Is your new home pet friendly?
U.S. pet ownership is at a high, with around 73% owning dogs and 49% owning cats. Of course, if you were to add the potpourri of additional pets into the picture (rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and other cute critters) this number would be substantially more! If you have just bought a home and you are worried about safety for your four-pawed friends, take heart. By making a few small changes, you can avoid accidents, and help your pet live the long, healthy life it was meant to have.
Weeding Out Toxic Plants In The Garden
Designing a safe house for dogs and cats should start in the place your dog or cat is likely to spend quite a bit of time: your garden. If the home you have bought has a garden, it is wise to enlist the help of a gardener, who can help weed out plants that can be potentially harmful to your dog or cat. The list of toxic plants provided by the ASPCA includes plants and flowers that grow quite abundantly in many neighborhoods. These include azalea, lilies, and even daffodils. Though the list is long, a gardener will be able to instantly let you know if any plants in your garden pose a danger to your pets.
Pool Safety To Ensure Your New Home Is Pet Friendly
If you have a pool in the garden, be aware that it can be a drowning risk, especially for dogs such as English bulldogs, whose relatively heavy heads and short legs make swimming next to impossible. Your pool should be completely fenced off and covered with a net or pool cover when not in use. This will ensure that both dogs and cats are safe against drowning. If you have a cat, make sure the net has very small openings so you cat is too big to fall through them.
Closing Off Unsafe Areas
If you have puppies, kittens, or older pets that can be prone to falls, it is vital to close off the stair area with the aid of a baby gate. Consider placing a gate at the top and bottom of the stairs, and in areas like the kitchen, to avoid your pet getting burned by hot water. Your outdoor fence should also be in tip-top condition, so that your dog cannot easily dig its way out and run into traffic, suffering an accident. It may be a good idea to have a bit of pavement or shrubbery between the fence and garden, to form a barrier, and discourage digging along the fence line.
Keeping Pets Away From Toxins
One of the biggest risks to your pet’s health is poisoning. Ensure your home has enough storage space for chemical cleaners, medications, and other dangerous substances. If space is lacking, buy standing furniture that can be shut and locked. Locking is a good idea if you have young children, and it will stop your pets from using their paws to access the contents of your furniture.
We have mentioned just a few ways to up the safety factor for pets in your home. However, you will ultimately be the best judge of potential risks, since each home differs in architecture and design. Remove toxic plants and keep chemicals out of reach. Be creative about closing off access to potentially dangerous spaces in the home. Taking these precautions will help to ensure that your new home is pet friendly.