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Making Your Home Pet-Friendly

When is the last time you reviewed your house for pet safety?  Whether you already have a dog living with you, or you are thinking about adopting one, it is important to provide an environment which is safe and comfortable for your furry companion.  This is something many new pet owners do not think about in-depth before they adopt a new pet, but not to do so creates hazards for your dog.  Read on to learn some vital dog safety tips for your house.

Check Your Setup

·    Drop down on all fours to investigate your home—literally do this.  It is difficult to think like a dog unless you can see like a dog, and that entails getting down on the ground and having a look around from your dog’s perspective.  Are there low tables, shelves, and other areas that impose a hazard you might have missed?  Should some objects be placed on higher shelves?  Are there counters or tables where you shouldn’t leave your own food? 

·    Also check out your electrical setup.  Are there wires that could trip or strangle your dog (on that note, also check your curtains)?  What about items that are plugged directly into outlets?  Nightlights and other items which are low to the ground may prove interesting to a dog—and harmful.

·    If you have small pets like fish or rodents which must be kept in their own area, make sure that area is out of reach.  Dog house safety procedures need to ensure other animals are kept safe too.

·    Cover heating vents so that pets do not suffer burns or other injuries.  Heating vents can be a major temptation for animals during colder months.  Also make sure any heated supplies you buy specifically for your dog (like a heated dog bed) are safe, and all wires are out of the way. 

Hide Hazardous Objects

·    Stow hazardous materials somewhere dogs cannot reach them.  This includes household cleaning agents, insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, fabric softener sheets, laundry detergent, mothballs, and so forth.  Medications also fall under this category.  Do not leave pills lying around.

·    Keep children’s toys out of reach for dogs.  Children’s toys can be exciting playthings for dogs, which not only will not be appreciated by your kids, but may also prove hazardous.  Dogs should only play with appropriately safe dog toys.  Toys which are designed for humans may pose choking hazards or contain materials which are unsafe for your pet.

·    Watch out for other small items around the household.  This means rubber bands, Q-tips, sewing supplies, coins, and other tiny objects.  These are all items which tend to get dropped or strewn around the house.  Without a pet, this would not be a concern (though it might become an eyesore).  With a pet, however, it is dangerous.  If a dog eats a small object, it sometimes has to be surgical removed.  Other times, it could cause the animal to choke.  This is one of the reasons it is so important to routinely check your house for safety.  

Plants

Household plants and outdoor plants are something else that you need to double check before you bring a dog home.  Plants which are poisonous to dogs include holly, caladium, lilies, mistletoe, poinsettias, mums, aloe vera, amaryllis, tulips, oleander, English Ivy, chrysanthemum, and marijuana.  These plants should be kept out of your yard area, and if you have them inside your house, they need to be placed on high shelves where your dog has no chance of reaching them.  While you are at it, make sure that your yard is enclosed by a proper fence and that there is no chance your pet can escape.  If there are dangerous animals in your backyard (snakes, scorpions, etc.), it is best to keep your dog indoors at all times.

Home safety tips for dogs should be reviewed regularly, not just when you first bring home a new dog.  Things change around the house over time, and every few months, you should make it a point to review the list and see if there are any new hazards in your home.  It doesn’t take long to check your house for dog safety, and doing so will help keep your beloved pet safe and happy.

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