it’s not where your furry friend can play with it. Dogs can be very tempted to chew on, and swallow, stray socks and small clothing items. If your pet likes to drink out of the toilet, keep the lid down.
Cats have an almost eerie tendency to like sleeping in washers and dryers, so check before you load—and keep the doors closed when not in use.
Living room and office
Young pets especially like to chew, and a plugged in electrical cord can do some serious damage. Tuck cords away and out of reach (it looks better too). If your pet is young, or just very curious, limit their ability to roam freely by closing doors while you’re away, and keep the areas they’re in free of small, chewable things.
Other odds and ends
- Want another reason to avoid mothballs? They’re incredibly toxic for your pet. Try cedar, or other natural solutions instead.
- Everyday things like batteries, buttons, coins, paperclips, hair ties, and jewelry can all pose choking hazards, or do other damage if swallowed. Craft supplies are exceptionally dangerous—with pins, needles, scissors, glue and more.
- Antifreeze, oil, coolant, and other chemicals found in the garage should be kept well out of your pet’s reach—they’re incredibly toxic—and spills should be cleaned up immediately.
- Whenever possible, opt for nontoxic, pet-friendly garden and yard products to reduce the risks of ingestion—another good reason to avoid pesticides and chemical fertilizers! Completed compost (if it’s from a safe source) poses no danger to your pet and is perfect alternative to harsh chemicals.