Is Your Home Dog-Proof?
When bringing a pet into your home, it is important to remember that they depend on us for a lot. Animals need us to provide their basic needs, keep them safe, advocate for them, and of course, they need our love and care.
Part of responsible pet ownership is being sure that your pet’s day-to-day environment is safe and secure. It is also a bonus if you can create a space where they can thrive, but also meets your functional and aesthetic requirements! Androscoggin Animal Hospital has some great pointers for how to dog-proof your home while maintaining an enjoyable living space for all.
Things to Consider for Pet Safety
Before you can get started creating a pet-proof space, you need to first identify what things make an area less than ideal for animals. We recommend starting by thinking of the following safety concerns:
- Exposed electrical cords that might be chewed or could get tangled
- Unsecured furniture or appliances
- Easily-accessible items that could be considered chew toys (children’s toys and crafting supplies are commonly eaten items)
- Decorative items like wax warmers or candles that might pose a hazard
- Potential pet toxins (candy or gum containing xylitol, chocolate, cigarettes, or medications)
- Problem plants such as lilies and sago palms
- Easily damaged items and materials
- Cabinets or containers that paws can open
- Uncovered trash bins or other receptacles that might contain dangerous items
- Small nooks and crannies where an animal could get stuck
- Uncovered vents or other utility spaces
When thinking about pet safety, consider getting down on your pet’s level and exploring the world through their eyes. When doing this, hazards or temptations that might otherwise go unnoticed are often more visible.
Creating a Dog-Proof Space all Can Enjoy
Once you have identified potential pet risks, you are ready to think about how to dog-proof a room (or your whole house!). But you still need to live there, too! Luckily, there are some pretty great options to help you to create a safe space for all without losing the looks and functionality of your home.
Our favorite tips for creating a dog-proof sanctuary include:
- Consider dog-proof furniture — Being sure to make pet-friendly selections when furnishing your home is a worthwhile endeavor. You will want surfaces that are easy to clean, such as leather or performance fabrics. Durability is key. We also are big fans of coverings designed for pet owners. Who doesn’t want a nice, plush throw to snuggle with on the couch?
- Secure large items — When you have a pet in your home, it is much like having a small child. Making sure that you take all the extra steps to secure tall shelves, TV screens, and such to the walls is a worthwhile endeavor.
- Create an enriching space — If your pet is socially and mentally stimulated, they are less likely to chew or destroy items that do not belong to them. Create an enriching space for them and provide plenty of exercise.
- Use baby gates or room dividers — Block access to less pet-friendly areas of your home as needed.
- Secure containers — Use child-proof locks or other containers that your pet cannot open or are out of reach to store things like medications, craft supplies, dirty laundry, or garbage.
- Keep those cords — Secure electrical cords out of the way. A zip tie might do the trick, but cord keepers or concealers can also be helpful and are more aesthetically pleasing.
Keeping your pet safe doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice form or function! Simply taking the time to make a few adjustments can make all the difference. Owners who take the time to pet-proof their dog’s space are much less likely to experience home emergencies. Don’t hesitate to contact us, though, if you need to.