9 Quick Tips to Pet-Proof Your Home

9 Quick Tips to Pet-Proof Your Home

Prevent your adorable furball from turning your home upside down with chewing, scratching and accidents.
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He's man's best friend and she's a comforting purr machine. They're both treasured family members, but they need a little help to keep from getting into mischief. Here are some quick and easy ways you can make your home—and theirs—safer, cleaner and more organized.

Get down to your pet’s level.

 When you’re on your hands and knees, you’ll suddenly notice things from your pet’s point of view. Like tantalizing wires and electrical cords, toy and game pieces, loose string, candy wrappers or coins and pills that may have dropped and rolled out of sight. (A single acetaminophen tablet can kill an adult cat.) Check those places where your vacuum cleaner couldn’t reach—your puppy or kitten can squeeze in there—and block off any small spaces and crevices.

An open and shut case.

 Cats and kittens are attracted to dark enclosures, so look carefully before closing drawers and closets. Consider adding child-proof locks to cabinets for particularly agile puppies and kittens. Member Cary W. from North Carolina remembers the morning she could hear her cat meowing but couldn’t find her…until she finally opened the clothes dryer. (Luckily, the cat was fine, despite the static cling.)

Watch out for the puddle!

 Accidents will happen. Scolding, sticking his nose into the stain or swatting him with a newspaper will only confuse your puppy. And it could make him think you just don’t want to see him peeing. (Then your pup might seek out more hidden locations, like behind the sofa.) To a puppy, the mess and the act are unrelated. Say a sharp “no!” when you catch him going indoors; then immediately take the puppy outside and stay out until he goes again. Then praise him lavishly and consider giving him a treat to help the behavior along.

To help prevent your home from smelling like a kennel, get rid of pet odors on soft surfaces and in the air with Glade® Fabric & Air Odor Eliminator in Tough Odor Solutions Fresh Scent for Pet Odors. It is specially formulated with odor-eliminating ingredients, which are shown in testing to truly eliminate odors without just masking them.

Chew on this.

 Dogs chew to explore their world. And that can mean anything from your favorite shoes to a corner of your furniture. You can prevent this by making sure closet doors are closed and keeping things off the floor. Also, many dogs don’t like the taste of lemon or bitter apple—try spraying pet-safe products in these flavors on tempting chewables.

With a puppy, try to keep him from getting bored—and therefore getting into trouble. Or use child-safety gates to keep him in a pet-friendly room or in a place where you can easily keep an eye on him.

Scat cat!

 A cat can jump seven times the height of its tail! So when cleaning countertops, be sure to use antibacterial products like Windex® Multi-Surface Antibacterial to kill bacteria* that can be tracked in on your kitten’s paws.

Scratch that idea.

 Cats need to scratch to claim their territory and exercise the muscles and tendons of their paws—and they won’t know which is your prized sofa. You can use double-stick tape on upholstery (test it first to make sure it won’t leave a mark or stain) because cats hate things that stick to their fur. Declawing involves removing the claw at the knuckle—a more humane alternative is to place scratching posts close to where she eats and sleeps. And get your kitten used to having her nails clipped as a youngster by rewarding her with praise and treats.

Sweep it up.

 Even if you manage to keep pets from your upholstered furniture, the hair they shed can still end up there, marring the look and creating a hazard for clothes. Sweep pet hair up quickly with Pledge™ Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair. Simply slide it side to side in short strokes and the rollers will lift and trap unsightly pet hair. Best of all, a single Pledge™ Fabric Sweeper picks up as much pet hair as 145 sticky roller sheets.

Put a lid on it.

 For some reason, your toilet looks like a thirst-quenching punch bowl to many cats and dogs. Unfortunately, some chemicals in cleaning products can make your pet ill. Be sure to keep the lid down or add a toilet lid lock and keep the bathroom door closed.

Training camp begins at home.

 Praise good behavior with a treat and distract your pet from less desirable behavior. Most pets are food focused, so keep small treats or kibble on hand in a small Ziploc® Brand Twist 'n Loc® Container, so you’re ready with praise and a reward.

* See label for details on how to sanitize.
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recent comments
2/13/2013 , 
Tracey  G.
I love my cats, and they are like my children to me and I take very good care of them. I would like to tell all you cat lovers who love their cats, if your cat is not using his or her litter box to go to the bathroom, it is most likely that it could be the type of litter in the box, or it could be there is to many noises or distractions, such as heavy traffic. So, if your furry baby is not using the litter box at all, you might want to change the type of litter to non-sented cat litter or move the litter box to a quieter place. I have learned from my cats, and they tell me in their own special way what they need. So, for all of yoou who are having trouble getting your cat to use the litter box the right way, make changes for your furry companian. They will thank you in their own special way, I promise you that. Also if you make changes to thier diet, that might help as well. Try friskies dry cat food, and friskies plus canned food.
12/3/2010 , 
Catherine  R.
Whenever I have a young puppy or kitten at home during Christmas I tie my Christmas tree to a wall to stop it from being knocked to the floor. Some years I did away with the Christmas tree and instead created one on a wall using garland, light weight decorations and lights. To stop a cat from continuing to scratch a cloth surface, try placing a hand towel over the spot. Cats get used to a surface and the towel will make the area feel different to them. Then place a scratching post near the the spot to teach them that the post is a better alternative.
3/31/2010 , 
Judy  G.
Pam - there's a product you can get at pet stores - a pill you give to the dog each day. The store owner said it usually works right away, but it took my pup close to 3 weeks before she finally stopped eating her feces. She definitely is an alpha dog! But it did work!
3/30/2010 , 
His  M.
My cat of 13 years, has all of a sudden started peeing and pooping on the carpet, instead of his litterbox. Any ideas?
3/26/2010 , 
kelly  g.
a good safe & cheap pet deterrent I have discovered is CHILI POWDER. I get the biggest container possible and it is uncer $10.00. I have used it to keep the local cats from peeing under my porch, by just coating the area with chili powder. I have gotten rid of critters in the walls, by drilling a small hole in the wall and pouring some chili powder in the wall. I do not want the dogs or cats in the flower bed, i just spread some chili powder. Chili powder has worked wonders. Yeah, the dog or cat may sneeze for awhile, but they will not go back. Good Luck...
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Room-by-Room Pet-Proofing

Kitchens/Bathrooms
• Put childproof latches on cabinets
• Store laundry and cleaning products on high shelves
• Cover trash cans
• Close or lock toilet lids

Bedrooms
• Keep laundry, clothes and shoes in closed closets
• Clear nightstands (especially of medications)
• Hide cords and electrical wires

Living Room/Den
• Put away toys and games
• Store breakable knickknacks until pet is older
• Check if houseplants are toxic to pets
• Cover heating and air vents
• Store craft and sewing materials

Garage/Yard
• Keep pet out of yard for 24 hours after using pest control or fertilizer
• Clean up antifreeze—it's lethal
• Bang on car hood to ensure cat is not hiding under the car
• Secure sharp tools, nails and tacks
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