Furry friends are great company in a home. They offer love, entertainment and cuddles. But just like babies, they too need extra precautionary measures taken around the house to ensure their safety. Whether you know it or not, there may be unintentional hazards that can cause grave harm. Four-legged friends can get curious and it’s best to ensure that you have no accidents waiting to happen (we know how expensive vet bills are!). Here’s what you need to know to ensure that your house is pet-friendly.
Research Your Houseplants
While houseplants offer a lovely, refreshing aesthetic to your home, many can be toxic to pets if they have a nibble. Not only is this the case with greenery but also with common flowers such as daffodils and tulips. Be very cautious with your centrepiece choices as these can cause deadly convulsions and cardiac issues, while other flowers can cause skin and gastrointestinal issues when consumed.
Be sure that you keep this in mind while choosing your landscaping too. Since cats and dogs spend most of their time outside, be sure that they aren’t exposed to foliage that is poisonous to them. Research online, speak to pet experts or get advice from your local garden store. Some pet-safe plants that are long-lasting include succulents and ferns.
Alternatively, you could invest in some hanging pots that are hung in areas that are too high for your pet to jump into (plus, they make great décor!). Another option is to opt for artificial plants. Just be equally as attentive to what the material is made of in case it gets a chew!
Store Your Food Strategically
Every pet owner should know what foods are poisonous to the animal they care for. Whether it’s chocolate, avocado, garlic or coffee, you’re not going to stop buying these products altogether but you can keep your pet safe with smart storage. Considering that even the wrappers of these foods can have dangerous effects, you need to be avid about disposal too.
Keep the food items in plastic airtight containers so that even if they fall on the floor from a short height, they won’t scatter all over the floor. Even one missed piece from a spill can be the reason you’re scrambling to the vet. Keep containers on the higher shelves in the pantry, and if you have a walk-in pantry be sure to keep the door closed when it’s unattended.
Don’t underestimate your pet’s sense of smell either! Apple pips and fruit stones are toxic to dogs. Keep a sturdy bin hidden behind a kitchen cabinet or in the butler’s pantry to prevent them from sniffing out anything they might want.
Avoid Small Décor Pieces
While the casino dice you picked up in Vegas might be cool, you won’t think so when the vet is advising you that your furry friend swallowed them. Trinkets left on coffee tables and shelves that your cat can jump onto are culprits to many shocking accidents. Either avoid décor that’s small enough to swallow – a guide is to only keep things out that are bigger than your palm – or showcase them behind a closed glass cabinet.
Educate your kids about the dangers of leaving out Lego pieces and small figurines too. Teach them the responsibility of caring for a pet and invest in a toy box that shuts tight instead of storage with open tops – your pets can still go snooping!
Other small things to be wary of are medication, jewellery and coins. Make things easier for yourself by keeping trinket holders up on a nightstand or in a room that your pet doesn’t occupy.
If you’re ever unsure about something that may be a risk for your pet, call an expert and get professional advice. Your home is your pet’s too!