Hey all! Boo here! Today we need to talk about a very serious topic. Pet proofing! (well … its serious to me anyhow!) Us fur babies sometimes have to sit at home all day and wait on our fur-ever parents to come home from work. Sometimes we get in trouble, make messes, tear things up, and it’s not because we don’t love you and are BAD pets, it just means we want to play… all the time and when you are not here we can MAKE our own fun! So today, we will talk about some tips for pet proofing your apartment!
Pet Proof your apartment by getting ORGANIZED.
Whether of the feline purr-suasion or the canine, every animal needs to feel like they belong and that your home is their home. For Dogs, in particular, having a single stable location for a bed or crate is very important. This helps us furry guys have a place to retreat to! For cats, it is as simple as having a window sling, cat house or other type location where your cat can sprawl out without being bothered. (those cats can get cranky sometimes!)
Find a “spot” for your pet’s stuff.
We might be small (or we might not) but either way us pets can end up having a lot of stuff! It’s no fun to be headed to the bathroom at night and step on a squeaky toy that starts a chain reaction of barking (and potentially bad words) that disturbs you and all your neighbors! Get a bucket, bin or basket with an open top that is easy to gather all of our toys and stuff them in as necessary. Trust me, we LOVE digging through baskets of stuff to find the RIGHT toy! It’s like Christmas every day!
“Baby Proof” your home.
Going back to the theory that most of us pets are babies, think of your home in the same way you would if you were preparing for a baby. You would not leave things lying around for a baby to chew up, get hurt on, or swallow, so you should probably avoid those things with us too! Something like a little green army man could look like a fun toy until it’s in my belly and you are at the VET ER with x-rays and a bill to prove it!
- When “baby-proofing” keep in mind that everyday things CAN be dangerous to the right animal.
- Be sure have all electrical cords out of the reach of your pet. These are especially tempting to rabbits!
- Place plastic outlet covers in lower outlets, licking or get a claw stuck in one of these could lead to serious burns or even death!
- Cover your power strips or place them out of reach.
- A baby gate (or 2 or 3) maybe needed during the training phase (check out our great article on Potty Training HERE)
- A closed top FOOD container. Many animals will eat until they pop… literally. (It’s just so good we can’t stop!) Having a sealed container will not only limit our ability to get into the food but it will get keep pests and rodents OUT and limit the appeal of your apartment to them!
Choose an easily cleanable spot for your pet’s feeding spot. This place is likely to be in a kitchen or laundry room! Not that these should each be right next to each other but you will definitely want the litter box or the puppy training pad on a hard surface floor or on top of a waterproof mat!
Out of Sight, Out of Mind!
Keep items that are dangerous or “no-no’s” out of your pet’s reach.
Many foods can be dangerous to your pet especially if consumed in large quantity. If you are looking for a comprehensive list of foods to avoid, check out our Unsafe Foods post here. Especially around the holidays make sure to put the turkey plate away. Also, nuts and chocolate are very bad for pets and if left to their own devices, even tiny cats, birds and dogs can make their way to the TOP shelf, to get that tasty treat! Try to lock all of your foods away in cabinets and behind a pantry door. This will also discourage “counter-cruising”.
Most pets love garbage. But rotting leftover pizza is NO fun for the pet parent who comes home to a sick animal and an apartment full of vomit! It is both dangerous and unpleasant. Worst case scenario your pet ends up with an intestinal blockage from eating something they should and you end up with a huge VET bill! (There goes the treats and toys fund!)
Here are a few links to pet safe trash cans:
Put appropriate portions of pet food and water out while you are away.
Take into consideration when and how you want to feed your pet. If they are going to be left to roam the house all day it may be smart to limit their access to food and water. They will need a drink or two but allowing access to an unlimited faucet with no access to a “pet door” to let themselves out to relieve, is a bad idea! Only place a portion of each in the bowl during the day and place larger quantities out of the way.
Sometimes you must take measures to limit your pet’s exposure. Kitty’s really seem to love using potted plants as bathrooms. Many puppies like to chew table legs and wooden furniture. Cat pluck on owner’s fluffy furniture. Rabbits chew almost anything. Start the pet proofing process to coincide with training. If you find that your pet is a “chew”er, then lock them out of places that they could destroy valuables like shoes, clothing, or furniture. Use bitter spray to limit their affinity for furniture chewing. Place baby gates to keep dogs and smaller animals corralled. And finally, consider using a crate if you will be gone for a longer period and need your pet to remain safe and out of trouble.
All in all, pet proofing is a lot like baby proofing. You must take into consideration that if is looks fun or tasty, us pets WILL try it (usually more than once!). Being prepared will save YOU a lot of headache and keep us out of potentially dangerous situations! Love your pets enough to say NO!