Pet proofing your home

Pet proofing your home

If you’re bringing home a new baby, it’s natural that you prepare the surroundings to be baby-friendly, but few people think to do the same for a new pet. There are many pet health hazards that exist in almost every home. Luckily, you can keep your pet safe by following a few simple steps.

In the kitchen

Many foods are toxic to animals, including onions, chocolate, garlic, grapes, and coffee, not to mention the danger of cooked bones, which taste delicious but cause digestive damage to dogs and cats. Keep all foods stored away in the fridge or pantry, clean up scraps straight away, and invest in a pet-proof bin.

House plants

Indoor plants add so much to a home but they can be dangerous for your pets. Some plants, particularly any type of lily, are poisonous to cats. Cats eat grass to aid digestion, but if they can’t get to grass, a handy houseplant looks ever so tempting. Because it’s hard to keep cats out of any part of your home, as they are clever climbers and love to be up high, putting these plants out of your cat’s reach is almost impossible. Best to choose another varietal lest you risk a trip to the vet.

The bathroom

Cleaning products, medicines, and personal care items are interesting to a curious cat or mischievous dog, but these can be fatal if swallowed. A single paracetamol tablet can kill a cat, cleaning fluids can cause chemical burns, and sanitary products can obstruct the digestive tract. Keep these items behind closed doors, or keep your pet out of the bathroom.

The linen cupboard

Cats like hidey-holes, but if you use mothballs in your linen cupboard, keep them contained so your cat isn’t exposed. They are poisonous, even if your cat licks the residue off its fur.


In the study or behind the TV or stereo, keep your cables tidy and not lying where your pets can get tangled or be tempted to chew on them.

The yard

Fence your pool, keep a lid on your compost bin, and be careful which plants you choose as some are toxic to pets, like varieties of the lily family, oleander, castor oil plant, or Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow. If your trees have limbs overhanging the street, the roof, pool, or the neighbour’s yard, put some chicken wire around the base to make it harder for your cat to climb. Enclose your foundations with lattice so your cat or dog doesn’t end up under the house where it could get stuck, bitten by something venomous, or just really, really dirty.

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