Easy Ways to Create a Pet-Friendly Home
For many of us, pets aren’t just animals—they are family. Whether they have fur, fins, or scales, we love them and want them to be comfortable in our homes. However, when most companies build homes, they cater to the people who will be living in them, not the pets. So you may have to make some small alterations along the way to accommodate your pet.
Of course, we’ve all seen the extreme cases of homes that have literally been redesigned for cats with plenty of shelves, holes, and scratch pads. You don’t have to go that far to make your pet happy.
Home Location and Layout
Whether you are upgrading your home or buying for the first time, think about location and layout. Do you have a dog who loves to dash out into the street the first chance he gets? You may want to reconsider a home on a busy street. If you already live on a busy street and want to install a doggy door on your back door, you will want to check your fence to ensure security. Have all the holes or places for possible exit been fixed? By securing your home’s perimeter, you will know where your pet is at all times.
Accommodating Different Pet Personalities
How is your pet with guests? Does your kitty hide on top of the fridge? Does your dog go nuts with every ring of the doorbell? Do your ferrets like to come out and play with everybody? If your pet is skittish, don’t force them to interact with people until they are comfortable. Determining your pet’s personality is the single best way to avoid bad experiences with guests, including bites.
On the other hand, if you find that your pet is social (always in and around everything and everyone), there are some things that you may want to set up and put away. For example, you may want to set up a pet/baby gate that you can put your pet behind when guests first enter if you cannot get them to sit politely without dashing out the front door. Most importantly though, make sure that any chemicals or cleaners are in a secure spot. Cats, in particular, can easily pounce and make it to high places. Be sure to store your cleaners in secure cabinets. In 2013 alone, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reported 180,000 cases of accidents with pets involving toxic substances and hazardous, but common, household items.
How to Pet-Proof Your Home: A Puppy’s-Eye View
We know that you want to properly care for your pet, and if you try to write down a list of things to do to ensure safety, it can get overwhelming fast. So let’s make it simple. Take a “puppy’s-eye view” of your home. Get down on all fours and take a look around your home.
Inspect for places that a pet could easily get in to that could be dangerous. Is there anything that could fall on the pets if bumped? Don’t be afraid to take the extra precautions with regards to pet safety—consider putting baby locks on cabinets to prevent accidents. Even something as simple as a tall ladder could be scaled causing a big fall by a curious puppy.
Pets can be surprisingly resourceful when they want to be, and it is your job to protect them before anything happens with, what are often, small and affordable fixes.