Bringing home a new puppy or kitten can feel as exciting as bringing home a new baby! Pets are like our family, and we want to ensure they have a safe space to explore without harming themselves. Many common household items can be potentially hazardous for small pets, and it’s important to “pet-proof” our homes in the same manner that we baby-proof them. Everyday household items, such as plants, foods, toys, furniture, and medications, can be major sources of danger for puppies and kittens. Read on to see how you can puppy & kitten-proof your house to ensure your newest additions to the household remain safe and protected.

Puppy and Kitten Proofing Your Home

Here are some tips for puppy and kitten-proofing your home, to ensure that your space is safer for your furry new arrival. From putting away personal items to securing wires, you can make your household pet-ready. If you believe you’ve done your best but are still facing frustrations with your new pet, it’s a good idea to consider pet behavior counseling as an option.

Keep Electrical Wires Out of Reach

Young pets love to chew when they are teething, but pets young and old are naturally inquisitive and find wires a very satisfying chew toy. Keep any electrical wires out of reach with zip-ties or by hiding them behind furniture, or utilize pet-repellent sprays to keep your kittens and puppies away.

Treats Can Be Threats

Remember, your new pet is young. Never give them bones as a treat. Chicken, turkey, or pork bones can splinter and become a choking hazard, or can seriously injure their intestines. Stick with their safer foods and treats.

Common Household Killers

Common household cleaning agents such as oven cleaners, drain cleaners, disinfectants, poisons, bleach, etc, are potentially lethal, even if you think they are properly capped and stored. Keep all of these items far away from where your pets can access them. When puppy-proofing your house, it’s a good idea to get rid of anything that looks like a “toy” to your furry friend.

Check the Antifreeze

Antifreeze has a sweet odor and taste. Even if your antifreeze is stored away in the garage, it might be in a place where your puppy or kitten can get to it when you aren’t looking. Store any such items high and away, seal them up tightly, and wipe up any garage floor spills. If you regularly leave the door to your garage open, always double-check where your pet is, especially before you start your car.

Killer House Plants

Many common houseplants are dangerous for small pets, especially kittens. Many plants are poisonous for cats, such as eucalyptus, spider plants, lilies, plant bulbs, and azaleas. Cats like to mess with plant pots and even munch on dirt when given the opportunity. Keep these plants out of reach and consider giving away plants that can harm your kitten. When kitten-proofing your home, it’s a good idea to consider removing anything that’s immediately within their reach.

Keep Off the Grass

Many homeowners treat their lawns with chemicals to offset the growth of weeds and pests. Lawn chemicals can be extremely dangerous for pets, and it’s important to carefully read all labels and follow directions to ensure you aren’t putting your pet in harm’s way.

Check Harness and Collar

Just like children, puppies and kittens grow at an alarming rate. If your pets wear collars, it’s a good idea to regularly check that the collars still fit properly. Harnesses and collars can be outgrown, leading to serious injury. If you have indoor pets, you might consider not using a collar until it is necessary.

Put Personal Care Items Away

Personal care items—such as shampoos, facial creams, cosmetics, lotions, and pills—are all potentially lethal to pets. Even if you think these items are properly stored in their cases or bottles, it won’t stop a curious kitten. Put your personal care items away where they belong and store them out of reach.

Don’t Leave Plastic Bags Out

Plastic bags can be particularly dangerous for both pets and children. Don’t leave them out—curious puppies and kittens can chew on these bags and suffocate.

Watch Out for Hot Appliances

Many appliances in our home can harm pets without us even thinking about it. Coffee pots, space heaters, and clothing irons can cause harm to curious animals. Never underestimate how high your pets can jump or where they can get to. Don’t leave your hot appliances unattended.

Cover Hot Tubs & Swimming Pools

Hot tubs, swimming pools, and bathtubs can be extremely dangerous for pets, as they might fall in and be unable to climb out. Keep them covered at all times and ensure that your pet doesn’t get into the bathroom unattended.

Why is it Important to Pet Proof Your Home?

As discussed above, pet-proofing your home is the best way to ensure the safety and well-being of your newest addition. Your furry friends will appreciate being cared for, and you will appreciate living in a worry-free space. Whether you have a puppy, kitten, or newly adopted adult pet, taking these precautions is the best way to prevent accidents and keep them healthy and safe.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Be Prepared for Emergencies

The best way to be a responsible pet owner is to take full responsibility for your little furry friend. They want to be in your life and to ensure they maintain the best quality of life possible, you need to be vigilant in maintaining a safe environment in which they can play, learn, and grow.

In the case of any emergencies, contact Paoli Vetcare right away. You can schedule an appointment with us anytime, but we are also available if your appointment just can’t wait. We are here for your puppy or kitten no matter what, whether you need to book non-life threatening urgent appointments or you simply need to call an emergency vet for advice. Upon your first visit, we will provide you with all the information you need for taking care of your new kitten or puppy, including the phone numbers for local emergency vets, poison control, and other important local services.

Dr. Erin Downes VMD

Dr. Erin Downes graduated valedictorian from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. She and her husband, Dr. Jay Rowan are the owners of Paoli Vetcare | Main Line Vet & Animal Hospital.