How can I pet-proof my home?

SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

This is a great question especially as there are more budgies, moggies and pooches living in homes across Australia than people according to Animal Medicines Australia (AMA), the peak body representing the leading animal health companies. 

The AMA has calculated there are almost 29 million pets in Australia – more than the estimated human population of 25 million. This includes an estimated 5.1 million dogs, 3.8 million cats, 11.3 million fish, 5.6 million birds, 614,000 small mammals such as guinea pigs, 364,000 reptiles and 1.8 million ‘other’ pets. 

While goldfish, angelfish, guppies and mollies need plenty of attention along with budgies, canaries, and cockatiels, their tanks and cages provide ready-made home proofing for these favoured pets. Therefore, we’ll focus on some home proofing tips to help minimise the damage that Marley or Garfield can cause around your property. 

Cat-proofing tips

Felix will mostly do whatever he likes around your home. However, if you are familiar with the phrase curiosity killed the cat, there are ways to keep kitty and your other prized possessions out of harm’s way.

Start by keeping medicines, cleaning products and other toxic items such as ratsak well out of reach of claws. A child-proof latch on a cupboard is useful for safeguarding cupboards from inquisitive tabbies.

Pack away the antique vase and other valuable ornaments you don’t want to be pawed. Moggies are fearless investigators and may unintentionally knock or destroy fragile items. Also be mindful of electrical and curtain cords, as both can be perilous for a curious kitty.

Cats don’t care about your material possessions such as your lounge and won’t lose sleep about shedding fur all over your cushions. Scratching is also normal and healthy behaviour for a kitty, so providing a scratching post could prove an alternative to the legs of your Louis XVI bedside cabinet instead.

Perhaps you could try creating a space for your kitty that includes a comfy bed and some toys. This strategy might encourage your cat to consider alternative sleeping arrangements to your bed or furniture.

Dog-proofing tips

Curiosity is also a threat to Rover’s longevity, so it’s important to pooch-proof your property even before bringing the new family member home from the pet shop or kennel. 

Unlike, cats, it’s possible to create some boundaries and rules within the home to keep your pooch safe and your belongings and furniture intact. These rules need to be decided early and might involve determining whether your puppy is allowed inside or not? Or if the hound is permitted to laze on beds and sofas? 

According to retailer Pet Barn, it’s essential to provide your dog space within your home, which they consider their own. This could be the corner of a room or a portion of the laundry. Once Lassie has her designated space, you must dispose of any dangerous objects she can swallow such as rubber bands, loose coins and socks. Likewise remove electrical cords and wires that can tangle up your pooch, not to mention relocating household cleaning products and poisons away from inquisitive noses. 

If you have birds and fish, be sure to secure any tanks or cages out of reach of roving paws. It’s also sensible to remove any rugs until Rover is house-trained, while child-proof latches are useful for keeping Benji out of cupboards and mischief. 

When dog proofing your yard, ensure all fencing is sturdy, and there are no escape routes through gaps between palings. Always keep the yard gates locked.

Also, tidy and clipped lawns can minimise the potential for ticks and fleas, especially as we head into summer and be sure Snoopy has plenty of shade and water when he’s out in the garden. It’s also best to avoid lawn chemicals and pesticides and regularly check your garden for dangerous plants that are toxic to canines. 

For more advice about how to pet-proof a house this summer, contact your local Raine & Horne agent today.