Naper_iStock_000014863777_LargeIf you’ve decided to invite a little fuzzy monster into your home, it’s best to take a few precautions. Kittens and puppies are not so different than toddlers when it comes to getting into anything and everything in sight. Locking away potentially dangerous items and eliminating clutter will go a long way towards keeping your fuzzball safe and destruction to a dull roar.

Keeping things off the floor might work in the early days if you have a very young pet, but they will find their way onto the counters and into the cupboards in no time. To help you help your pets, we’ve concocted a list of what to look out for so you can keep your pet safe from the most common dangers found around the home.

Pet Proofing: Potential Problems

Cleaning Products – Household chemicals abound in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and garage so do an inventory and find a way to lock those up! Child locks work wonders in kitchen and bathroom cabinets where the most toxic items are found. While putting these problem items out of reach might seem like a good plan, you’ll see why that won’t work once you discover just how high that pup can jump or kitten can climb.

Garbage – Trash is just too tempting to ignore! Most pets are drawn to trash bins for the tantalizing scents and novel scraps, but keep your refuse away from your pets. There are a variety of animal-safe containers available but a really determined critter may figure out how to get inside and possibly be trapped. The only foolproof way to avoid the temptation is to keep most bins in a cupboard or closet. This means the kitchen, the bathroom, and perhaps other trash bins around the house.

Household Traps – Curious pets explore EVERYTHING! Keep the toilet seat down so no one falls in. Check the washer and dryer before closing them to ensure no cosy napping critters are inside. Dresser drawers, linen closets, laundry bins… all inviting places to investigate. If you find your pet likes to hide away, create a pet-safe space for him or her to do so.

Clutter – Basic household clutter can also be a real danger to pets. These are the little things we are constantly retrieving from their grasp or, in the worst case, from their stomachs. Every room in the house has it’s own bounty so declutter each space with an eye open for tempting prizes.

Medications – One of the biggest risks to your pet are the medications you keep in your home. Whether it’s an over-the-counter pain reliever, or something prescribed by your MD, be sure to keep all meds away from your pets. And remember, just because a childproof cap keeps your toddler at bay, it doesn’t mean that your pet can’t chew through the bottle if he or she really wants to find out what’s rattling around inside.

Electrical cords – Our houses seem awash in power cords and charging cables these days, all of which pose a danger. Our pets can get tangled, trapped and can pull items down on top of themselves. All pets seem to go through a phase of chewing on cords. Keeping the cords contained, tied down, and routed behind furniture will help prevent them from getting tangled in them. If you have a pet with a cord chewing problem, start with a deterrent like bitter apple spray.

Plants – Educate yourself on which plants are safe to have around, and which are not. Even if an indoor plant is not poisonous, it may attract unwanted attention from your pet and you’ll find yourself regularly rescuing dirt or the plant from the floor.

Close attention to detail is the key to avoiding problems. Often your pet has nothing to do but look for trouble! Pet gates, crates and closed doors solve many issues and so does keeping your friend entertained and pleasantly worn out.

If you have any questions about pet proofing your home, or are in need of further advice, please don’t hesitate to contact your pet experts at Naperville Animal Hospital!