Pet-proofing your new home: top tips

Being a pet parent is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have in life. However, when moving house, it is important to be sure that your new home is ready for your furry balls of chaos and love. Be sure to pet-proof your home before you let your pets run free, to avoid any serious damages.

Leaving this preparation until the last minute can have disastrous effects, so be sure to start as early as possible.

See the world from their level

Pets have a very different viewpoint of the world around them. Much like babies and smaller children, their eyeline is much lower than ours, and so they are more likely to spot exposed electrical wires and other hazards.

Unfortunately, their similarities to young children and babies lie in the fact that cats and dogs explore their world by smell and… taste. A puppy or kitten is definitely going to want to bite and play with that shiny new charging cord or the tiny piece of plastic that fell out of your pocket. It is vital to get down onto the floor to check for any possible items that can be chewed and/or swallowed, and remove them from the floor.

Train them to chew on toys, not furniture

Despite having put couch covers on your couches, your puppy or dog is still chewing on them: this could be because they have no other way to express the need to chew. Provide them with an outlet for this teething behaviour in the form of chew toys.

If you see your dog chewing on a couch or table leg, simply clap your hands twice. This will interrupt the activity without you needing to shout or smack them, which you should never do in order to train your pet. Simply taking their attention away from the activity and giving them a chew toy will teach them that the couch is not to be chewed on.

Provide them with a purr-fect scratching post

Admonishing a kitten for scratching your furniture is not going to stop them from scratching. It is a natural activity that cats perform after waking up, as a form of communication and exercise. Kittens also enjoy scratching as a way of expending pent up energy.

Be sure to provide your cats with a scratch post so they can use this instead of your antique, velvet-upholstered couches. Not only will it stop them from destroying your furniture, it will allow them to use up some of their energy and frustration. A scratching post should be placed close to where your kitten or cat sleeps so they can use it when they wake up and need to stretch and scratch.

Keep all bins tightly closed and out of reach

One of the most dangerous aspects of a home for dogs who enjoy snuffling around in containers is rubbish bins. These contain not only human food which is poisonous to dogs, but also other debris including sharp objects, poisonous cleaning liquids and anything else you may have thrown away.

If possible, you should keep your rubbish bin hidden away in your kitchen or install a built-in rubbish bin for extra safety. If you are able to use outside bins, this is a good option for keeping your dogs out of the rubbish. Be sure they are tall bins so your dog cannot reach inside them, and keep them in a difficult-to-reach area of your property.

Keep bathroom and laundry room doors closed

This is useful for both cats and dogs as bathrooms are often full of hazardous cleaning materials and chemicals. It would be disastrous if your fur-baby happens to knock over a container of bleach and accidentally licks some of it, so be sure that your bathroom door is properly closed and even locked while you are out or busy.

Your laundry room is equally as dangerous for inquisitive pets. The liquids and powders kept in here are toxic to humans, which means that they are equally dangerous for your pets. If you do not have a door for this room, keep all hazardous material high out of reach or place it in your bathroom where it can be locked away. Be sure to keep the doors and lids of all laundry appliances closed in case of unseen sleeping kitties.

A lot of work but it is worth it

Pet proofing your house may sound as tedious as baby proofing a house, but it is worth it in the end. Your pets will become a huge part of your family, and so keeping them safe will give them a long lifespan and a healthier life.