Pets are curious. There is a reason for the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat.’ They love to explore, and their instincts could lead them to swallow poisonous household cleansers or plants, or get entangled in a venetian cord or electrical cords.
That’s why it’s just as important for pet owners to pet-proof a home, just as parents would child-proof would keep any potential dangers out of reach of a baby or toddler. Here is a list of things to watch out for.
Lock up the chemicals
Parents can easily store household cleansers and medications on a high shelf, but cats can climb up and reach them. That’s why it’s better to keep these items (as well as any tobacco products or chemicals like anti-freeze) in a locked cabinet. You can also get safety locks from the baby section of your department store.
Keep human food in sealed containers
Pets can choke and even get sick on food like chocolate, processed meats like luncheon meat or hotdogs, macadamia nuts, raisins and even onions. Some of these items may even cause long-haired pets to shed their hair; others will develop skin reactions similar to allergies.
That’s why it’s better not to give these items to pets, even as ‘treats.’ And, when you’re done eating, seal leftovers in a plastic containers. We all know how they can find ways to jump on a table and steal whatever catches their interest.
Don’t decorate your home with toxic plants
Some plants can be quite toxic for dogs and cats. Easter lilies can lead to kidney problems; yews, philodendron and oleander can cause stomach upsets. If you like these plants, keep them well out of reach, or in rooms that your pets don’t normally go into.
Secure electrical cords
Some pets like to squeeze themselves behind cabinets, getting entangled in electrical cords. Others turn them into personal chew toys.
Unfortunately, these can cause electrocution and burning; broken cords can also damage appliances or cause fires. Keep your pets, your things, and your home and family safe by taping down electric cords to the wall. You can also find cord wraps in any home appliance store.
Provide chew toys
One way to keep pets away from poisonous plants or electrical cords is to give them plenty of chew toys. That will keep them busy, especially when you have to leave them unattended for longer than 20 minutes. Pet experts say that dogs and cats will usually chew ‘forbidden’ objects within the first half hour that they’re alone—either from anxiety or pure boredom. Leaving them a ‘comfort toy’ will help relieve his frustration (and prevent yours).
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