Bringing a Furry Friend Home? Pet-Proof Your Home First!

home pet proofing tipsAre you bringing your very first pet home? Adopting another furry friend to keep your first one company? Then congratulations! Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding experiences, and you’ll find that you’ll have gained a best friend for life.

But if you haven’t found out by now, pets, like children, are very curious (albeit very lovable) creatures. When they first arrive at your home, they will investigate everything, and they will attempt to mark their territory (in more ways than one!). Before you bring your newest furry friend home, you should prepare for them properly by pet-proofing your home!

Not sure how to pet-proof your home? Check out the following 8 tips to help you ready your home for a new four-legged friend!

Get Down to the Pet’s Level – Stumped at where to begin? Then try getting down to your pet’s level to see what should be taken care of! Get on your hands and knees and look around you for anything that would attract a pet’s attention, especially a puppy or kitten. We’re talking about wires, electrical cords, toys (that aren’t theirs, that is), loose strings, paper, coins, any stray pills, and so on. Check for places in which vacuums can’t reach, too. You never know if a puppy or kitten can squeeze through and find something you don’t want them to find!

Keep Those Drawers and Cabinets Shut – Little pets have a large amount of curiosity. Try to put childproof locks on cabinets in case any curious little paws try to open them. Also, if you have a feline, be sure to check your closets, drawers, and even the washer or dryer before leaving. Cats like drawers and dark places, and it can be surprisingly easy to accidentally leave your cat in a dark enclosure unknowingly.

Say No To Chewing – When it comes to pets and chewing, anything’s game – your favorite pair of shoes, the corner of that fancy sofa, or that very important document that you needed for work. To prevent chewing, try to keep your closet doors closed, and keep your things off the floor. If your pet still insists on chewing put up child-safety games or try spraying pet-safe products with either a lemon or a bitter apple flavor (they tend to dislike those flavors!) on your tasty leather shoes or anything else that looks enticing to pets.

Guard Your Food – Your four-legged friend might look like he would love to chew on that piece of chocolate in your hand, but trust us, you’re better off keeping your food out of reach. There are several types of food that can be very harmful to pets; even consuming a little bit of certain foods can be lethal. Keep your food out of your pets’ reach!

Stop Scratching, Stat! If you adopt a cat, be prepared for scratching. Cats tend to scratch in order to exercise their muscles and tendons in their paws and also to claim their territory. While you can remove their claws, the easiest way to deter scratching is placing scratching posts close to where your cat eats and sleeps.

Pets + Plants = Disaster – You love plants. You also love pets. Sounds like a winning combination, right? WRONG. Many types of plants are quite poisonous to pets, and if a pet chews on or consumes certain plants, they can become ill or can even die. Keep your plants off the floor and in locations your pets won’t be able to reach. Research which plants are and are not harmful to pets before you purchase any plant.

Put the Lock-Down on the Lid – As gross as this might sound, your toilet looks tasty to many four-legged pets. They view it as an oasis that will quench their thirst, free for the taking. What they don’t know is that there can be chemicals from cleaning products that could still be lurking in the bowl that could make them ill, and well, it’s just nasty. Beat them to the punch and keep the lid closed. Add extra precautions by adding a lid lock or by keeping your bathroom door closed.

Train, Train, and Train Some More – Training a pet begins the first day you bring your furry friend home. It’s important to set healthy boundaries on what your pet can and cannot do or go. Always use positive reinforcement and praise when your pet does something good, and try to distract them from less desirable behaviors; NEVER strike your pet. Proper and consistent training can help eliminate most of the issues above, if not all of them. Just remember to be patient as some pets more quickly than others!

Now that you know what to do, you’re free to choose your new best friend and begin the fun process of training and owning a pet while protecting the home that you love from potential damage!

Want more information? Need a new home? Give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, or you can check out our website at to see what we can do for you and your family!

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