Smart Ways to Pet Proof Your Home

Baby animals are cute — but often destructive. Here’s how to protect them and your house.

See the world at pet eye-level. Pets definitely explore their environments by tasting, and they put everything in their mouths. We think children are bad — but that’s nothing compared to what a pet will do. Get down on the floor and check every room for hazards, she says. Look for exposed electrical cords, poisonous house-plants, and small objects, such as earrings, hair scrunchies, and toys.

Train your pet to chew on acceptable objects. If you catch your puppy or kitten chewing on your leather boot, clap your hands to interrupt the act, Miller says. “No punishment, no anger,” she says. Just make it a teachable moment. “Direct that behavior onto an appropriate object: a chew toy, a rawhide — something that’s safe and rewarding.”

Give your kitten a scratching post. It’s useless to punish a kitten that claws the sofa, because scratching is a natural behavior, Miller says. Instead, provide a scratching post or pad. Exercise your dog: Just 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day can tire her enough to slow down the destructive behavior.

Here are more pet-proofing pointers from Cruz and Miller:

Screen all windows tightly. So many cats and small dogs are hurt or killed falling out of unscreened windows that veterinarians have a term for it: “high-rise syndrome.” Close up trash cans, which can be full of toxic items, sharp objects, and human foods harmful to pets. Avoid draperies with long cords and tassels that can strangle a pet. Trim your pet’s nails regularly to prevent damage to leather and vinyl furniture.

Source: Web MD

Image: Pet Side