How to Pet-Proof Your Home

A ginger cat laying on top of a desk with it's arms draped over a keyboard next to a cup of coffee, meant to exemplify how to pet-proof your home.Everyone wants a pet! But once you have one, you’ll quickly realize you have not prepared your home enough. Whether the new addition to your family sports two wings or four legs, there are safety measures to keep them protected. Since animals are just as curious as your typical toddler, it’s important you pay the same attention to detail around your home and carefully inspect each room for potential dangers. Before bringing home your new companion, ensure you’re taking these steps to pet-proof your home.

Pet Proof Your Home Room by Room

You want to carefully inspect each of your living spaces, as that’s where your pets will be spending most of their time. You need to approach each hazard from your pet’s perspective. Household items deemed non-threatening to humans can become pet safety risks, such as glassware, batteries, houseplants, and air fresheners. You must ensure these items are out of reach, especially in these key rooms:

  • Kitchen: While it may be easy to store food items safely out of reach of dogs, cats and birds are capable of scaling high shelves. Make sure your utensils and food items are stored in drawers or sealable containers, and keep your countertops free of dirty dishes and food.
  • Bathroom: Keep the toilet lid securely shut to protect birds, small dogs, and cats from drowning or drinking tainted water. Also, ensure cleaning and beauty products are kept secure, as they’re harmful to pets if ingested.
  • Basement: The basement is often considered a catchall for storage. Since your belongings can pile up in your basement, you may be better off ensuring the basement is always inaccessible by pets. If that’s not possible, store all loose items in plastic storage containers.
  • Bedroom and Living Room: In addition to keeping loose items out of reach of pets, you should keep live wires off the ground and invest in wall-mount wire covers. Animals can chew through wires and receive an electric shock.

You should prepare your home as if anticipating a newborn. Depending on the type of pet, you may even wish to invest in child safety devices such as cabinet locks, outlet covers, and pool safety covers to pet-proof your home.

Respond to Your Home’s Seasonal Changes

You should anticipate the reactions your pets will have to certain things in your home. Hazards can change from season to season, such as being extra vigilant when mounting your air conditioner in a window or needing to pet-proof your Christmas tree. You should also try to minimize the potential damage to your floors, banisters, and furniture by installing claw guards or placing runners on the hardwood floor. It’s important to take these precautions, as not only do you have to look out for the safety of your pet, but homeowners insurance does not cover household damages resulting from pets.

Review Your Insurance

While homeowners insurance doesn’t typically cover pet damages to your home, it often includes liability coverage in the event your pet injures a neighbor or destroys neighboring property. For instance, if your dog chews through a neighbors fence or your cat damages their gutters, this coverage may help cover the repairs. Also, be mindful that the type or breed of pet you have may increase your insurance rates.

Being careful to pet-proof your home will ensure the newest member of your family can enjoy a risk-free living space. However, while you can control the environment within your home, you sometimes can’t control the damages that occur if your pet escapes. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced insurance agency like TJ Woods Insurance to ensure you have the appropriate homeowners policy for your needs. If you require insurance that will keep you covered from your pet’s potential liability damages, contact us today.