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Home Safe Home: Making Your Home Purrfectly Safe For Pets

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

When most of us think about “expanding” our family, most think about adding a baby to our brood. And, that means preparing ourselves, our bodies and our home for the soon-to-arrive bundle of joy.

But, what if the new little one we’re looking forward to is of the four-legged kind? Well, according to experts, it’s just as important to prepare properly for their arrival. And that means safeguarding our surroundings. In fact, experts remind us that our homes can be hazardous for our feline and canine friends who explore on all fours. And, they add that we need to take extra precautions when it comes to high traffic or otherwise “off-limits” areas that may contain lots of chemicals that may be harmful to your pet; recommending that pet owners keep cleaning items and other liquids safely secured in cabinets your pet can’t reach or open or that contain childproof locks.

Remember, that feisty felines can easily make their way to otherwise out of the reach countertops and stovetops while dogs can and will avail themselves of the refreshments out of your toilet bowl, which regardless of how clean you keep it, can make your pooch quite sick.

Cords and outlets can also cause “trouble” and complications. Experts suggest securing all loose wires and cords by wrapping them in cable snakes or securing them in sliced tubing and placing them behind large objects such as cupboards, bureaus, or hiding them under carpets that are taped down. Go the extra mile and invest in some bitters, available at local pet supply stores to discourage biting and/or chewing. Also, if your pets roam freely in your basement, attack or garage, make sure to place all potentially harmful objects and chemical well out of reach. You may also want to look for “pet safe” items such as antifreeze with propylene glycol incase your pet does take a taste. Plus, it’s better for the environment as well.

Make sure the “scraps” you are feeding your pet are pet friendly. Remember, some of the “finest” human foods can make pets sick. Among these: macadamia nuts, onions, raisins, chocolate, grapes and alcohol. Coffee grounds and cigarette butts are also dangerous. Experts suggest clearing stoves, counters, etc or plates and leftovers. And, make sure all trash can have secure or locked lids. In addition, they suggest putting a skirt around the base of your Christmas tree to deter your pet from sipping out of the tree stand, exposing him or her to any chemicals that made their way into the water via the tree. Last but not least keep ornaments higher off the ground where they can’t be played with and/or broken potentially inuring your pet.

Make sure to keep a close eye on curious “little ones” who love to get into things and explore, and may just make their way into a washer, dryer or bolt out the door as you’re backing out of the driveway. Also, proceed with caution when buying a toys since pieces can break off and get lodged in your pet’s digestive tract. Instead offer pets a toy only when you are there to play with them or close at hand to monitor activity and behaviour. Plus, never let a pup come in with “dirty” winter paws. Experts assert that de-icing salts can make your pooch sick and suggest wiping off paws with a damp cloth.

Finally, experts offer pet-safe suggestions for storage. That’s right, moth balls can prove highly toxic to pets. You may also want to block off any areas with exposed holes in walls where pets may risk getting stuck or hurt. Find out about houseplants and which are “pet-friendly” and safe, since many can be dangerous for pets. And, it’s advisable to have on hand a pet first-aid kid that contains Biocaine lotion, dog pads, alcohol pads, cold packs, and a magnifying glass to help remove items that may get suck in your pet’s paw(s). But, if you don’t think YOU can take charge, simply call your vet, most now offer 24-hour emergency numbers for instances that just can’t wait.

Long Island Pets Articles > Home Safe Home: Making Your Home Purrfectly Safe For Pets

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