Most dog and cat owners know that these pets are experts at getting into mischief. They do things like dig around in your trash cans, knock over potted plants, and track dirt across the carpeting. All of this activity results in an ugly mess that a pet owner has to clean up. In addition to creating messes, sometimes, pets eat things they aren't supposed to. They can get really sick or die from eating certain materials found around most homes. So I thought I'd use this week's post to suggest some ways to pet-proof your home, garage, and shed. Hopefully, these tips can help you to avoid a few unfortunate messes while keeping your pets safe.
Inside Your Home
Dumping over a kitchen trash can is no big deal for a medium or large dog that wants to find a morsel of food inside the bag. You can avoid this messy cleanup by storing your garbage can inside a kitchen cabinet. Now, if you have a really resourceful dog, I suggest you put a latch on the cabinet door just to be safe. Or perhaps you want to keep your dog out of a particular room in your home. One solution is to install a baby gate across the doorway. The gate will prevent your dog from tracking dirty paw prints across your dining room carpet! If you're looking for ways to cat-proof your home, try hanging your house plants from the ceiling. This prevents your cats from jumping into your plant pots and kicking the soil out onto the carpeting. This arrangement also stops your cats from ingesting poisonous plant leaves.
Inside the Garage
Many dangerous chemicals are kept in the garage, so it's important for you to pet-proof the structure. For instance, take action to keep anti-freeze away from pets by storing the bottle on a high shelf. Also, be sure to clean up any antifreeze that drips from your car. Ingesting just a small amount of antifreeze can be fatal to a dog or a cat. Turpentine and motor oil should also be stored on an upper shelf in the garage. In addition to keeping chemicals away from your pets, make sure that there is plenty of clean air circulating in the garage. This is especially important if your dog or cat spends a lot of time there. Carbon monoxide flows into the interior of the garage whenever you start your car. Once you back out, a window or door should be left open, allowing the carbon monoxide to escape and the clean air to come in.
Inside the Storage Shed
If you have items in your storage or garden shed that you want to keep safe from your pets, try putting a latch on the door. Sometimes, dogs and cats can push their way into a storage shed if someone has neglected to shut the door securely. Some people like to keep big bags of dog food out in their storage shed. If you do this, try keeping the bag inside a metal garbage can with a lid. This prevents your dog from tearing open the bag and creating a trail of dog food across the floor. Also, put bags of gardening soil into a metal garbage can if you have a cat that likes to claw at and tear into plastic bags. Protect your dogs and cats by hanging your rakes, shovels, and brooms on hooks along the wall. This prevents heavy tools from falling on dogs and cats as they explore the shed.
Remember, taking a few extra precautions can help you and your pets live together in peace. Thanks for reading! - Alan