5 Tips for a Pet-Friendly Home

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You might not know it, but some everyday items around your house can be a hazard for your furry friends. We’ve got five simple tips for a pet-friendly home.

So you’ve got a housemate with four paws – cute! Having a pet in your home is a massive responsibility, and we mean more than just the regular cleaning, daily feeding and constant love.

Just like babies, pets can get curious with objects around the house and, more often than not, want a taste test of anything (and everything) lying around.

Aside from preventing your clothes, shoes and furniture being chewed and ruined, you need to take precautionary measures for their safety too. Many everyday things for us humans can be lethal for our furry friends. There’s nothing worse than an emergency trip to the vet, not to mention the hefty bill afterwards.

Here are our top five pet-proofing tips that have the added bonus of keeping your home tidier than ever!

Invest in high shelving and lockable doors

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Baby locks work for pets too! Cabinet Cable Lock from Dreambaby, available online at Zanui.

Pets love exploring, jumping on furniture and reaching new heights – especially cats! This can be dangerous with the chemical-based cleaners we use. Ensure you’ve got a high shelf in the laundry or bathroom that isn’t next to something they can climb and reach into.

Under no circumstances should your pet have access to pills and medicines – this can be lethal. Although you might keep them on your nightstand or beside the bathroom sink, there is a big possibility your pet can wander in and think it’s a treat. Instead, put your medicines away and guarded by a cabinet lock.

Pack up after play

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Austin Toy Box from KidKraft, available online at Zanui.

While this one is a general rule in most households with children, it serves a greater purpose than just for keeping things tidy. Small toys can be a choking hazard for your pet – anything from Legos to toy soldiers. This can be particularly dangerous as a plastic piece can block their airway.

Make it a routine for your little ones to pack up after play time, and invest in a toy box for encouragement. Get your kiddies involved and educated about caring for the household pet.

Know your house plants

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Coco Urn Planter from Motyaj. Shop pots and planters, online at Zanui.

We love, love, love house plants. But (a major but) a lot of plants can be toxic to your pet! Even common centrepiece flowers such as daffodils and tulips can cause convulsions and cardiac issues if your pet ventures a nibble. Other foliage can cause gastrointestinal and skin problems too.

Households plants that are pet-safe include succulents, ferns and spider plants. Even then, find a spot for your plants that isn’t in direct path of a high-traffic area in the home.

Hanging pots are a good option, as long as that they can’t be jumped onto from nearby surfaces. Alternatively, you can get the fresh-flower look all year round with artificial plants.

If your four-legged friend is an outdoor pet, ensure that you’re not exposing them to a garden of poisonous leaves. It’s best to do your research or go to your local garden centre for professional advice.

Store foods out of reach (and smell)

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Fable 4-Piece Accent Tree Plate Set, 16cm from Royal Doulton, available online at Zanui.

While most pet owners know not to leave chocolate (or chocolate wrappers) lying around, there are a wide variety of foods that are also dangerous for pets to consume. These include avocado, grapes, garlic and coffee, to name a few.

Since it isn’t realistic to eliminate a range of foods from our shopping lists (we’re not about to sacrifice chocolate – or coffee for that matter!), the simple solution is to make sure your kitchen is organised and your leftovers are packed away.

Keep room-temperature foods in a pantry that isn’t accessible with a nudge, or in a fruit bowl that’s higher up on a counter.

Don’t forget, animals have a strong sense of smell and can often rummage through rubbish bins too, especially when you’re not home! Invest in a heavy-duty bin that isn’t easy for them to stick their nose into.

Avoid visible cords

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All Dock Combination 4-Port Charging Station, White/Bamboo from ALLDOCK.

There are so many hazards involved in visible cords around the home. Not only will your gadgets be ruined by a good chew, but your furry friend could be electrocuted! Prevent any harm by rearranging your gizmos.

Ensure there are minimal gaps between pieces of furniture with bare cords, for example behind the TV. Block wires into spaces that are too small for your pet to wander into.

Fit any extra or unneeded length of wires into a drawer or storage box. ALLDOCK charging ports are convenient and stylish for the bundles of phone and tablet chargers lying around.

If your wires are in plain sight, disguise them with tape or cord covers.

Natalie Milad is a content and blog writer who studied journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney. Since her graduation in 2016, she has landed a gig at Zanui. Her days not writing are usually filled with DIY projects, floury benchtops and tending to her bunny. Natalie loves animated short films, animals and Christmas. She has experience in script writing, news reading and interviewing. Among her favourites was interning for The Bridal Bazaar.