Tips For Keeping The Home Purr-fectly Safe For Pets

Pet-proofing the house may seem like a simple feat, but there are some things that can be easy to overlook. Things like clothes, house plants, and air vents can all pose a bigger threat to animals than you may think. Read on for tips on making the home as safe as it can possibly be for pets.

Make Sure Air Vents Are Covered

vent
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Air vents that are low to the ground or on the floor can be easy for your pets to reach. While they may seem relatively harmless, the problem is that claws can easily get stuck in them.

Smaller animals can even get a paw jammed into the vent. That’s why it’s a good idea to get vent covers that block your pet from getting something stuck. Plus, it helps prevent dander and fur from slipping into the vent and blowing all over the house.

Clean The Garage Floor

garage
StockSnap/Pixabay
StockSnap/Pixabay

If there’s one floor that tends to be neglected in a home, it’s the garage floor. This can be detrimental to pets, especially when the homeowner works on their car in the garage.

Leftover oil and other chemicals can build up on the floor, which a pet may end up licking out of curiosity. To make the garage more pet-friendly, clean it regularly, especially after performing car maintenance that involves liquids, such as an oil change.

Always Check The Dryer Before Loading It

washing-machine-2668472_1280
Steve Buissinne/Pixabay
Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

Some pets may find the dryer to be a cozy and warm place to take a nap. For that reason, owners should make it a habit to close the dryer door completely after every use.

To be extra safe, it’s a good idea to give the dryer a quick scan before loading clothes into it. Perhaps someone forgot to close the door or the latch didn’t catch, or maybe your pet was clever enough to open it themselves. It’s always best to check.

Do Some Research On House Plants

cat-1535572_1280
scarlett1991/Pixabay
scarlett1991/Pixabay

Like humans, some pets are more sensitive to certain plants than others. It’s a good idea to do a little bit of research before getting a plant to make sure it’s compatible with your pet.

This way, you’ll know exactly what to do if your pet decides to wrestle the plant one day, or worse, to eat it! Obviously, it’s best to avoid poisonous plants or those with thorns and needles. It may be a good idea to keep them up high, as well.

Avoid Leaving Out Wrappers

bagel-wrapper
Dan Gold/Unsplash
Dan Gold/Unsplash

Even in the cleanliest homes, leaving out a wrapper every so often doesn’t seem like a huge deal. That chocolate wrapper left on the coffee table overnight can be more damaging than it looks, though.

Wrappers often have remnants of the food that was in them, or at the very least still smell delicious to a pet. This may make it tempting for an animal to try and eat them. Be sure to toss wrappers away to avoid a choking hazard.

Keep Board Games Up High

board-games
Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images
Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images

Board games can seem secure in a box, but that isn’t always the case. Animals can chew up boxes or wiggle them open, leaving them exposed to small pieces that they may try to swallow.

That’s why it’s a good idea to store board games up high rather than on a low shelf or on a coffee table. Ideally, keeping them in a cabinet with doors would be the most secure so they can’t get knocked down.

Secure Dangling Wires

Cameron Venti/Unsplash
Cameron Venti/Unsplash

Dangling wires can be dangerous around pets, especially when the animal is young and still teething. They may chew through the protective outer layer of the wire, putting them at risk of electric shock.

There are plenty of wire management systems that keep electrical items tucked away behind a safe material that matches the wall. It’s safer and more sightly! A simpler option is to use zip ties to pull the wires out of reach from your pets.

Use Baby Locks In The Kitchen And Bathroom

childproof-lock
North States
North States

Kitchens and bathrooms tend to have plenty of hazardous items, so keeping a baby lock on them can be very helpful. While it would be ideal to store toxic items up high, it isn’t always realistic.

In bathrooms, most of the storage tends to be under the sink. In kitchens, the higher cabinets are often reserved for dishware while the lower ones get the cleaning supplies. To avoid a pet pawing open the cabinet door, baby locks are a must.

Put Away Craft Materials After Use

art-2578353_1280
bridgesward/Pixabay
bridgesward/Pixabay

Craft items can be dangerous around pets since they tend to have sharp or pokey sides. Even something as seemingly harmless as ribbon can be hazardous if pets were to swallow a piece.

That’s why it’s a good idea to keep them in a container with a secure lid or stored in cabinets with doors. Avoid leaving them out on tables or anywhere a pet may get to them unless they are in a designated room with the door closed.

Move Large Furniture When Cleaning

vacuum
Kowon vn/Unsplash
Kowon vn/Unsplash

When vacuuming or sweeping the floor, it can be easy to just clean around large furniture rather than moving it out of the way to clean under it. However, this can put pets at risk.

It’s easy for food and other small items to slip in the creases under furniture. A pet may end up pawing something that was hidden under furniture and then try to eat it. This is especially true under the bed since smaller pets crawl through there.

Keep Tools In Secure Boxes Or Drawers

tool-box
Daniel Nettesheim/Pixabay
Daniel Nettesheim/Pixabay

While it may seem obvious, it can be easy to leave out tools in workspaces that are frequently used. Those who often do home projects in the garage or a shed may want to keep the door locked so pets can’t get in.

The safest way to keep sharp and heavy tools away from pets is to always keep them stored in a secure box or drawer. The same goes for everyday tools around the house like hammers, nails, and scissors.

Don’t Leave Out Phone Chargers

phone-charger
Mahesh Patel/Pixabay
Mahesh Patel/Pixabay

When a phone charger isn’t in use, it would be a good idea to keep it stored somewhere rather than left plugged into the outlet. A pet may try to chew on the charger like it’s a toy.

Best case scenario, the charger will end up damaged. Worst case scenario, your pet may get hurt. This is especially true when leaving the house for an extended amount of time. The same goes for other electrical accessories.

Keep Clothing Out Of Reach

cat-in-suitcase
Lynda B/Unsplash
Lynda B/Unsplash

Pets are often drawn to apparel because it smells like their owner. Still, it would be a good idea to keep clothing and shoes out of their reach due to safety hazards.

Younger animals that are teething may not only do damage to such items, but can end up swallowing something they shouldn’t have. Sequins, buttons, rubber soles, shoestrings, and more can all be harmful when ingested. Keep closets closed and hampers out of reach.

Use Heavy-Duty, Covered Trashcans

Steve Johnson/Unsplash
Steve Johnson/Unsplash

Dogs and trash go together like peas and carrots. Especially when food gets tossed, many dogs can’t help but try to get a taste. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk of ingesting something harmful.

One idea is to keep trash under sinks or in cabinets. The problem is that some households need larger cans that can’t be tucked away. In that case, opt for a covered trashcan that’s heavy-duty enough that it can’t be knocked over by a pet.

Be Mindful Of Small Spaces Where A Cat Could Get Stuck

cat-in-a-pot
Tina Xinia/Unsplash
Tina Xinia/Unsplash

As many cat owners probably already know, felines love squeezing into tiny places. There’s actually a biological reason behind this as the confined space makes cats feel comforted.

The problem is that they sometimes don’t know their limits, resulting in cats getting stuck. Try to block off areas around the house that the cat might try to cram into, such as behind a water heater. The same goes for individual items like vases and containers.

Check For Your Pet Before Shutting Doors

dog-in-bed
Jessica Johnston/Unsplash
Jessica Johnston/Unsplash

Since pets get comfort from things that smell like their owner, they sometimes will sneak into drawers, closets, or under the bed. Sometimes they’re just curious and are exploring their territory.

Before shutting something, it’s wise to feel around or at least look to make sure your pet isn’t in there. If an animal gets stuck somewhere, they may not have access to their water. This can be especially vital when leaving the house or going outside.

Don’t Leave Out Lotions And Medications

lotion
Ali Muhamad/Unsplash
Ali Muhamad/Unsplash

Daily medications, lotions, and cosmetics are used frequently enough that they often end up on bathroom counters or nightstands. While this can be a convenient place to leave them for the owner, it can be dangerous for pets.

Anytime a pet can reach something, there’s the risk of them chewing it open and ingesting what’s inside. To be safe, store items in a nightstand drawer or a medicine cabinet and put them away after use.

Store Hazardous Garage Items Up High

garage-paint
Katya Austin/Unsplash
Katya Austin/Unsplash

The garage doubles as a storage unit for many households, so many items can end up getting crammed in there. This may include hazardous liquids, such as car washing soap or leftover wall paint.

Especially if the garage is attached to the house or otherwise accessible to pets, it’s a good idea to keep these items on high shelves. Installing a shelf that hangs from the garage ceiling can provide storage space that pets can’t get to.

Keep Breakable Items Out Of Reach

dishware-cabinet
Le Creuset/Unsplash
Le Creuset/Unsplash

It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep lightweight breakables tucked away. Items like flower vases, small plant pots, or even empty mugs that get left out can all end up shattered on the floor.

Breakables left on surfaces lower to the ground can get knocked over if a dog hops up or if their tale wacks the item. Cats can climb high and tend to paw things out of curiosity, which may result in an accident.

Check Fences For Holes Or Slots

dog-fence
Lucia Dachman/Unsplash
Lucia Dachman/Unsplash

One of the first things pet owners often think about when bringing home an animal is how to make sure there’s no way for them to escape. This is where checking fences comes in handy.

Fences that have holes and slots aren’t just hazardous if the pet can slip through them, though. Pets can also get their head or paw stuck in the fence or end up with a splinter. Modify fences so that they are as low-risk as possible.