You love your furry friend. They make your house feel more like a home. There's nothing quite like coming home from work and getting greeted by a happy face that's always excited to see you!
Still, as a pet owner, you know that it can all get a little frustrating sometimes. Like the time Fido decided to redecorate your kitchen using fresh trash can trophies again. Or Felix used your favorite pair of shoes to sharpen his claws.
To keep the peace, we have to find ways for our pets and possessions to live in relative harmony. As fellow pet owners, we'd love to share our top practical tips for pet proofing your home.
1. Get all your important documents out of the way
Young pups love to chew everything in sight. It’s part of the way they connect with the world, interpret their surroundings and cope with teething. Even well trained adult dogs can get bored and start exploring your living room, looking for expertly hidden tasty treats! Pets love tearing paper- give a pup an envelope or a used tissue and it's Christmas in their world.
This means you’ll need to take extra care to not leave anything important within reachable distance while you work on boundaries - and even after that.
A solid box organizer with a tough lid or a childproof drawer will do the trick. They are cheap to acquire, save you hours of frustration and keep your floors safe from torn up papers.
2. Secure cables
Cables are tempting in so many ways. They become trip wires your pet can tangle themselves in and unwittingly bring down your stuff with it. They are a strangulation hazard and of course, a choking hazard.
When it comes to creating a pet friendly environment there's a few different routes you can take, depending on the layout of your home.
You can block your pet's access to cords by tucking them in behind furniture. That will keep most big pets away from the back of TV.
To prevent smaller, enthusiastic pets you can use pet friendly and chew-proof cord protectors that are hardy enough to discourage even the sharpest teeth and claws.
Keep plenty of toys and chews around to divert Furball's energy to a more productive pastime.
3. Get your rugs in order
Rugs and carpets add comfort to the home. But, they are a slip hazard and a budding potty temptation for your new household member. Rugs can be dragged around, ripped to pieces and chewed on. To prevent damage and keep your rugs in place, you can use high quality, chemical free rug pads.
A non slip, waterproof rug pad like the Anchor grip will prevent your pet from slipping and sliding and keep any potty accidents from damaging your floors.
4. If it’s open, close it
That's a great rule of thumb to apply to everything when you have a pet. An open door that leads straight to your closet full of work clothes and expensive shoes? Close it! A peanut butter jar with a loose lid on top of the counter? Screw that tightly on! There's few places a pup or kitten won't climb if there are treats to be had at the end of it.
Now that you have a pet in the house, it’s time to get in the habit of closing doors behind you. Make sure you keep pets out of rooms where they can do irreparable damage both to themselves and to your things.
The bathroom is incredibly tempting! There's the medicine cupboard to explore, clean towels to cuddle up in and the toilet bowl to get into. The kitchen is a treasure trove of forbidden food to find!
If you are not in the room to establish and enforce boundaries, it's better if your pet isn't there either.
5. Remove valuable accessories when you are not watching your pet
A comfortable living room usually has a few personal touches that transform it from just a living space to your living space.
Maybe it’s that great throw you bought last winter or the hand crafted cushions that add an extra layer comfort and color to your furniture arrangements. Then there’s the knick knacks that we end up collecting over the years- coffee table books, decorations, pictures.
It’s good to get your pet used to the idea that these items are off limits. The best way to do that is by re-focusing their attention to a a toy when Fido wants to put your favorite pillow in his mouth.
When you leave them alone at home, store the pillows, the throw and whatever else you are afraid they’ll chew, out of reach.
Accessories add life and memories to your living space. They are also incredibly tempting for a pet to explore and get a little too friendly with.
Preventing opportunities for failure is a fundamental part of effective pet training.
It’s not forever!
As with any new relationship you've got to establish trust between you and your pet, and it’s much easier to do that when there are firm boundaries in place.
The important thing to keep in mind is that all of this is temporary. It’s just until your pet gets comfortable with your home and your expectations and you gain a better understanding of their energy levels and potential shenanigans.
By using these five practical tips to pet proof your home you are not only creating a safe space for your new family member, you are eliminating the stress of losing items you cherish.
Share the love! Let us know your favorite pet-proofing tip on Facebook.