How to Make Your Home a Safe Haven for Your New Pet

It had been quite a few years since my little Chihuahua Mix named Max had passed away before I decided to get a new pet. I had him nearly ten years and over that period of time, there had been a few mishaps, so to speak. There was the time that he got into his grass allergy medications and ate them. It took a late night visit to the vet to take care of that problem. Likewise, the time at Christmas when he violated his otherwise strict diet of dry dog food with a Sunday treat of gourmet canned, and ate too much baked ham. All that fat and salt that he wasn’t used to made him swell up like a balloon. The vet advised a dose of Pepto. He was pink by the time he had swallowed enough to give him some relief. Add to that, the night that he spent in the woods (I lived in the country back then) when my brother was visiting and unknowingly let him out at 3 o’clock in the morning. Max was back, scratching at the door the next morning, but he refused to tell me where he had been and what he had been doing during his night of adventure. One winter he also knocked himself silly by sliding headfirst into a tree when he hit a large puddle of ice in the front yard at full gallop.

Then there were the puppy years of chewed shoes, puddling accidents, and spilled kitchen trash cans. Like raising a child, sometimes you wonder how they survive. The next time I was determined to be a little bit older and a whole lot wiser, by doing a little planning before my new furry friend arrived�for both our sakes!

One of the things that you can do is give your pet a safe room, a bathroom (keep the toilet lid down) for the kitty, or a crate for the pup. A crate is an ideal place to keep your puppy when you can’t care for him. Most dogs will learn to like it and treat it as home.

A chewed through electrical cord can seriously harm or even kill your pet. Many Humane Societies recommended securing them together with strong tape or tubing that you can purchase at home supply and hardware stores. Cats like anything that they can bat around in the air and this includes Venetian blind cords. Just like you would never dangle a cord in your baby’s crib, remember kitty can climb and jump. Make sure to keep them secured.

One of Max’s favorite hobbies was to go kitchen trash can diving. When he was a small puppy, he couldn’t knock it over, but I swear he marked the side of it to see how fast he was growing and when he could reach the edge with his pawsâÂ?¦. My solution at first, was to hide the can in the cabinet underneath the sink, but eventually he figured out how to open it. A childproof cabinet latch foiled his attempts however.

They didn’t have those electronic identification tags when Max made his great escape, but they are a very good idea. He did however, have an identification tag and collar. Both are essential nowadays.

Then there are the things that you might not think about and overlook like household plants and chemicals. I remember one frantic search for bug bait when one of the children took the puppy down into the basement to play with him.

Maybe the best thing that you can do is get down on all fours and look at your house, safety wise, from the perspective of your dog or cat. Just try not to lick at anything under the refrigerator.

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