Pet Proofing Your Home in 8 Easy Steps!

One of the major perks to owning your own home at the Lake of the Ozarks is that YOU get to decide whether or not you want to share your home with a dog, a cat, a bird, a ferret or any number of other pets. Having a pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it definitely comes with its fair share of responsibilities. If you're thinking about adopting a new family member (or if you already have), it's important to make sure your home provides a safe environment for your animal(s). Here are some simple tips for pet proofing your home.

1. Do Some Research on Your House Plants.
Many common houseplants are actually poisonous to cats and dogs if ingested. Dogs and cats are constantly nibbling on plants, so it's important to make sure yours are safe!

2. Hide or Remove Exposed Cords and Wires.
No matter what type of pet you have, he or she is bound to be curious. Wires can produce an electric shock if chewed on for too long, so make sure they're out of reach. Check your window blinds, too - does the cord consist of two individual strings, or is it a continuous loop? The individual strings are probably fine, but the loop could be dangerous if the new kitten jumped to play with it and got caught.

3. Check Cosmetics, Medications, Lotions, Soaps, Cleaning Chemicals, Cigarettes, Vitamins, etc.
These kinds of products can be extremely dangerous to animals if consumed. Make sure all containers are tightly sealed and out of reach.

4. Consider Child Safety Locks.
Depending on your type of pet, it may be able to pry open cabinets and gain access to harmful materials. Keep a close eye on your new friend for the first few weeks that they're home; if they seem particularly interested in the lower-level cabinets, you may want to consider installing some cabinet locks.

5. Secure Your Trash Cans
Almost every pet owner has had the contents of their garbage can spread all over the floor at some point in time. Accessible trash cans could be dangerous to your animals depending on their contents, and they almost always lend themselves to big messes. Save yourself the headache by purchasing lidded trash cans or tucking them away in the bathroom or kitchen cabinets.

6. Protect Your Knickknacks.
In a kitten or puppy's eyes, everything is a toy! Protect your knickknacks and decorations by removing them from reach or placing them in a safe area.

7. Eliminate Choking Hazards
Just like children, animals are susceptible to choking hazards. Make sure the floor and other accessible surfaces remain clear of marbles, Q-tips, paperclips, game pieces, miscellaneous pieces of plastic, mothballs, batteries, and anything else that could fit in your animal's mouth.

8. Establish Some Boundaries.
If a certain room contains too many hazards to eliminate, small gates like the ones used for toddlers can provide an easy solution.

Many people think of their cats and dogs as four-legged children, and it's easy to see why! Opening your home to a furry friend comes with a lot of responsibility. If you do it right, though, you'll be able to prevent most of the potential issues and just focus on enjoying your time with your pets!

Let us help you find your dream home at the Lake of the Ozarks!


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