Protect your home and your pets by reading this step by step guide to pet-proofing your home

Pets are no different than babies and pet ownership requires a certain degree of vigilance and supervision. Our everyday household products pose certain health and safety hazards to pets. They may unknowingly invite trouble by exposing themselves to certain harmful items. Dangers like toxic plants, foods, medications, electric wires, and narrow openings are lurking around the corner.

Pet-proofing your home is the ideal way of making it a safe and hazard-free place to live in. Pet-proofing is the process of removing all objects that pose a threat to your pet’s safety and wellbeing. The number one rule of proofing is to keep small items out of your pet’s range as your pets may swallow them unknowingly. Also, remember that cats can reach much higher heights than dogs so it is important to monitor your shelves and other reachable places as well.

Let us share a step-by-step and room-by-room guide to pet-proof your home.


Some of the commonly available food items can be dangerous for animals. Chocolate is particularly toxic for dogs, especially if consumed in higher quantities. The following food items are troublesome for pets as well:

  • Avocados
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • coffee

Twist ties, Knives, forks, and electrical appliances pose safety hazards to animals as well. Installing a pet door at the kitchen’s entrance is a good solution to keeping them safe.

Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms

  • The presence of cleaning equipment such as detergents, fabric softeners, bleach, soap, shampoo, and medications make bathrooms and laundry rooms high-risk areas. Cats enjoy warm places so they might take shelter in dryers. Turning on the dryer without checking first can lead to fatal incidents.

Dogs enjoy chewing so they might be tempted to chew on socks or towels. This can lead to choking if they get stuck or gastrointestinal problems if the clothes are swallowed.  Pets may try to drink from toilets which are not only unhygienic but can be downright dangerous if they are filled with chemical cleansers etc. and don’t forget that filled bathtubs or sinks can lead to drowning incidents for kittens and puppies if left unattended.

  • To avoid any such incident, keep the doors of these areas locked. Keep all chemicals in closed cabinets where your pet can’t reach.


Some of the safety hazards for pets in bedrooms are:

  • Small items such as jewelry, hair clips, and bands, etc. These things attract pets and they might be tempted to chew them. This can lead to choking.
  • Chemicals such as perfumes and air fresheners can cause severe allergic reactions.
  • Mothballs are kept in cupboards and containers to keep pests away. Your pet can be tempted to explore them if they are found lying on the floor. They are very toxic and even limited exposure can lead to serious repercussions.

Storage Areas

These areas contain certain objects which pose safety dangers for pets. The following objects should be kept out of the pet’s reach:

  • Batteries
  • Buttons
  • Coins
  • Paper clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Needles
  • Plastic bags and wraps

Just like with baby proofing, the key to pet-proofing is to under the psyche of the pets and keep all tempting items out of their reach.

pet-proofing your home

Garages and Basements

Garages and basements are one of the most favorite spots for pets. These areas are loaded with dangerous chemicals such as:

  • Pesticides
  • Gasoline
  • Solvents
  • Antifreeze
  • Mobile oils
  • Screws
  • Nuts
  • Bolts

Make sure that all these items are safely secured. Keep garage and basement doors locked at all times.

For more information on how to keep your pet safe, talk to Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center. We are located in Charlottesville, VA.