Improving Pet Safety at Home
In many ways, pet-proofing a home is similar to child-proofing one: you'll want to do everything that you can to make sure that no items in your home present a danger to your pet, and that the environment remains as safe as possible. Common areas that can present dangers to pets include living areas, bedrooms, garages, kitchens, and bathrooms. Each area can pose its own type of threat to your pet's safety, so it's important that you go through each one and reduce or eradicate safety issues. Below is a list of advice and suggestions on how to create the safest environments for your pets. Tips for traveling and cat-specific information are also included at the end.
Pet Proofing Living Areas and Bedrooms
People spend most of their time in living areas and bedrooms, and pets like to accompany them. That's why it's important to do what you can to make sure that the dangers here are minimal. Cover wires associated with computers, TVs, telephones and other electrical equipment, and place them in areas that cannot be reached by your pets. Items that can be knocked over, such as trinkets or children's toys, need to be stored safely in another area when not in use. Nooks and crannies can be checked to ensure that no loose items are available for a pet to choke on. Vents for heating and air should always be covered to deter exploration in them. Close drawers, cabinets and closets to avoid pets becoming trapped in them. You should also do away with plants that have reputations for being poisonous.
The Dangers of Garages, Kitchens and Bathrooms
Garages, kitchens and bathrooms pose their own unique threats to the safety of pets because of their increased instance of containing dangerous tools and chemicals in them. Ironically, pets may be attracted to these areas more than other areas because of the interesting sounds and smells that emanate from them. Chemicals, medications and tools should be stored in high areas and behind secure doors, if possible. Childproof latches can help you with security, if there are no built-in locks. Trash bins need to be tightly covered. After cleaning surfaces using chemical agents, thoroughly rinse areas so that no chemicals remain to be licked or eaten. Keep areas that are small enough for your pet to jump or crawl into, including sources of water, closed at all times. Always check under your car or near garbage disposals before turning them on.
Tips for Safe Traveling
While dogs are known to love the feel of the breeze through car windows, in actuality, this may not be the safest practice. Allowing a dog to stick part of his body out of a window increases the chances that he will fall out of the car and become injured. Strong winds can also damage mucous membranes and force debris into his eyes. Avoid letting your dog ride in the bed of a truck, as the warmth from the sun can overheat the bed and burn your dog's paws. Dogs should be placed in protective crates in the bed, if they do not fit in front seats. Never leash your dog to the bumper of a vehicle.
Always check your pet's collar to make sure that it is not too tight. This is especially relevant to young animals that are still growing. Collars that are not loosened to make room for an animal's expanding neck can cause pain and become grafted into your pet's skin. Pets that travel with a collar that is too tight can have trouble breathing and eating, which can lead to an unforeseen emergency.
For the Love of a Cat
Having a cat can be a fun and an interesting experience, as they are curious, lively animals that are always up for an adventure. They are however, susceptible to injury due to their instincts. For example, letting a cat play with string can lead to choking incidents, so resist the urge to tease your cat with string, tinsel or anything else that can get lodged in her throat. Train your cat to love the inside of your home. Cats that are kept strictly indoors tend to live longer, as they are sheltered from the dangers of the outside world. As a result, their vet bills are also tend to be lower.