How to Create a Pet-Friendly Home
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Providing a safe home for your pets includes more than just giving them some food, water, and a place to sleep. Other factors come into play, such as removing any poisonous plants, choking hazards, and providing a place for your pet to get away from the stress of other pets and humans.
In this article, Part 1 talks about the importance of searching for any hazards before bringing a pet into your home, and Part 2 describes ways you can give pets a space of their own.
Part 1 of 2: Inspect your home for pet hazards
Before bringing a new pet into your home, you need to inspect for various hazards to ensure that your pet has a safe environment in which to live. The following section details some of the more common hazards pets may experience at home and what you can do to fix them.
- Choke points: Choke points, such as looping electric cords and long window blind cords, could be present a hazard for your pet. Unlike a human, a pet does not know the hidden danger that choke points represent.
Worse yet, once they get into a situation, it might be hard for them to get out of it, and unless a human is present, they could get hurt or even die. You should look for choke points around the house.
If you see such hazards, take steps to remedy them, including tying up electric cords and shortening blind cords.
- Human foods and drugs: Many human foods and drugs can adversely affect your pet, so keep them put away and out of reach.
Some examples include the caffeine found in chocolate and leftover coffee grinds. In addition to representing a choking hazard, some fruits can result in cyanide poisoning in dogs.
Finally, mundane food items, such as grapes and raisins, can actually cause kidney failure in some animals.
- Poisonous plants: If you keep plants in or around your home, make sure they are pet safe. Plants, such as lilies, poinsettias, and amaryllis are toxic to pets. Opt for plants such as spider plants, palms, and bamboo instead.
- Dangerous chemicals: You need to keep chemicals dangerous to pets, such as antifreeze, pesticides, and many home cleaning products, in an area your pets can’t get into.
The best place to keep them include locked up or high up cupboards, since some pets can often open low-lying cupboards in your home. In addition, if you must set traps for mice and other rodents, restrict your pet’s access to those areas.
- Open toilet lids: In addition to representing a drowning hazard, an open toilet could also provide access to poisonous chemicals. By putting the toilet lid down after each use, you can keep your pets safe.
- High windows: Open windows high up represent a falling hazard for pets, especially for cats that like to climb. If you must open your windows, make sure that the screens are sturdy and properly in place.
Part 2 of 2: Give your pets their own space
In addition to removing any potential hazardous substances and situations in your house, you also need to give your pets their own area to live in. Whether it’s a particular corner, a pet bed, or even a pet crate, this area should be exclusively for the use of your pet to relax in and get away from the rest of the household. To make it even more comfortable, place adequate food and water nearby, and make sure that the area is nowhere near where they use the bathroom.
When trying to determine what your pets need when it comes to using the bathroom, keep the following information in mind:
- Litter boxes: Make sure to place the litter box for a cat in a quiet area where they can get plenty of privacy. You should also make sure to clean the litter box regularly or your cat might refuse to use it, going elsewhere in your home.
- Dogs: Dogs usually go to the bathroom outside in the yard or elsewhere. You should consider installing a pet door for this purpose. When it comes to a doggie door, keep in mind that you should buy one in a size appropriate for your pet.
- Other pets: Other small pets, such as birds, fish, and gerbils, typically use the bathroom in their cage or aquarium. In this case, you should clean the pet’s living space with regularity.
If you don’t, the pet could become sick and even die. This includes changing out the paper and any materials placed in the bottom of a cage or the water in a fish tank.
Providing a safe environment for your pets to live in at home takes a little investigating for potential hazards that your pets may encounter before bringing them into your home. Then making sure that your pet has an area they can call their own, making them feel like a part of the family.