Pet proofing tips for your home! Bringing a pet home means a lot of responsibility. It’s like bringing home a newborn baby. They’re teething, they’re naughty and to top it off they’re really, really curious! So that means, chewed up shoes, torn rugs, spoiled furniture and a whole lot of other damages! But here’s all the pet proofing you need to do to keep your pet safe while protecting your beautiful home.
Create a friendly atmosphere
Puppies and cats like to jump around and explore their new surroundings. Delicate things like glass pots, artifacts, lighted candles etc should be kept at least 4-5 feet above the floor.
Canine behaviourist Vanessa Noronha says, ‘Before a puppy is brought home, owners have to be informed about the needs of the particular breed they have chosen. For instance, a Beagle or a Labrador are hunting dogs and hence may be even more inquisitive than smaller breeds. Phone chargers, wires or cords tempt a pet to tug on it. So, ensure that they are out of their reach.’
2. Protect your Jimmy Choo from that deadly chew!
To relieve the discomfort of teething, puppies like to chew on anything and everything in sight. In the first few months of their growing years, their gums are itchy, so they love exploring the world around them by biting and chewing on things. To avoid the destruction of your favourite shoes or rugs, give them toys with similar textures. Vanessa adds, “Rope toys and Kong toys work best for puppies as they won’t cause them any harm. However, owners should not leave them unsupervised with squeaky toys as they may ingest bits that might get them sick. Feather teasers stuffed with catnip should keep your cats busy.”
3. Schedule the poop if you don’t wanna scoop!
Toilet training is one of the most important aspects while raising a pet. Since it’s discouraged to take your puppy out in the first few months, until it receives all its vaccinations, mark a spot in the toilet where you want it to relieve itself. Vanessa says, ‘Training begins on day 1 of bringing your pet home’.
Even if it’s an older dog, training has to begin on the first day itself. Consistency is the key. Dogs won’t figure out where they have to pee and hence you have to keep a keen eye on them. Anticipate that your pet will need to relieve itself, as soon as it gets up or after a meal and take it to the chosen spot. Praising them is the key to good training. If you are consistent your puppy will be toilet trained in 7-8 days. It’s also important to use positive dog training methods.
As they get older, set a routine for them by taking them for walks at specific timings in the day. This will condition them to relieve themselves outside at that particular time. Avoid changing their timings too often.
4. Hair scare everywhere!
Brush your pet regularly to avoid the hair that will eventually bunch up on the floor. Use a vacuum cleaner to keep the pet hair off your sofas and beds. You could also use lint rollers to get the hair off your clothes.
Niti Bavishi, Canine trainer and pet groomer at The Woof Bond in Ghatkopar says, ‘Dogs and cats don’t need to be given a bath frequently. However, it’s important to brush their hair regularly.
Breeds like Lhasa’s, Poodles and Shih Tzu’s should be brushed at least once a day. Double coated dogs like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Labradors should also be brushed.
Pet owners should never trim their pet’s hair, but once a month they should be taken to a professional groomer. Cats don’t need to be bathed often as they usually keep themselves clean. Furry cats like the Persian cat need to be brushed regularly so that fur balls don’t form on their coat’.
Trimming your pet’s nails will ensure that they don’t scratch the upholstery or floor. Niti adds, ‘While cutting your pets nails make sure you know where their veins are as you might end up cutting them. If you don’t know how to do it, get professional help. Make sure they get a good walk on rough surfaces so that their nails don’t grow too long. Similarly, be careful while cleaning their ears as they are very sensitive there. If you don’t know how to go about it, you may end up pushing more dirt in’. Finally Niti says, “Make sure your puppies are socialized with grooming procedures as they should have a positive attachment to grooming. They must start early to develop that attitude.”
5. Poison, run!
There are several household products and foods that may be dangerous for your pet. Common household plants like caladium, poinsettia, castor bean and philodendron etc have high levels of toxicity. So, ideally it’s best to do away with these plants. Similarly, chocolate, grapes, apple seeds etc can prove to be harmful and poisonous for dogs. Other products like strong floor cleaning agents for moping, insect sprays, medicines etc should also be kept out of your pet’s reach as they tend to lick things and may accidently ingest it.
6. Hi Hi Birdy!
When you have birds at home, keep the cage away from direct sunlight. Similarly, during the monsoons keep their cage away from the windows so that they don’t get wet. Find out about the food that can and cannot be given. Foods like chocolate, caffeine, peanuts, apple seeds can be poisonous for them.
7. Something’s Fishy
Having a fish tank at home requires a lot of care. The tank needs to be well lit, have the appropriate filters and if necessary a heater. Lights need to be kept at a safe distance from the water to avoid a shock. Most people prefer covering their tank with a mini roof to prevent the fish from jumping out. It’s also important to know which two fish are compatible before putting them together in the same tank. Trust me, you don’t want to witness a fishy cannibal apocalypse in your living room!
Finally, ensure that you make your home as comfortable as possible for your beloved pets. Because after all, a house is not a home without a pet!