Destrucive DogI am often told stories by friends and my pet sitting clients about some of the things their pets get into during the day while they are not home. Sometimes these stories are quite amusing. Sometimes, they concern me. Mainly because their are so many things in your home that can be a danger to your pet. Here are some tips that can help you pet proof your house!

Get down to your pets level! Think along the lines of having a toddler in the house. It is amazing how your perspective changes when you are on the floor! You will see wires, electrical cords, toys, maybe even coins and wrappers. Look in places that the vacuum cleaner may have missed, under beds, in tight corners. Remember, small dogs and cats can get into tight areas!

Trash. Always, always keep your trash out of reach of your pet. That could be in a sealed off area such as a cabinet, in a closet or maybe even in a wooden canister that the animal cannot get into. Do not leave bags, such as chip bags or anything that had food inside. Your pets natural instinct is to forage for food. I’ve heard countless stories of pets dying because of a bag stuck around their nose and they can’t get it off. Same thing for soda cans or bottles.

Dark Enclosures. Our dogs and cats tend to like small enclosures. Think of it like a den. Always make sure that your cabinets, drawers and closets are closed. Before you close them, double check that your dog or cat isn’t hiding in one of those areas! Sometimes having child proof locks on these areas helps. For instance, my dog Misty loves to open up cabinets that are at her level. She has never gone inside but rather enjoys the sound of the door opening and closing!

Chewing. Ah yes, the dreaded chewing issue. I remember when I first brought my rescued German Shepherd Rocco home. I really had no idea what I was doing. Here was a dog that had been on a farm and never lived in a house. Yet for some reason, I thought it was okay to simply adopt him, bring him home and leave him loose while I was at work. Bad idea! I came home to what looked like a home invasion!! My sofa bed was pulled into the middle of the living room. Half of it was torn apart and my Queen Anne chair was torn to shreds. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Of course in the middle of that was Rocco wagging his tail. My point here is, their are safer ways to prevent your dogs or even cats from chewing. Remove items that may be of interest to your pet. For dogs, keeping them confined in a safe area of the home with a baby gate sometimes works. Crate training is also a great idea as long as the crate is introduced in the proper manner and is always seen as a good place for your dog. Sometimes spraying the item of interest with bitter apple helps as well.

Toilets. This is a danger zone for sure!!! Remember folks, you clean your toilet with chemicals. Even after flushing, some residue remains. This is the last place your pet should be able to drink from. Small dogs and cats can even fall in and potentially drown. Keep the lid closed!!

Happy Pet Proofing!