How to Improve the Safety of Your Home for Your Pup
Before having a baby, many families baby-proof their home to ensure it is safe for a small, crawling human. However, many pet owners don’t have the same thought when they bring home a new dog.
Whether you’re getting a new pup, going on vacation, or simply spending less time at home than usual, it’s a good idea to dog-proof your home to ensure your pup is safe while you’re away.
However, sometimes there are risks at home where you wouldn’t even expect them. Implementing these safety features in your home will ease your worries while you’re away by keeping you aware that your beloved furry friend is in a safe environment with minimal risks.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe at Home
When dogs are home alone, they often become bored, which can cause them to get into mischief. This can include anything from ripping up furniture to carrying the garbage from one end of the house to the other.
1. Remove Your Trash
While you can’t do much about your furniture except not leave them home alone until they’re well trained, you can do something about the trash.
Even if you’re leaving for one day, it’s best to throw out any trash you have in your garbage cans. Not only will this prevent a potential mess, it can also protect your pet from getting into substances that can make them ill, such as old food, chocolate, or chemicals. It can also prevent them from eating plastic or other trash, which can present choking hazards or simply make them sick from the chemicals.
Note: If you don’t have time to throw out the trash, you can also simply put it behind a closed door. Closing pantry and closet doors before leaving home is important to keep your dog from getting into cupboards with food, raw materials, and cleaning supplies.
It’s also a good idea to put away any loose items or decor you have around the house, such as glass vases or knick-knacks that can break and possibly be eaten by your dog.
2. Declutter All Areas
Although putting away loose items should be a priority, the decluttering doesn’t stop there. If you’re leaving for more than one day, your dog may become fussy or anxious and start seeking things to chew on, especially if they’re young.
For this reason, it’s best to unplug and tie up any loose cords around the house, such as extension cords, television or stereo cables, lamp cords, and anything else with wires. Consider buying outlet plug covers as well for additional safety.
3. Remove Important Papers
While wires pose the greatest dangers, it’s also best for you and your dog to put paper files out of reach. If on the floor or somewhere where they can climb to, your dog may be tempted to get into these files. If they eat enough paperwork, it could lead to digestive problems, not to mention the loss of important files you’ll suffer.
4. Lock Up Your Cabinets
Although closing your doors to keep Fido out of unwanted areas is a given, locking up the cabinets is often an oversight. However, cabinets are often very easy to open, especially for savvy dogs, and can lead your pup to cleaning supplies, kitchen appliances, glass dishes, and silverware.
Keep them safe by putting a childhood lock on all cabinets, which will secure them from even the savviest of dogs.
5. Put Plants Away
Plants are often placed in the sunniest spots in the house and thus enjoy those surroundings. However, if you’re going out of town, it’s more important to keep your dog safe by putting the plants somewhere more difficult to reach.
If possible, hang them up somewhere your dog won’t be able to climb to or simply put them in a room and close the door to keep your dog out. This will ensure they don’t knock over the plant and make a mess or start chewing on it, which may present toxicity risks to your pet.
Precautionary Home Measures
If you’re going on vacation or out of town for a few days on business, it may be a good time to do a home safety check to ensure that your home is safe and that your heating and cooling is functioning and at optimal levels.
6. Check Your Heating & Cooling System
Although it may seem unnecessary to check your furnace or water heater, having these set at the wrong temperatures could lead to health and safety risks. A leaky furnace or water heater could lead your dog to suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Depending on the time of year you leave home, you’ll need to leave your heating and cooling systems on to stabilize the temperature for your pet. You don’t want them to be too cold or hot while you’re gone, as this could cause them to suffer from heat exhaust or hypothermia.
Sometimes, electrical issues can lead to fires, and furnace problems can lead to exposure to carbon monoxide.
Note: Before you leave home, check and make sure your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors are working, as these can alert someone to get help for your pet.
7. Install Home Cameras
Another tip to give you peace of mind if you’re leaving your pet in the hands of a dog sitter for an extended period of time is to install a home camera that will let you see what your dog is up to while you’re away.
If they seem particularly sad or bored, you can alert your dog sitter and ask them to play with them a little more or to give them some treats to bring their spirits back up. Moreover, if you see them getting into trouble or anything dangerous, you can also alert your dog sitter to go check on them as soon as possible.
It’s never easy leaving your pet when you have to go away without them for the day or while you’re on vacation. However, one of the worst parts about this is not knowing if they’re okay while you’re gone.
By taking extra precautionary measure while you’re away, you’ll be able to rest easier knowing that they’re safe and sound — and that they’ll be home waiting for you when you get back.