The Ultimate Guide for Pet-Proofing your Home

A few decisions in life bring immeasurable joy and adopting a pet is one of these. Although a pet will bring happiness, they do bring a whole new set of challenges and responsibilities. A crucial one is ensuring that your pet stays out of danger, mainly because our new companions can be mischievous and get themselves into trouble. The first step in preparing your house for the new member is pet-proofing your home which is quite similar to baby-proofing. What you will have to do is take the essential steps to protect your beloved pet against potential hazards and harmful household items. In this article, we will discuss useful tips for preparing your home for different kinds of pets:

Bird-Proofing

Having a pet bird in the house is like having a flying 2-year old that can get itself stuck in the smallest of openings, you can imagine how difficult would it be to protect your feathered companion. Here is a list of common house hazards that can cause your bird harm, injury or can be toxic if ingested:

Windows, doors, and skylights

Birds don’t understand glass and will try to fly through the windows, resulting in a collision which can cause severe injuries and may even result in death. If you are letting your bird fly free outside the cage, it is essential that you cover the windows with drapes, shades or blinds. You can also install a decal on the windows similar to the ones used to deter wild birds. Check the screens for any holes or loose wire which might injure your birdie.

Risk of drowning

Water is dangerous for birds as they can drown if the standing water in the sink or bowls is above the level of their head. Since our birdies love water, they will always be attracted towards it and tempted to take a splash, so precaution is essential. Toilet bowls should be shut down to avoid the risk of drowning.

Toxic Fumes and Burns

The kitchen is full of hazards that can be life-threatening for our feathered companions. Burns from hot surfaces and the fumes from non-stick pans, waffle pans, are the most dangerous hazards. Since our birds have a sensitive respiratory system, fumes get concentrated in their respiratory tract making them all the more dangerous. By the time you would be able to smell the fumes from a burning pan in your kitchen, they would have begun damaging your bird’s respiratory tract. So the best way is to prevent your bird’s access to the kitchen particularly when you are cooking. Be sure to place your bird’s cage safely in another locked room when there are fumes spread around the house.

As for the risk of burns, protect your bird by not allowing them into rooms where there is any source of open flames. Keep your bird caged when space heaters or the fireplace is in use, even if you use a screen to protect your bird from the fire; it is best to be safe. For protection against hot surfaces, you can train your parrot to stay away from these by repeating the command “Hot” or “Off,” but your bird may still have the urge to explore so the safer option is keeping your birds out of the way.

Keep toxic substances such as medicines and other human food that can be harmful to the bird, locked away in cabinets.

To protect your bird from other pets in the house, purchase a strong and sturdy cage, hang it a suitable height and cover the cage at night to provide a sense of security.

Laundry Room Dangers

When loading or unloading the washer, be sure that your bird isn’t trapped in the machine. Place all harmful chemicals such as bleach, detergents, fabric softeners, and other toxic supplies in a cabinet out of the birdie’s reach.

Dog-Proofing Your Home

Our kitten and pups love chewing on whatever they find in their way mainly electric wires which can cause severe burns and electrocution. So it is crucial to protect them from the cables and wires using cord covers.

Various household items can be toxic to our pups such as chocolates, grapes, raisins, detergents, anti-freeze, pesticides and the list goes on. Since our canines are always up for sniffing and licking stuff, it is crucial that you keep all such items locked away in cupboards and use childproof latches to keep the locks secured.

Prevent the Risk of Burns

The kitchen is home to various hazards, from the poisonous foods to open flames, any hot cooking pan or pot poses the risk of burning your pet. Grills are particularly dangerous as the meaty smell can be tempting and attractive for your furry companions. A safe option is using baby gates to prevent access to the kitchen.

Prevent Access to the Trash Bins

Another favorite hobby of our canines is to dig inside the trash can which contains various potentially harmful items. There are leftovers of food which may lead to diarrhea, sharp objects that can cause injuries, and other toxic substances, so you can understand how dangerous it can be. To keep your dog safe, consider purchasing a pull-out trash can, but these can be quite expensive. If you aren’t looking into investing a considerable amount, look for a closed space where you can place the garbage or get a sturdy metal step-on trash can.

Cat-Proofing Your Home

Most of the steps for cat-proofing your home are same as that for dog-proofing, only a few extra steps need to be taken for instance, since cats like climbing on tables, shelves, sideboards, and cabinets, make sure you remove all fragile objects which can easily break upon falling and injure your cat upon chewing or walking.

Remove Toxic Plants

Cats also love chewing plants and grass, so avoid using any plants which can be poisonous or cause irritation, even if you use these, and make sure you keep them away from your cats.

Cover Switches

Keep electrical switches covered as cats can make their way to the kitchen sink and play with switches such as the garbage disposal one so cover these to keep your pets protected.

Keep the Nails Trimmed

Since pet cats don’t wear down their claws quickly, keep trimming the nails to avoid possible injuries and prevent your furniture from getting a beating.