We’re vigilant about keeping our kids safe at home by locking medicine cabinets and removing sharp knives etc., but what about your cat or dog? They’re part of the family too. A mischievous dog or curious cat can easily get into trouble when you’re not around so what can you do to make your home more pet friendly? Here are a few ways you can make some tweaks around the house to keep your furry family members safe.
Get down on all-fours
Unless you own an Irish Wolfhound or a tiger it’s safe to say most pets see the world from knee level. To get a “pet’s eye view” of what might be dangerous to them, get down on all fours and have a look around. If there are cupboards or nooks and crannies that a pet could potentially get stuck in - lock them, seal them or block them off.
Dogs that like chewing on wires and electrical cords could get a nasty shock. Identify where your dog can access these and only plug in when the appliance is in use. If the majority of the cords are in the living room, make sure the door to this room is tightly closed when you go out if your dog has the run off the house. Provide some safe chew toys so they are kept occupied and don’t go looking for alternatives.
You may think it’s cute that your kitten can climb the curtains but it’s not really a safe option with potential falls, claw snags, strangulation on looped cords, not to mention damage to your window dressing! Try using a deterrent such as Sticky Paws tape on the curtains, keep a water spray bottle handy or tie the curtains up out of the way until your cat has been deterred. Cut all loops on ends of cords or replace with non-loop ones.
To fulfil your kitten’s natural instincts to climb and sharpen their claws, put a cat perch with a scratching post nearby. Be sure to reward him with a treat when he uses it, or put a couple of treats up there every day to entice him to use it. Spend some time playing with a feather and wand type toy a couple of times a day to tire him out so he doesn’t have the energy to climb curtains.
A lot of the foods humans eat are extremely detrimental to our pets, even things we may think are a treat, like tuna for cats. A small amount of tuna is ok, but large amounts can cause cancer and mercury poisoning. Onions, garlic and chives are a no-no for both cats and dogs as they damage their red blood cells. Grapes and raisins are another, cats and dogs can get kidney failure from these. Keep your chocolate well out of reach of pets, the caffeine and theobromine are deadly if eaten in large amounts.
A kitchen bench is irresistible to a pet as they usually contains interesting things, but it also has many potential dangers: unsuitable food, access to a hot stove, sharp knives, poisonous plants and more.
For dogs, make sure the kitchen counter is inaccessible, if there is a table left next to a bench you can be sure they will try and jump up. It’s harder to stop a cat as they’re naturally more agile but using Sticky Paws tape on the edges and citrus based scents can work well as deterrents.
With a little time and energy you can create an environment where your pet feels safe, secure and happy in the home.