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Pet Security in Your Home
Change is inevitable and often positive. Still, adjusting to new surroundings can strain even the hardiest among us, including those with fur and four legs. Here are some tips for helping your new dog or cat settle into your home without destroying it in the process.
Pet Proofing the Interior
Making small but sensible changes to most parts of your house is a must when you have a pet, according to Humane Society guidelines. But don’t get your tail in a twist. We really do mean “small” and “sensible.” Here are some examples.
Tips for the Bathrooms
- Secure your waste baskets behind cabinet doors.
- While you’re at it, consider putting childproof latches on those same cabinets.
- Close the toilet lid to keep your pup from using it to quench her thirst. Not only is that disgusting, it can expose her to hazardous chemicals.
Tips for the Washroom
- Check your dryer before starting it to make sure your friend hasn’t climbed inside.
- Block off cubby holes behind appliances.
Tips for the Kitchen
- Keep foods out of reach. It’s amazing how ingenious a dog or cat can be when they smell something tempting. This is especially important with foods like chocolate, which can make some animals sick.
- Keep animals away from a hot stove. In fact, you should ban them from the kitchen altogether when you’re cooking.
Tips for the Living Room
- Tuck TV and other power cords out of the way.
- Relocate knick-knacks to prevent unhappy things from happening to your prized pictures and other small items.
- Decide on a furniture access policy and enforce it. Animals should know whether or not they’re allowed on the sofa or recliner.
Pet Proofing the Yard and Fence
- Secure trash cans and other receptacles. Use elastic cords or other handy items that you can remove as needed.
- Store items like oil, cleaning fluids, and antifreeze well out of a pet’s reach.
- Always keep cool, fresh water outside for your pet. Change it daily to ensure it stays clean.
- Keep the outdoors sanitary and smelling fresh. Pulverized lime is a perfect way to control puppy poop odors, according to the National Lime Association. Drop a little bit in the spot from which you remove their feces. While we’re on the topic, we should stress that daily waste patrols are essential for keeping peace in your neighborhood. You’ll find handy poop scooping products at your pet store or online.
- Cats can and will leave a fenced yard. You should never allow them to roam free unless you keep a close eye on them at all times. You might consider outfitting the area with an enclosed kitty condo that allows them to bask in the sunshine within a protected environment.
- Never assume your existing fence is escape-proof. Determined dogs will dig their little hearts out to tunnel their way through. Lining the inside perimeter with stones or decorative bricks is a way to discourage most break-outs. Remember that many larger breeds can bound over low fences. You may need to install higher fencing to keep your new friend safe.
- Remove poisonous plants from your yard and check with a nursery before planting anything new to be sure what you plant is pet-friendly.
Prevent Problems Before They Start by Rolling Out the Welcome Wagon
If all these precautions sound excessive, then put yourself in the animal’s place. She finds herself in a new environment with all sorts of unknowns. No wonder she’s ill at ease. You can help to prevent any escape attempts with the following tips:
- Pay her added attention for the first few days till she settles down.
- Keep the noise level down at first.
- Teach kids not to startle or manhandle your new pet.
A little preparation on your part will help make your home a refuge for all your family members, including those of the canine or feline variety. Enjoy your new role as a pet parent!