Dogs and cats might be our best friends, but they can get into a lot of mischief in our homes. Here are 5 tips for keeping our homes and our pets safe.
Dogs, cats, and other pets bring immense joy into our lives. They can also cause quite a few headaches. For every moment that your dog or cat cuddles up to you or makes you smile, there will probably be several moments that they drive you crazy. Dogs love to chew on things. Cats love to scratch things. In either case, they’re rarely picky about what they chew or scratch.
You can buy toys to entertain them, but sometimes our pets have their own ideas about what counts as a toy. This is aggravating for you, but it can also be dangerous for them. You don’t want them getting into something hazardous. Here are 5 tips on dog- and cat-proofing your home.
1. Out of reach, out of mind.
If your pet can see something, you should assume that they will eventually investigate it and decide whether they’ll claim it for themselves. This applies to shoes left on the floor, food left on the counter, the contents of low bookshelves, and more.
With dogs, you might have to put anything you don’t want them chewing on up on a high shelf. Dogs will “counter-surf” to get at food, but they’re less likely to go after objects that are too high for them to reach on their hind legs.
Cats, on the other hand, are jumpers. They might be able to reach high shelves. What most cats can’t do, though, is open cabinet doors.
This advice applies to items you simply do not want chewed or scratched, such as shoes, remote controls, books and magazines, articles of clothing, and other objects you might leave out. It also applies to materials that could be harmful to your pets, such as medicine, cleaning products, cosmetics, and various types of food.
2. Guard your trash.
Dogs probably love trash more than cats, but in either case, you don‘t want your furry friends digging around in your trash can. For one thing, they won’t clean up after themselves, nor will they care how much of a mess they’re making. They also might get hold of something dangerous. Keep a tight lid on your kitchen trash can. Try to keep wastebaskets in other rooms out of your pets’ reach.
3. Learn about your houseplants.
Some houseplants are toxic to cats and/or dogs. You might have heard that poinsettias, the popular holiday plant, are poisonous to pets. This is technically true, although often exaggerated. Other plants are more dangerous.
4. Anything can be chewable or scratchable.
Even after you’ve removed items like shoes from the floor, don’t assume you’ve removed all temptations from a room. Dogs and cats will find things that look entertaining almost anywhere. If you have wires or cables where they can reach, they might try to play with them, In addition to damaging your electronics, your pets risk electric shock.
5. Cover your windows.
You want to keep your pets’ minds stimulated throughout the day so they don’t get bored and make mischief. That said, not all mental stimulation is good. If your pets have a clear view through a window, they might get very excited by what they see. Dogs are probably more prone to this. A dog might see another dog through the window and lose its mind. In its excitement, it could wreak havoc on your home.
Curtains, shades, blinds, or other window coverings can help keep your pets from getting too excited. When choosing a window covering, keep in mind the above advice that anything can be chewable or scratchable.
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