Tips to design a Pet Friendly House!

With more and more households owning pets it’s important to ascertain their safety. Through this blog Gharpedia shares some pointers to make your house a pet-friendly house. And while you’re at it please don’t forget to check out our blog on houseplants toxic to dogs!

Although having a pet is a wonderful experience, it comes with many responsibilities, including keeping your pet safe. Much like children, the curiosity of pets sometimes puts them into trouble. Here are some tips that should help keep your pet out of harm’s way…

General Tips for Pet Friendly House

01. No Strings Attached:

We’ve all seen cartoons of cats frolicking with balls of yarn. But that’s the only place it should happen. In real life yarn, twine, ribbon and tinsel can choke a cat – either the cat can swallow it or get tangled up in it while playing.

Keep those stringy things out of reach and invest instead in some safe toys for your furry friend.

Cats Frolicking With Balls Of Yarn

02. Electrical Cords:

Many pets have the tendency to chew the electrical cords or household wiring. If you are also battling this precarious situation, it is time you rubbed some dry soap bars on the wires. The smell of the soap will keep the pets at bay. Further, even if the smell doesn’t deter it, the taste certainly will!

Cat tangled up in the electrical cords

03. Accidental Falls:

Accidental falls from high places kill or injure thousands of animals annually. The only time your pet should be allowed on a balcony or terrace unsupervised is if the area is screened in or the pet is on a leash (just make sure it’s short enough so that it can’t jump over the edge and hang itself).

Install tight-fitting screens on all open windows, or make sure that any existing guard rails are secure.

Pet at height

04. Professional Pet Care:

When you must travel and can’t take your pet with you, always leave it with a professional pet care agency. Leaving the pet with your friendly neighbour may not be a good idea considering the best interest of the pet because the neighbour may seem to love your pet, but may not be in a position to take care of it.

Stick several brightly coloured ‘Pet Alert’ decals (available at pet stores) on the doors or windows of your home. If there’s an emergency when you are away from home, the decals will let the fire-fighters know how many and what type of pets need to be rescued. If possible, include the names of the pets and a brief physical description of each of them.

Professional Pet Care

05. Pools/Water:

It’s important to be just as assertive with puppies around a swimming pool as you would be with a young child. Better yet, put up a fence to keep pets away from the pool.

If a fence is not possible and your dog is determined to stay at the poolside, teach it how to get out of the pool. Do this by getting into the pool with it and guiding it to the steps. Keep doing this until it can swim to the steps and get out of the pool all by itself.

Not all dogs are natural swimmers. If you’re taking your dog out into the water, you may want to put a life vest (available at most pet stores) on it. Even if your dog can swim, a life vest can save its life in emergency boating mishaps.

Dog Around A Swimming Pool

The Pet Friendly Kitchen

Here are some tips to consider while creating pet friendly kitchen:

  • Store or throw away food, including leftovers as soon as possible – don’t leave anything out on a kitchen counter where your pet can get to it. Meat bones can choke or damage a pet’s throat or intestinal tract.
  • You may mean well, but clearing leftovers into your pet’s bowl is not doing it any good. If there’s a little too much fat in the food scraps, it may affect the pet’s digestive system negatively. Also, you may not realize that some food may contain ingredients (such as onions or chocolate) that can be harmful.
  • Be sure that your garbage can is impenetrable. Just as you don’t want your pet getting at the food on the counter, you don’t want it getting at the discarded food in the garbage too.
  • If your pet pokes its paws into places that may be dangerous for it, install child safety locks on your kitchen cabinets – for example, the cabinets in which you keep your household cleaning products.
  • Always keep the doors of the appliances like washing machines shut. There are all possibilities of the pets running into it and remaining stuck inside, especially in the case of a top-loading washing machine.

The Pet Friendly Bathroom

Here are some points to be kept in mind while designing pet friendly bathroom:

  • Do not leave plugged-in appliances – such as a blow-dryer, curling iron, electric rollers or face steamer – unattended.  A pet may pull it off the counter and burn itself (or accidentally start a fire). If you’re lucky, your pet won’t get hurt, but you may have to replace the broken appliance.
  • Do not give your pet access to water unless it’s in a bowl for it to drink. Keep toilet seat covers down, keep sinks and the bathtub empty.
  • All medications should be stored in a secure or locked cabinet. You don’t want your pet showing you how easy it is for it to chew through a child-proof pill bottle, do you!

Pet Friendly Rooms in the House

Here are few ways to make pet friendly rooms:

  • Examine cords of Venetian blinds and tiebacks of draperies to make sure that they won’t accidentally turn into a fatal noose when a playful pet has access to them
  • Think twice about having lit candles around if you have a dog or cat who may want to make a game of playing with or putting out the flame – or whose tail may be at the same height as the fire.
  • Regular exposure to second hand smoke can lead to allergies and other health challenges for your pet (we won’t even begin to get into the harm it can do to you!). The respiratory systems of birds are especially affected by smoke. For the sake of your pets, please do not allow any visitors in your home to light up a fag.

The Pet Friendly Garage and Driveway

Do you know the little dark syrupy puddles that pool under or near a car? Chances are it’s ethylene glycol which is anti-freeze. Sometimes the liquid is bluish-green or pink. Dogs and cats like to lick it because it tastes sweet.

However, anti-freeze is extremely toxic to pets – even a few licks could be fatal – so be sure to regularly check for spills and thoroughly clean up any leaks. If you have a supply of toxic solutions stored in the garage (or basement), then keep them in a secure place where pets cannot gain access to them.

If, despite your best efforts, you notice anti-freeze leaking, then sprinkle some sawdust or kitty litter on the spill to absorb the liquid and then mop up any remains. Do have your car checked because it shouldn’t be leaking anti-freeze!

Besides the in-house safety measures suggested above to help keep your pet safe; another problem that pet owners face is with regard to their pet wandering off and going lost.  In case this holds true for you too then become tech-savvy and explore the option of engraving your pet with safety tattoos or microchips.

Summing up, pets are truly the greatest friends of humans. They are our companions who give us unconditional love. They also become the reason for our smile and joy. Ensuring their safety and well-being are some of the finest gifts we can give to our pets in return.

If you are pet lover, then you might also like to read these articles –

How to Make a Comfortable Space for your Pet in Your Home?

Author Bio

Huta Raval – An English Literature and Journalism Topper, Huta Raval has graduated from the L D Arts College, Ahmedabad. Post serving for 23 years in the NBFC and Public Library Sectors her desire for ‘writing the unwritten’ brought her to the creative field of content writing. Her clientele comprises of NGOs, Blogging Platforms, Newspapers, Academic Institutions, et al.

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