If you’ve never owned a pet before, know that you’ll have to make some changes to your lifestyle and your home— depending on what type of pet you choose to get. For instance, not much will change if you get a goldfish, but a lot of things will change if you get a puppy. Puppies and kittens are very playful animals, and there’s a lot that they can get into that’s dangerous to them.
One of the best ways to ensure that your home is safe for your pet is to crawl around on all fours. This helps you to get an idea of what your pet sees, and you can remove any hazardous items. Still, there are other things to be aware of when it comes to creating a pet-friendly home.
Cleaning Your Home
Keeping your home clutter-free is one of the best ways to avoid having your pet choke or suffocate on certain items. You should also make sure that you don’t drop any food that you eat onto the floor where your pet can get it. A lot of the healthy foods we eat (such as grapes) can be fatal to certain pets. With that being said, make sure your pets can’t access your trash.
Also, a number of common household cleaners can be extremely harmful to your pet— even if they simply inhale the fumes or get it one their skin/coat. You can purchase pet-safe household cleaners (which should be stated on the product’s label), or you can keep your pets out of the room you’re cleaning for a few hours if pet-safe cleaners aren’t available to you. Some ingredients in cleaning products that are most dangerous to animals include:
- Hydrogen Peroxide
Decor in Your Home
The furrier your pet, the more likely it is to shed and leave fur all over your home. This means that you’ll have to vacuum more often, but there are other things you can do to mask your pet’s fur in the home. Many pet owners choose furniture decor that matches their pet’s fur color.
Of course, this shouldn’t be done in place of vacuuming, but some animals shed a lot more than others and it can be overwhelming to vacuum multiple times a day.
Though shedding is more of a hazard to your home than your pet, the type of furniture you get can be a hazard to your pet, as well as get destroyed by your pet. For example, you don’t want to have any loose fabrics on your furniture because your pet’s claws can get snagged and break, while also damaging your furniture.
Many types of animal claws can’t be cut too low because it can cause an infection, so keep this in mind when grooming your pet too. As for furniture options, opt for tightly woven fabrics such as canvas and denim.
Flooring in Your Home
Many pet owners will tell you that thick, plush carpet is the worst type of flooring when it comes to your furry friend. Not only is it hard to clean their shedded fur out of these types of carpets, but just like loosely woven furniture, their claws can snag— and both dogs and cats love to pick at and pull on carpet.
To keep both your pet and your flooring safe, the best type of flooring is either vinyl or laminate. These types of flooring don’t scratch as badly as pure hardwood flooring, and they’re more water-resistant.
Even if you plan to keep your pet indoors, you still need to be aware of any outdoor habits, as animals need to have some time outside. One of the biggest outdoor hazards can be something as simple as the types of plants you have in your backyard or garden.
When you purchase your puppy, kitten, or any other type of pet that you may let outside, you need to know which common outdoor (and indoor) plants can pose a threat. For example, lilies are known to cause kidney problems in cats, and even aloe vera can be toxic to certain animals.
You should also consider building a fence to secure your backyard if you plan to let your pet roam freely outside. Fences have certainly come a long way, and you can have one built that suits the style of your home.