Home Sweet Home: How to Keep Your Pet Safe In Your House

A house is not a home without a furry friend by your side. There is nothing as comforting as hearing those little paws running to greet you at the door when you come home or seeing ears perk up when you wake up in the morning. So how do we make sure our furry friends feel as at home in our house as they make us feel? The most important first step is to ensure their safety. So what steps can you take to make your home a safe space for your pets?

Prevent trips and falls!

Your pets may have four legs, but that doesn’t make them any less likely to trip. The most important way to help your pet stay balanced is by preventing slick surfaces. Hard wood stairs may look nice, but it is also hard for our dogs and cats to get traction on the slick surface as they scramble down steps. Make sure to either carpet your whole stair or to get a stair runner that your pet can use.

Another surface that can easily get slippery is around your pet’s water dish. Our pets are not the neatest creatures and when they spill their water they create the ideal environment for a fall. Try places pet water dishes inside a tray with a lip—that way any spills are contained.

A cat looking suspicious as she explores cardboard
A.B.E. — Always Be Exploring!
Cats get into everything.

Keep dangerous items contained

We all know that some of our human items are dangerous for our furry friends, but we might not realize how carefully we have to keep those items under wraps. Pets are curious creatures and they will likely discover even your most carefully hidden treats and treasures. Most of us don’t realize how many dangerous items we keep in our purse, from sugar-free gum (which is poisonous to animals) to medication and choking hazards. The best way to keep your pet from your bag is by hanging it out of their reach.

Another important precaution is to baby lock any cabinet that contains pet hazards. For some that might mean just the under the sink cabinet that contains our cleaning products, while for others that might mean locking far more drawers, closets, and locks. Know your home and know your pet and act accordingly.

Be aware of the temperature

Sure we would never leave our dog in a locked car with the windows up in the summer, but how about leaving our cat in an airless apartment or our dogs at home without the heat on? It can be easy to turn off our heating and cooling implements when we leave home to save energy, but make sure you consider your pets. This might mean keeping the fan on in one room on hot summer days, making sure your dog has shade and cold water on your lawn, or keeping blankets out and heat on when you’re out in the winter.

Each year more “Smart Home” products become available that allow you to check and alter the temperature inside your home remotely. There are even options to inexpensively retrofit air conditioners or old heating systems for use with phone apps.

When pet-proofing your home, think of it as baby-proofing for a highly mobile, highly determined fur-toddler. Our pets’ antics are part of what makes them so lovable, but these antics are also what make it so important to view dangers from your pet’s perspective and protect them accordingly.