Back in October, we welcomed our fourth pet; a Jack Russell x Shihtzu puppy called Chester who joined 9 year old rescue cat Peppa and guinea pigs Tom and Squeak. Given that we now have as many animals as people resident in our home, it has become increasingly important that our rooms are as pet-proof as possible.
Our biggest decision was to keep solid wood flooring in our lounge and hall areas. With a puppy who took several months to fully toilet train (and still does the occasional wee inside now), this was the most practical option for us. It also means that the guinea pigs can run around without us worrying about them using the floor as a toilet. Obviously, being guinea pigs, they will do just that but it is so easy to clean up after them compared to having carpets.
We have kept soft furnishings to a minimum at the moment, as Chester has been known to chew things he shouldn’t! We do have a lovely large rug, but he is pretty good at not chewing it. We just make sure that he has plenty of different chew toys available to reduce the risk that he will look elsewhere for chewing opportunities.
For our cat, we have installed a wall-mounted scratching post to try and stop her clawing the sofa! This seems to have worked well and is a great, space-saving way to pet-proof a room. We also tend to keep her out of the bedrooms, much to the disappointment of our children, due to her love of scratching wooden furniture.
We have added child-proof latches to our kitchen cupboards to stop either Peppa or Chester opening the lower cupboards and helping themselves to food and, of course, preventing them from getting hold of cleaning products or medicines that could harm them. Our empty plug sockets are also covered, and we have made sure that any plants or flowers we bring into the house are safe for pets to be around, just in case.
In short, preparing your house for a pet is rather like doing so for a toddler! It’s best to get down on the floor and check from the level of your pet what could prove harmful.
Do you have any tips on pet-proofing your home? I would love to hear them, in case I’ve missed any vital steps to take!