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Making Your House Safe for Your Pets and Pet-Sitter

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(Image from Deposit Photos)

As pet owners, we want to make sure we keep our pets and our pet-sitters safe at all times. Just as we baby-proof a house when little ones are around, we have to make sure that our homes are pet-friendly and safe for the animals in our lives, as well as those who look after them! Whether you have a tiny kitten or a massive dog, we hope these tips will help you keep your beloved pets safe. Keeping the pet-sitters you’ve hired to take care of them safe, too? Even better.

Here, then, are our top tips for making your house safe for your pets and pet-sitter.

Making your house safe for your pets:

Store food out of reach

One of the best ways to keep your pets safe is to make sure all food is out of reach from them, especially when you’re not home. Putting food away in cupboards and in the fridge helps guarantee your pet won’t get into any food it shouldn’t be getting into; not only is too much human food not good for your pet, there are certain foods that can actually be toxic and cause your pet serious illness or even death. Foods that are particularly dangerous for pets, especially for dogs and cats, include chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, and garlic, although there are a lot of other foods your pet shouldn’t eat. Even garlic or onion powder can be a hazard, so keep your spice rack away from pets. Call your emergency vet ASAP if you believe your pet has consumed anything toxic.

Cover the garbage

We’ve all heard stories of pets getting into the garbage! Besides being a pain to clean up, it can also be a hazard to your pet. Chicken bones are especially dangerous for animals to consume (they can splinter in the stomach and intestines) while there are often many choking hazards in the garbage (think avocado pits or apple cores). Coffee grinds can also be hazardous if eaten. Some pets will even eat tissues or napkins, causing their bellies to swell. It’s important, then, to always make sure the garbage is securely covered or out of reach when your pet is left alone; even moving the garbage outside while the pet remains inside for the day is a good solution to keeping your beloved pet safe.

Keep all dangerous items out of reach, including medications

Again, there are a lot of dangers around the house that we may not have even thought of before; cleaning supplies can be toxic to pets, and ingestion of antifreeze causes thousands of pets’ deaths a year. Medications can also be extremely dangerous to animals. Make sure all hazardous or dangerous items are locked away or completely out of reach from all pets at all times. If you believe your pet has ingested anything toxic or poisonous, contact your emergency vet immediately.

 

Depositphotos_9292936_L(Image from Deposit Photos)

Make sure your houseplants aren't toxic

That plant may look pretty, but it may be toxic to your pet! Some dogs and cats love chomping on plant leaves, so it’s always best to know if your houseplants are toxic before keeping them in your home. Aloe vera, peace lilies, pothos, snake plants, jade plants, and poinsettias are just a few plants that can be toxic to animals if ingested; symptoms often include a burning of the mouth, vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea. Keep plants out of reach from animals, or stick to fake houseplants!

Use childproof latches

Once your pet knows how to open a cupboard or drawer, watch out! They might start investigating when you’re not around. Cats can sometimes use their paws to open drawers, while dogs can sometimes use their snout to open a cupboard or two. If this is the case, use childproof latches on any drawer or cupboard that stores food, cleaning supplies, medication, or other items you don’t want your pet getting into.

Put away dangling wires and cords

Curtain cords, TV cables, and even wires from kitchen appliances or lamps can all be choking hazards to pets. In order to keep your pet safe, make sure any dangling wire or cord is securely kept out of harm’s way.

Secure furniture to the walls

Some pets, especially cats, love to jump on the furniture! It might be worth it to secure your furniture to the walls, especially if it’s a particularly unstable shelf or wardrobe. You never know when your cat might take a flying leap toward a high shelf or a dog might knock into the furniture, and the last thing you want is for your pet to get injured in the process.

Keeps chairs tucked in

It sounds simple, but tucking your chairs into your kitchen table, dining table, and desk is a great way to keep your pets safe! It can prevent them from jumping up on counters and furniture, especially if there is food accessible from the higher vantage point.

Make sure all open windows have screens

While the old wives’ tale goes that cats always land on their feet, it’s important to have screens on all windows that you plan on leaving open for any length of time in order to prevent accidents. This is especially the case if you live in an apartment building, although even those who live on the ground floor should use screens in order to keep your pets in the home.

Depositphotos_467585810_L(Image from Deposit Photos)

Making your house safe for your pet-sitters:

Get an alarm system

If you have a pet-sitter looking after your pet, they may feel safer if your home has an alarm system. This is particularly helpful if you’re planning on being gone overnight or on holiday, as an alarm system will help keep your home (and all those within it) safe and secure.

Leave a detailed list of instructions

You should always leave a detailed list of instructions for both the house and your pets for your pet-sitter. Instructions about the house may include how to adjust the heat or air conditioning, alarm system instructions, and so on, while details about your pet should include their habits, eating schedule, walk schedule (if necessary), dietary concerns, medications, and anything else you think is important to know about your pet. Doing so will create a safe, comfortable environment for both your pet-sitter and your pet.

Depositphotos_159032494_L(Image from Deposit Photos)

Leave emergency numbers

Emergency numbers and addresses for your vet and the closest 24-hour animal hospital should always be left for your pet-sitter while you’re away. Leave the numbers up in an accessible place, such as on the fridge or by the front door. It might also be worth it to leave close family, friends, or neighbors’ numbers just in case your pet-sitter can’t reach you directly.

Check in regularly

In order to make sure your pet-sitter feels safe and comfortable in your home, it’s important to check in with them regularly. Touch base at least once a day to ask about your pets and to ask if there’s anything you can help with to make their stay as easy as possible. Doing so will mean your pet-sitter feels secure, which also means your pets will feel secure! It’s a win-win.

Depositphotos_238056090_L(Image from Deposit Photos)

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