As a new pet parent, there are things that you will need to do to prepare for your pet beside buying food and bringing your new friend home. Before your pet comes into your house, you need to make sure that they are going to be kept safe and healthy. Dogs and cats (especially kittens) can be very curious. In addition, this same advice applies to all types of pets, large and small. Here’s how to keep your pet safe in your home; listed by area of the home for easier organization.
There are many chemicals and hazzardous substances in your kitchens and bathrooms. Not only are cleaning chemicals dangerous, but certain foods can make your new pet very sick or even cause death. This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, see my disclosures here.
- Use child-proof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets. Something like this….Ella’s Child Locks would work great. Also, block small spaces like cabinets or behind washer/dryer units where your pet can get stuck. We lived in an apartment once, where the our cat could get under the kitchen cabinets. We had no idea where she could go. We blocked it immediately to save her from her curious nature and harm. And, as silly as it might sound, make sure your kitty has not jumped in the dryer before you turn it on.
- Place medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves.
- Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet. Certain foods, such as cholocate can cause sickness or seizures in dogs. You don’t want them eating something they shouldn’t.
- Along with keeping poisonous food where your pet can’t get to it, keep all foods, even if the food isn’t harmful, out of reach as the wrapper could be dangerous. If it smells like food, your dog or cat is going to want to eat it.
- Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent drowning or drinking of harmful cleaning chemicals. Believe it or not, certain breeds of cat, such as Bengals, love water, so you need to be aware.
- Keep laundry and shoes behind chosed doors as drawstrings and buttons can cause major problems, if swallowed.
- Keep any medications, lotions, or cosmetics off accessible surfaces, like a bedside table or bathroom counters. Soaps can cause eye and skin irritation and tea tree oil used in beauty products can cause poisoning.
- Something as benign as toothpaste for humans, contains sodium flouride and can be toxic to your pet over time, as well.
- Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing. The shock of a plugged in phone or appliance can be very painful for your pet.
- Be careful that you don’t close your kitten in closets or dresser drawers. They will be frightened and have no way to escape.
- Place dangling wires from lamps, televisions, stereos, and telephones out of reach. Just as careful as you would be with your children; pets can get tangled and harmed by cords and wires.
- Put away children’s games and toys and pick the proper toys for your pet. Pets need to chew; it’s a fact of life and a way for them to relieve stress. In picking the proper toy or snack, get one that is made for dogs or cats. Do not let them chew slippers, socks, wood, or children’s toys. It can be harmful and can also teach bad habbits. Below are some suggestions for toys and chews:
- It’s always good to try and find natural healthy snacks and toys for your pets. There is much less chance for unwanted ingredients.
- Put away knick-knacks until your pet has the coordination not to knock them over. If they break, sharp edges can cut their paws and legs.
- Check all those places where your vacuum cleaner doesn’t fit, but your pet does, for dangerous items, like string. In addition, put away all sewing and craft notions, especially thread and needles. Swallowed items will surely require a trip to the vet.
- 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 and air vents have covers. Animals are curious by nature and can get trapped or stuck in the strangest places.
- Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors. Keep all sharp objects and tools out of reach too.
- Clean all antifreeze from the floor and driveway as it smells good and has a sweet taste. One taste can be lethal to your animals.
- If your cars are parked outside, bang on your car hood with your hand to ensure that your kitten (or any neighborhood cat) has not hidden in the engine for warmth. I personally believe that cats should be “indoor cats” for their health, but caution needs to be used for those cats that do spend time outside.
And look out for paws, noses and tails when you shut doors behind you or move chairs around. Smashed paws are never good. When your pet is safe and happy in their surroundings, there will be less stress for everyone, pet or human, and a much more enjoyable experience for everyone. Check out my other pet related posts, in “recent posts” related to dog food, vaccinations and overall animal health.