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Pet Proofing, Is Your Home Pet Safe?
Pets are as curious as they are lovable. That’s why providing them with a safe, healthy environment needs to be on the top of your priority list. Pet proofing a home doesn’t require an extravagant makeover, just few simple changes can reduce the risk of injury to your pet and damage to your home.
No Unsupervised Access To Unsafe Rooms
It seems like a simple concept, but most accidents occur when pets are left to wander unsupervised near chemicals or hazards you may not know are there. The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) recommends your pet be relegated to rooms without food, chemicals or furniture you don’t want them on. When you find yourself asking “What’s the worst that could happen?” something usually does. To achieve this, you can find dog or baby gates that can help you block off rooms while you’re away.
Windows and Dangerous Obstacles in the Home
You might want to think about kissing those elegant, sweeping drapes goodbye. Window fixtures that sweep on the floor, have tassels or long chords can be a strangulation hazard for a dog. The dog can panic and bring any decor or furniture in the vicinity crashing down on them. For a cat, most drapes are just invitations to try out their scratching skills. Mini-blinds can also pose a risk or easily get bent beyond repair. The ASPCA recommends fabric shades, cafe curtains and simple draperies for pet-heavy homes. Also, cover couches and expensive furniture with old sheets while you’re away.
Keep Their Areas Clean and Germ-Free
Pets can get sick from unclean food and water just like us. In fact, we share more microbial life and bacteria with our pets than once thought. This is good and bad, because some microbial growth helps bolster our immune systems, while others can make us sick. Water bowls and food dishes should be cleaned daily for both cats and dogs. A cat’s litter box should be cleaned multiple times a day, or a self cleaning litter box should be used to minimize bacterial exposure. The ASPCA recommends that all bedding be washed frequently and lint rolled in the meantime.
Learn the Dangers of Chemicals and Food
Chemicals, cleaners and even certain foods around the house can be the biggest threat to your pet’s safety. For example, did you know that using ammonia to clean your pet’s urine won’t mask the odor to your pet? Ammonia can even attract pets to the area, prompting more urination. Instead of ammonia, ASPCA recommends an enzymatic cleaners. There are also cleaners and chemicals pets should never be exposed to for risk of serious health complications. Lawn fertilizers should be substituted for corn gluten (a nontoxic alternative to chemicals). Herbicides and insecticides should be substituted for fly traps and natural pest control remedies.
Tammy Braverman is an animal lover, vegan and fashion designer who loves to write about the environment and how to look your best.