Your home may be safe and comfortable for you, but what about your pet? Every year, countless Central New Jersey pets become injured or sick due to hazards in their homes. Fortunately, you can keep your furry friend safe by making a few of these simple changes.
Make Pet-Proofing a Priority
Determined pets can find ways to open doors and cabinets and forage food from the trash can. Pet-proofing your house will reduce your pet’s risk of injury and offer a little peace of mind.
- Closing the toilet lid and using a pet-safe latch if your pet knows how to open the lid
- Installing latches on kitchen and bathroom cabinets
- Securing loose wires and extension cords
- Covering cords with a chew-proof covering if your dog, cat, rabbit, or small animal likes to chew on objects
- Making sure screens are in good condition
- Adding window guards to second-floor windows if your pet enjoys looking out the window
- Putting shoes in the closet (your pet could chew on and accidentally swallow the strings.)
Prevent Accidental Poisoning
As far as your pet is concerned, nearly anything could be food, whether it’s a pain pill collecting dust in the corner of the kitchen floor or moldy leftovers in the trash. According to statistics from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, the top causes of pet poisonings in 2019 were:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Human prescription medications
- Veterinary medications
- Household products and cleaners
- Mouse and rat baits
- Garden products, like fertilizers and herbicides
Ingredients in these products can make your pet very sick or even kill it. Keeping these products out of reach of pets (in locked cabinets if necessary) is a must.
Keep Plants Out of Reach
You probably noticed that houseplants are included in the list of potentially dangerous items. Eating plant leaves or flowers can cause symptoms ranging from mouth irritation to vomiting to death. According to the ASPCA, these plants are among the many that could sicken pets:
- Sage Palm
Surprisingly, poinsettia plants aren’t as dangerous as you may have heard. Pets who eat the plants may only develop cause mouth or stomach irritation, although some could begin to vomit, the ASPCA says.
Consult the ASPCA list if you’re not sure if a particular plant could harm your pet. If you can’t place plants in a safe place, it may be better to buy silk or plastic plants instead.
Reduce Kitchen Hazards
The kitchen just may be the most dangerous room in the home for both people and pets. Sharp knives, boiling water and questionable food could spell trouble for you and your dog or cat. Prevent disaster by:
- Keeping knives in a secure drawer rather than on the counter
- Turning pot handles inward and using back burners if possible
- Placing your pet’s food and water dishes away from the oven
- Putting kitchen cleaners and sponges in a high, secure cabinet
- Making sure that your pet isn’t nearby when you move pans in or out of a hot oven
Practice Trash Safety
Is digging through the trash your pet’s favorite hobby? Unfortunately, dogs and cats can become sick if they eat certain foods in the trash, such as onions, garlic, raisins, grapes or chocolate, or chow down on spoiled food. Any loose strings can become wrapped around the intestines if swallowed, while plastic food packaging could cause intestinal blockages. Chicken bones tend to splinter easily, which can lead to painful cuts or even choking.
Prevent illness and injury by taking the trash out promptly. Be sure to keep your kitchen trash can in a safe place inside your home, such as a cabinet with a pet-safe latch or behind the closed door of the mudroom.
Think Like Your Pet
Not sure if your home is thoroughly pet-proofed? Get down on the floor and view your house from your pet’s point of view. You’ll probably see at least a few things you forgot about when pet-proofing.
Do you need a home big enough for all your pets? The single-family attached homes at Country Classics at Frenchtown have space for your human and furry family members. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates on floor plans, availability, and other details.