This is probably an understatement, but us dogs can be pretty mischievous and overly curious, especially in our homes. I, Rex, THE Original Hipster Hound, have been known to jump up on the kitchen counters at home to steal food, and my siblings were quite the trash can divers in their day. But my mom, Tonya, had to put a stop to all of this devious behavior...not only because we were wreaking havoc on the house but also because we could have ingested something that could hurt us, make us sick, or even kill us. YIKES! So she was determined to thoroughly pet-proof our house to keep everyone in our home safe. Here are some of the steps she took:
Checked for Hazards
Mom did a complete sweep of any hazardous objects in our home. She started by getting down on her hands and knees to see each room from MY eye level. This alerted her to any unseen hazards such as coins, medication, candy wrappers, game pieces, and anything else she didn’t want us ingesting.
Puppies, kittens, and even older dogs love to chew just about anything they can get their paws on, so she also kept electrical wires, dangling blind cords, and all sharp objects out of our reach. She even went as far as covering the outlets with outlet plugs.
Installed a Dog-Proof Trash Can
Trash cans are a haven of interesting and exciting smells to a curious dog’s nose. It is vital to keep them covered and closed. Without a properly secured trash can, you may encounter your garbage sprawled on the floor and a sick pup who ingested something to make him or her vomit or have diarrhea. This could also cause an intestinal blockage that can be very costly to remove at your vet.
And because me and my sister, Willow, are pretty tall hounds, Mom installed a pull-out trash can as the most effective solution. Although it can be quite costly to implement, she knew it was the best option for keeping me and my food-motivated siblings away from garbage. For smaller dogs, a sturdy metal trash can with a step-on lid should be enough though!
Removed Poisonous Plants
Mom likes having plants around our house to create a relaxing and comforting environment, but she had to be careful which ones to choose. If ingested by a dog and/or cat, the wrong plant can cause serious issues such as mild irritation and digestive upset.
Some of the most common plants that should be removed from a pet-friendly home include:
- Aloe vera
- Boston ivy
- Caladium (elephant ear)
- Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
- Peace and Easter lily
- India rubber plant
- Bird of Paradise
Stored Toxic Chemicals Away
Mom made sure to store all chemicals in our house away on either high shelves or in dog-proof cabinets and closets. Some of these chemicals included cleaners, detergents, anti-freeze, glue, aerosol sprays, yard fertilizer, and insect sprays.
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, please contact animal poison control. For more details on poisonous plants and household chemicals, be sure to check out our pet poison awareness blog!
Kept Closets & Doors Shut
Mom implemented a strict “drawers and doors shut policy” right away. My human sister, Lucy, kept leaving her dresser drawers agape and her bedroom door wide open. We would mess up all her clothes and chew her shoes! But with the new rule, we aren’t ruining her things since we don’t have access to them anymore!
When it comes to pet-proofing your home, it was important to Mom to view everything in our home as a potential chew toy. If there is something she doesn’t want us to get our paws on, she simply locks it up, away from our reach. Although the task may seem daunting, pet-proofing our home has definitely been worth the time to keep me, my siblings, and my humans healthy and safe!
Rex, The Original Hipster Hound