Having pets can be exciting and provide you with several benefits, such as companionship. However, it also requires a lot of care and responsibility to ensure they’re safe at all times. Statistics reveal that about 70% of households in the US have a pet. It’s essential to consider your pet’s safety both indoors and outdoors. No matter how pet-friendly your home may be, it’s essential to consciously put in measures to help keep your pets safe always. Here are some practical tips to help you keep your pets safe at home.
- Block off any small spaces or holes
It’s best to cover any small spaces or holes that could expose your pets to harmful insects or any foreign material to ensure they’re safe indoors. These include heating and air vents, behind appliances such as washing machines, etc. Doing this will also reduce the likelihood of your pets leaving your home without you knowing. For instance, if you have a dog, it would help if you got a secure dog door for sliding door so they can safely pass through. It can also help ensure no intruders enter your home using your pet door.
- Give them appropriate food
Not all foods are meant for pets, including avocado, grapes, milk, garlic, mushrooms, and chocolate. The food you usually eat may not be ideal for your pets, especially because they may not be able to digest it properly. Therefore, you need to be careful what you feed your pets to avoid causing any injuries or endangering their health. It’s best to give them food and treats that have been made specifically for them to be on the safer side and help them get the nutrition they need. Depending on the pet you have, it may not always be ideal to have them around when you’re cooking, as the fumes could harm them.
- Cover your trash properly
Your pets can get curious sometimes and end up exploring things and places such as your trash if they get the chance. Your rubbish may most likely contain elements that may be harmful to your pets, like bacteria, plastics, sharp objects, etc. Your trash can also have some scents that can easily attract your pets. Therefore, it’s advisable to properly dispose of and cover any rubbish so your pets can’t access it. It would help if you also put it somewhere they can’t easily reach. To minimize the likelihood of suffocation, remember to properly dispose of any plastic bags and tie those you won’t use immediately, so your pets can’t place them on their heads.
- Prioritize fire safety
Another likely danger your pets may face is fire, burns, and electric shock. Several potential hazards in your home may pose such risks, including candles, hot grills, stoves, and electrical cords. If there’s active fire close by, keeping your pets indoors or close to you will help you keep an eye on them and protect them from any danger. You can consider options that are less likely to cause fires, such as flameless candles. It’s also advisable to keep any electrical cords out of sight and reach to prevent your pets from chewing them or getting shocked. If you have any damaged cords, you should replace them as early as possible.
- Plan for days you may not be home
You may not always be around to look after your pets due to your busy schedule. However, you can still ensure your pets’ safety while you’re away by putting some measures in place. You can use technology to help you watch your pets. These include smoke detectors, security cameras, etc., to monitor your pets in your absence. If you have a trusted neighbor, you can give them a key if there’s an emergency. A pet smart sensor will also help you know if your pet is trying to go outside or if someone is trying to break in. Several mobile apps are available to help you keep an eye on your pet. If you get a pet sitter, it’s advisable to thoroughly vet them before entrusting your pet to them.
- Clean their space regularly
No matter the pet you choose, hygiene is vital to help them stay healthy and eliminate any potential hazards that could cause injuries. Your pet’s space should give them enough room to move around. It should also have basic things they may need, such as water. You should also provide them with clean, comfortable bedding to make their space cozy. Regularly cleaning and drying any toys they have will help keep their space tidy and hygienic and prevent any bad odor.
- Store items properly
Leaving items around, especially small ones could present a choking hazard for your pet. These include everyday items such as your socks, jewelry, etc. It’s best to store such items on shelves or in drawers or boxes your pets can’t easily reach. Regularly cleaning and decluttering your home will also help you find items that could have easily choked your pet so that you can put them in the right place.
- Be mindful of your indoor temperature
Your home’s temperature could make your pet feel comfortable or put them at risk, especially if it’s too hot or too cold. Therefore, in doing all you can to make your home safe for your pets, remember not to overlook your temperature. If it’s too hot, you can consider getting a fan to make your room airier. If you decide to open the windows for some fresh air, it’s best to put some safety measures in place to prevent your pets from going outside without your knowledge. If the weather is extremely cold, it’s best to keep your pets indoors and ensure they’re warm enough.
- Keep a close eye on your appliances
Appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers could provide a space where your pets like to hide. However, this could be dangerous if they get stuck. Therefore, it’s best to always check these appliances thoroughly before you use them, so you can easily identify if your pet is lodged in there. This way, you help protect them from any avoidable injuries. When you’re not using these appliances, you should keep them closed so your pets will not be able to enter them.
- Keep chemicals away from your pets
Chemicals in your home can be dangerous for your pets even if you use them daily. One chemical that most experts advise you to protect your pets from is antifreeze. Although it has a pleasant smell that can easily attract your pets, it can damage their system if they consume it. Other chemicals that can prove harmful to your pets are medicines and cleaning items. It’s advisable to keep these chemicals out of your pets’ reach and label them clearly so you can easily identify these chemicals. You can store them in a cabinet that you can lock, so your pets won’t have access to them. If your pet has mastered the skill of opening locked cabinets, you can either consider storage options that are too high for your pet to reach or install a child lock.
The above-listed tips will help you keep your pets safe at home and minimize any likelihood of injury. If you have any concerns about your pet, it’ll help to speak to your vet to have all your questions answered and know the best thing to do for your pet. Consciously pet-proofing your home will also make it easier for you to keep your pet safe.