Tips for Pet-Proofing Your Home

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Make Your Home Pet Proof

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Moving with pets can be even more difficult than moving with children. And moving with pets and children -- well, that's an entirely different story! To minimize the stress of helping your pet adjust to your new home, you'll want to protect both the animal and your belongings. After all, you want your new apartment or house to be safe for your pet, but you also don't want your pet to damage any of your stuff while s/he adapts.

Protecting your pet

Once you've settled into your new home, there are plenty of things you can do to make your place more animal-friendly.
  • Be wary of what chemicals you use in your home. First, you should not keep any types of chemicals out in the open where your pet can reach them. They should be stored under your sink in the kitchen or in a closet that remains closed. Also, you should be extremely careful with what you use to kill and repel insects. Most bug sprays and pesticides can be toxic to animals, including over-the-counter flea and tick remedies.
  • Ask your vet about certain foods. Try not to feed your pet "people food" on a consistent basis. This type of diet can be harmful to the animal, and you should ask your vet about which foods to absolutely stay away from. Also, it is a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about prescription medications to avoid using OTC remedies, as mentioned above. Here are some foods that can be poisonous to pets:
    • Chocolate
    • Caffeine
    • Alcohol
    • Grapes/raisins
    • Avocado
    • Milk
    • Raw/undercooked meat and eggs
  • Be careful with plants. Some household plants can be harmful to animals. Certain varieties may look beautiful inside your home, but many pets are curious and like to chew on plants. Avoid decorating your place with poisonous plants such as azalea, holly, lily of the valley, mistletoe and poinsettia, as well as various other types. Be sure to do your research online or ask your vet about harmful plants before purchasing any for your home.
  • Don't leave small objects in easy-to-reach places. You must also be wary of choking hazards around the house. Do not give your pet the opportunity to swallow items like rubber bands, string, floss and paper clips. So, just make sure to clean up after yourself when you are using these materials or other small items.
  • Don't leave a burning candle unsupervised. Though candles may bring wonderful scents to a room, that relaxation disappears when your cat or dog knocks them over and starts a fire. Limit your pet's access to burning candles, and stay on the lookout when you've lit one. Animals are curious and sometimes need to be protected from themselves. Diligence will protect your home as well.
  • Put up a fence. Keep your pet in your yard, if applicable, with a surrounding fence. This is important for animals that might be left unsupervised outside. Make sure your fence is tall enough to keep the animal inside the yard and deep enough to keep anything from digging under it.

Protecting your stuff

Your belongings have already made it this far undamaged. After your move, you'll want to keep these important items from getting ruined by a nervous or anxious pet. Here are some tips for pet-proofing your new home:
  • Make an appropriate floor plan. If possible, plan accordingly for your pet in your new home. If you have the choice, fill your place with pet-friendly materials that can stand the wear and tear of an animal. Flooring should be easy to clean and stain-resistant. Some good materials include tile, vinyl, laminate and sealed concrete. Area rugs can be placed over high-traffic carpet regions of your home. This way, you can easily remove the rugs and clean as needed, and your carpets stay good as new!
  • Shield your furniture. Leather is easy to clean, but it is very susceptible to scratches. Be sure to keep your pets off the couch to prevent punctures. Wood furniture is easily scratched and damaged by pets, so metal and glass are better options for your home. You can always use slipcovers to prolong the life of your furniture.
  • Provide recreation. Make sure your animal doesn't get bored and extra curious. Keep pets busy to prevent them from destroying items in your home. Give them toys to play with in the house, and take them outside for recreation. Utilize your yard or take walks around the neighbourhood for exercise. Most pets like to look out the window, so try to organize your furniture to allow for some window-watching.
  • Pay attention to your pet. Simply put, having a pet is almost like having a child. And if you already have children, it's basically like having another child. You need to pay attention to all of your children, so give every kid, kitty and pooch the consideration they deserve.

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on February 10, 2015 - Moving Expert
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