Pet parents, is your home the perfect sanctuary for your fur-babies?
If not, it is time to make your home pet friendly.
This may sound like a long winded process but with some simple tips and tricks, it is possible to make your home the perfect pet palace for your cats, dogs and other furry friends.
Clear the air
One of the biggest problems of owning pets is that often, they come with odours that may be unpleasant. Having extractor fans in your kitchen, living room and bedrooms can help to eliminate unpleasant odours.
You should also avoid using air diffusers if you have pets, as many of the essential oils in these diffusers are harmful to cats and dogs. If you feel the need to make your house smell pleasant, you can use a natural solution such as combining a few sticks of cinnamon and some cloves into a pot of boiling water and leaving this on the stove for a few minutes. It creates a lovely aroma and is one of the more pet friendly air freshening options.
Having pets means that you will, inevitably, have fur covering your furniture. To avoid this, you should look into covering your couches in fur-free upholstery. You should avoid fabrics such as velvet, mohair, corduroy, velour or chenille.
Look for smoother materials such as smooth tapestries, leathers and synthetic fibres. However, leather may not be a wise choice if you have cats that enjoy scratching your furniture or dogs who like to chew on chair legs. Choosing upholstery that can withstand claws and teeth is important with kittens and puppies who might be teething.
Latch it up
When baby proofing your house, you will install childproof latches on cupboards that have dangerous chemicals in them. The same logic should be used for pets. If you have a cupboard in the kitchen or bathroom that holds hazardous chemicals, you will need to install childproof latches.
Locking or latching these cupboards will prevent your pet from being able to reach the chemicals, keeping them safe whenever they are inside. If you do not want to spend the time and effort installing such locks, keep your cleaning chemicals up high, where not even a crafty kitty can reach them. Be sure that all lids are properly closed on all cleaning chemicals.
Remove household toxins, including plants
Strong chemicals such as bleach, insecticides and other cleaning aids should not be used in a home with pets. You can look into using natural, ‘green’ cleaning methods such as using a vinegar and water solution for cleaning toilets and showers.
Mistletoe, Philodendron and Poinsettia are toxic to dogs, and both cats and dogs can be seriously harmed by Lilies, Azaleas, Oleander, Tulips, Yew, Chrysanthemum and English Ivy. If you would like plants indoors, do as much research as possible on what can be toxic to your pawed ones, or look into fake plants to bring in a touch of nature without the risk.
Animals can easily become trapped behind large appliances and overheat or suffocate, so be sure that you put up blockades either side of appliances so that they are not able to sneak behind the back and become trapped.
Washing machines, dryers, refrigerators or air conditioning units are the most common hazards, but TV units and other heavy furniture can also cause issues. Try to put appliances as close to the wall as possible, so your cats and small dogs are unable to get to the space behind them. Use simple blockades such as masonite pieces cut to size, as too heavy a blockade could be knocked over and cause injury to your pet.
Perfect personal space
Kittens, puppies, cats and dogs – no matter their age, pets love to be cosy and so may choose a specific corner to curl up in after a long day or on wintery nights. However, kittens and puppies may prefer small spaces that are also dangerous, as mentioned above.
The trick to avoiding having to manoeuvre your pet out from behind your dryer is to create the perfect personal space for them as an alternative. You can do this by leaving a covered cat bed in your cat’s favourite corner, with toys in close proximity or making a personalised dog bed in your living room for Fido. Make sure the furnishings are soft and comfortable and soon they will avoid small, dangerous spaces in favour of their own personal throne area.
Pet-proofing your house should be taken very seriously, as you are taking another life into your home. As the owner, you are in charge of their safety and well-being and should ensure that your house is safe enough for your pets to live healthily and happily in. Avoid using essential oils and room diffusers, and change over to natural cleaning chemicals. Remember to have fun with your pets and provide them with a loving and safe home for as long as they are with you.