Are you bringing a new pup home? Your preparations for the new family member must be exhilarating! From purchasing all the necessities to finding the perfect vet, it’s time for you to make every preparation to give your little one everything it needs for a happy life. The most important part of this care is pet-proofing your home in order to make their environment is as safe as possible.
Wondering where to begin? Most of the problems can be taken care of with a few simple rules, but remember that baby-proofing is not the same as pet-proofing. The following checklist will provide you with the necessary steps to dog-proof every single area of your house.
Your pet dog must be protected from various toxic food items that are present here. The most common food which is extremely harmful to your dog is chocolate. Some other items include grapes, raisins, avocadoes, nuts, garlic, onion, coffee, and macadamia. You must also watch out for sharp knives and other tools such as twist ties. Secure them in the refrigerator, cabinets or on high platforms, away from your dog’s reach.
The trash cans are the most interesting thing for a dog and hence, must also be hidden away. Leaving them open will be an invitation for your dog to consume something that is not meant for eating. This may put them at risk of suffocation.
You may also choose to install a door or a gate at your kitchen’s entrance. This is important especially when you are cooking as the fire is equally dangerous.
The bathrooms (and laundry rooms)
This space is probably the most hazardous one for your pet dog. It is a chemical lab full of cleansers, fabric softeners, bleach, and detergent, which can lead to severe health problems if swallowed. Other items such as dental floss, toothpaste, medications, and even vitamins are just as dangerous. Your dog may as well follow their natural instinct of chewing and may ingest the towels, tissues, and even stray socks. This can lead to extreme gastrointestinal problems.
The most overlooked problem in the bathroom is the probability of your pet drinking from the toilet bowl and bathtubs. Leaving a bathtub full of water unattended can pose a risk of drowning as well.
Hence, apart from their grooming sessions, there shouldn’t be another reason for your pet to enter the bathroom and laundry rooms.
Your bedrooms are full of items that can quench their chewing temptation. This includes your good old shoes, clothes, bags, etc. Products containing Xylitol are extremely poisonous for your pet dog, and they come in most of your products, including creams, chewing gum, etc. It is hence imperative that you keep them away from your dog’s reach.
Furthermore, there are other small items such as your jewelry, hair clips, bands, pins, and even makeup that should be stored inside a cabinet or a drawer. Swallowing will put your little explorers in potential danger.
The most unsafe and commonly ignored item is the mothballs. They are toxic, and hence should be placed at the spots where your little buddy can’t reach them.
Places such as your living room and dining area may have a fireplace that is a possible trouble spot. This is because your dog can be harmed by the flames and the flying ashes. A simple screen will do the job of protecting your furry friend.
These gathering areas also contain wires and cords, which if chewed on when plugged-in can electrocute your pet. You must either tuck them away or cover them. Not only will this protect your pet but will also leave your room look neater.
Any other potential choking or chewing hazard must be out of reach when you are not around. This includes puzzle pieces, small toys, stationery, and so on.
Garages and basements
Mostly used for storage purposes, this is yet another space of your house that your dog must only visit under your supervision. These places may have things such as pesticides, gasoline, antifreeze, coolants, oils, and solvents, which are without any doubt hazardous for your pet. To prevent any mishap, you must either place them high up or enclose them in a cabinet. This holds true for your mechanical tools as well.
Other odds and ends of your house
Everyday objects such as coins, buttons, batteries, paper clips, etc. can be a huge problem if chewed or swallowed. Your craft items, plastic bags, and any other plastic items are equally dangerous. You must secure them away from their reach.
Furthermore, even though open doors and windows are a great way to let fresh air in, they are also an invitation for your pet to go out. This can be dangerous in cities where the chances of being run over by a car are high. Hence, you must either prevent them from going out without a leash or only allow them if they are heading into a safe space such as a fenced yard.
Another great option is to opt for screens and mesh that will allow you to leave the doors and windows open for fresh air. You can also install motion sensors that will alert you on your mobile phone in case your pet slips out.
The outdoor space
Even if you have a fenced yard, chances are your pet dog is small enough to slip through the gaps/holes or get stuck halfway. Be sure to cover these gaps with chicken wire, wooden slats or even deck shield.
Apart from this, your yard may contain plants that are toxic in nature. If you have any such plant in your yard, you can either move it to an unreachable spot or fence the area altogether. Any kind of compost, pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides, and other hazardous garden chemicals must be stored away. Similarly, the garden tools such as saws, rakes, gloves, hose, etc., and fire and water hazards such as barbeque pit and pool must also be safeguarded.
A safe space
With these restrictions in place, there ought to be a spot where your dog feels the safest. Make sure you prepare an area for your pet dog inside the house that can be termed as his safe space. This is where he should be when you are not around and can eat, play with his toys, chew, and sleep. This space should be free of any of the lethal items and must solely be dedicated to your pet.
In case of emergencies
You must keep the contact details of your nearest vet at reach in case your pet dog falls sick due to any of the aforementioned hazards. You will be asking – Where can I find the best vets near me? Great Vet has you covered with a comprehensive list of the best and top-rated vets in your locality. All you need to do is select your city and enter the zip code. For example — to find the best veterinarians in Chicago, just click on the link and enter your zip code.
All things considered, whether your dog is on its way or has just arrived, it’s about time you pet-proof your home to get off on the right paw from day one.