You’ve made the big decision to bring a new pet home – congratulations! Now that you’ve added a new member to your family, remember that for them to feel the most welcome they’ll need to be kept safe. Here are six ways to maintain a pet-friendly home:
1. Baby-proofing While your pet may not be a human child, the same types of devices can be used to keep them safe. Put covers over your electrical outlets, install a toilet lid lock, use baby gates to limit access to rooms, place safety locks on kitchen and bathroom cabinets that store poisonous chemicals, and keep electrical cords out of sight.
2. Give them the right chew toy Pets love to chew (we’re looking at you, Fido) and seem to have an affinity for your most expensive pair of shoes or whatever’s in your sock drawer. Be sure to provide pets with the proper toys to avoid expensive damage or choking incidents. Never give your dog an old shoe or children’s toy to chew on as these could be dangerous to their health and also teach bad habits. Opt instead to buy a rawhide or chew toy made specifically for animals at your local pet stores; we suggest PetSmart or Petco.
3. Get down to pet level While this one may feel silly, getting down on all fours will allow you to see your home from your pet’s point of view. From this level, you might notice dangling wires, loose change or medication that might have dropped to the floor and rolled out of sight. You’ll also get a better view of the places your vacuum cleaner can’t reach – block off these spaces if you can as they could be hazardous for kittens and puppies.
4. Pet-friendly furniture With the arrival of your new pet, keep furniture purchases in mind. Stick to buying flatter low-pile rugs to prevent your cat from digging into the wide looped strands of a high-pile rug. When it comes to seating, invest in cushions for your couch that zip on and off or in a slipcover to make laundering easy. Consider shopping at stores that carry lifestyle and pet-friendly furniture and fabrics; we suggest The Livable Home and Crypton.
5. No more clutter With a new pet roaming around, you’ll have to get used to putting away items that you’re not using to make sure your favourite possessions don’t get chewed, scratched or broken. If you have been meaning to clean up and organize your home, there’s no better time to do so than now. If you live in a small place, decluttering will also do wonders for maximizing your space. You can find more tips for decorating your micro-apartment here.
6. Be prepared Try as we might to keep them at bay, accidents do happen. If your pet vomits or has an accident indoors you’ll want to have everything you need on hand for cleanup. Invest in a pet-specific vacuum cleaner, carpet spot treatment, and odour-fighting products.