How to Pet-Proof Your Home

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The following is brought to you by our sponsor, BISSELL.

A new pet parent must prepare their home for their new arrival just like any other new mom or dad. Pet-proofing your home is key to having a happy, healthy pet. The following tips can help ensure that your home is ready for your new four-legged family member.

How to Pet-Proof Your Home

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Avoid Hazards. The first place you should check is under your sink, or anywhere else you keep household chemicals. The following poisons should be stashed in a pet-proof cabinet:

  • House plants (dieffenbachia, philodendron, hyacinth)
  • Pesticides
  • Antifreeze
  • Rat and mouse poisons
  • Mothballs
  • Fabric softener sheets

Other common household items can be poisonous to pets, and should be kept out of their reach:

  1. Medications
  2. Potpourri oils
  3. Cigarettes
  4. Coffee grounds
  5. Alcoholic drinks
  6. Chocolate!!

Surprisingly, even small doses of chocolate can be lethal for dogs. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include: vomiting, diarrhea, frequent urination, increased heart rate, convulsions and seizures. Vomit is a clear indicator of other types of poisoning. Tell your vet if your pet’s vomit has an odd odor, color, or consistency.

Arm Yourself for Accidents. If your pet does vomit, or has bathroom accidents as she adjusts to life in her new home, you will want to have on hand an enzyme cleaner for tackling pet messes. BISSELL’s Pet Stain & Odor Remover is ideal for cleaning up feces, urine and vomit. And if the thought of cleaning up pet accidents makes your stomach churn, consider bringing home a BISSELL SpotBot Pet before you bring home your new pet. Its hands-free operation does the dirty work for you!

For cats, hairballs are also a fact of life. Talk with your vet about lubricants, which will help your cat eliminate swallowed fur and prevent health problems, such as intestinal blockage.

Choose Proper Toys. Dogs love to chew on everything — even your favorite pair of shoes! However, chewing is a necessity — it keeps dogs occupied and relieves pent up anxiety. So bring home a proper chew toy before Fido picks another favorite item in your house to chew on. Keep in mind:

  1. Rawhide, hooves, and made-for-dog chew toys fulfill the need to chew and are good for her teeth and gums.
  2. Don’t give your dog old shoes, socks, wood, or children’s toys. It’s hazardous to her health and teaches bad habits.
  3. Turkey, chicken, and steak bones are choking hazards.

Knowing what to expect and following these few steps will help keep your cat or dog healthy and ensure a happy pet and family.