6 Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home

Pets love to get into trouble. They can’t help it. It’s up to their human owners to train them to behave, but even then, without a human in the room, a well-trained but bored and curious dog or cat may decide to make a meal of a roll of toilet paper or knock over and break that bottle of wine you were saving for a special occasion. They just can’t help themselves. So here are six ways to help secure your home so your furry friends are safe whenever you’re not around to say, “NO! BAD DOG! BAD CAT!”

  1. Research poisonous plants:

    Cats and dogs are prone to eat grass, leaves, and flower petals for a couple reasons. Eating greens induces vomiting, which can help relieve a gassy stomach or expel a fur ball. The second reason is they’re acting on instinct and attempting to eat something for food as they would in the wild. But house plants can be toxic, even poisonous for your pet. Research any plant you wish to keep indoors to be sure it won’t harm your cat or dog if eaten.

  2. Install child locks and toddler gates:

    Cats and dogs like to explore, and cats are especially sneaky while doing it. So consider using child locks to secure floor level cabinets containing cleaning products and other potentially harmful household items. Toddler gates work well to sequester dogs, less so with cats who can often jump over a waist-high gate.

  3. Supervise the string:

    Dogs like string, but cats absolutely love it. But your cat should only play with string if you, the human, are holding onto the other end of it. If a cat begins swallowing a piece of string, they won’t be able to stop, and can end up damaging their esophagus and intestines. Make sure strings used for opening and closing blinds and curtains are kept well out of the reach of your pets.

  4. Block off hiding places:

    Cats especially like small spaces. They want to feel safe, especially when they are sleeping, which they do 70% of the day. But if they find a hiding spot and you have no idea where they are, you may inadvertently injure them. Block off areas in your home that present a potential danger to your cat. Try getting down on the floor and taking a look from your pet’s perspective in order to spot potentially dangerous places they may hide.

  5. Make the toilet bowl off-limits:

    Dogs and cats like toilet water because it tastes fresher than the water that’s been sitting in their bowl all day. To a pet, your toilet bowl’s water, especially after flushing, is like a mountain freshwater stream. But if you clean your toilet with any kind of chemicals, you do not want your pet drinking water from the bowl, as they can become ill as a result. Keep the lid down, add a toilet lid lock, or make sure the bathroom door is always closed.

  6. Don’t leave anything fragile out in the open:

    Knick knacks. You know what knick knacks are, right? Those tiny glass unicorns, quartz and marble rocks you fished out of a cave somewhere, and 3-inch-by-3-inch vintage photographs of your great, great, grandparents with the antique frames that you’ve tastefully arranged on a display shelf. Well, don’t kid yourself. Your dog or cat could care less about your knick knacks. Dogs may simply knock your coveted treasures off a display shelf with a wag of their tail while a cat, who can jump a height seven times the length of its tail, will always be tempted to leap at anything that you think is safely out of reach. Consider keeping your antiques, collectibles, and treasured junk on a shelf or table in a room with a door that shuts and locks.

    For more information go to http://www.homeinsurance.org

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