Having a dog is a massive privilege. You welcome a loving new family member and share incredible experiences. It’s also important to note that you’re potentially welcoming a beautiful and affectionate agent of chaos into your home. If there’s trouble to be found there, they may get into it.
You might not be able to avoid all the mischief. However, as a dog owner, you have a duty of care to reduce the danger they could get into. Many people know how to pet-proof a home, such as securing heavy objects to walls and keeping cabinet doors closed. However, dogs face other more subtle household hazards.
We will take a moment to explore some of these overlooked household hazards and offer suggestions for how you can address them.
Who doesn’t love having some plants in the home? They help create a more pleasant atmosphere and contribute to your mental wellness. However, it’s vital to bear in mind that your choice of plants can potentially be a threat to your dog’s wellness.
This is because some plants, while perfectly safe to be near for humans, can be toxic to dogs if consumed. Let’s face it: some dogs will happily chew on just about anything. The last thing you want is for your dog to experience gastrointestinal discomfort from eating Angel Plant leaves or develop heart issues because they chowed down on Oleander flowers.
Do a little research. Go around all the plants in your home and search online for their toxicity to dogs. If you’re uncertain, it can be wise to speak to your veterinarian. If you’re buying new plants, check with the staff about potential threats.
Property damage can be a frustrating and costly issue. This is why so many people put off repairing seemingly non-urgent repairs. Unfortunately, these might create household hazards to your dog’s health.
For instance, extreme weather can damage property in a range of ways. Wildfires may weaken structural integrity, and tornadoes can lead to roof leaks. However, some problems may not always be immediately apparent or considered urgent.
Floods may result in water damage that doesn’t just rot wooden areas of your home but also leads to mold or becomes attractive to pests. Each of these issues, when left unaddressed, may cause accidental injury or illness to your dog.
This is why it’s essential to inspect your property regularly for signs of damage. This is particularly vital following an event like extreme weather. If you cannot repair your home immediately, cordon off the area so your dog can’t access dangers.
Outbuildings are valuable spaces. They’re areas to keep your car safe, perform creative activities, or store away your years of collected — but possibly eventually useful — junk. At this point in the article, it should come as no surprise to you that outbuildings are also commonly overlooked areas where dogs face danger.
People often store toxic household chemicals and vehicles that produce carbon monoxide when running in their garages. Storage sheds often contain gardening tools and other implements that can easily injure a curious animal.
Pet-proofing your garage and other outbuildings first involves arranging items so your dog can’t get access to them. Place chemicals on high shelves. Hang tools on wall hooks and other organization racks.
Wherever possible, though, it’s wise to limit the access your dog has to these areas to protect them from household hazards. Make sure the doors are securely locked when you’re not in your outbuildings. Repair any holes in walls or windows they might get into.
Is there anything quite so cute as a dog peering longingly out of the window? Or seeing them jumping excitedly when they see you pulling up to your home after work? Not that we want to put a downer on these joyful scenes, but they can occasionally be hazardous.
This is because your choice of window blinds could give your dog opportunities to injure themselves. They might get tangled in dangling cords or chew on toxic materials. It is, therefore, essential to use blinds that minimize the risk to pets.
These may be cordless coverings that eliminate choking and tangling hazards. Fabric roll shades can also limit the plastic or metal slats they might otherwise chew on.
If you can’t afford to replace your blinds, you should take measures that mitigate this household hazard.
Adjust the length of the cords so they’re too high for your dog to reach. Consider coating the slats with natural and non-toxic chew-repellent sprays. If possible, fully retract your blinds before leaving the house so your dog can’t get into mischief with them while you’re away.
Final thoughts on household hazards
It’s crucial to ensure your home is a safe space for your dog.
This involves being mindful of the less obvious household hazards. Take the time to assess all property elements from the perspective of what your dog might do there.
Consider the toxicity of plants, the hazards of outbuildings, and even the safety of blinds, among other things.
Remember, though, that this shouldn’t be a one-off activity. Your home and its dangers will likely evolve, as may your dog’s behavior.
Keeping on top of such issues helps to support a long and healthy relationship between you and your pet.
Miles Oliver is a proud dog lover and an outdoor enthusiast. He often writes on his patio with a hot cup of tea and his 4-year-old border collie mix by his feet. When Miles is not working as an independent freelance writer, he is most likely mountain biking and roaming the great outdoors with his four-legged companion.