The Ultimate Guide to Pet Security - How to Pet-Proof Your Home

We all know the feeling, the one where you leave the house in the morning only to look back and see your four-legged friend staring at you from the window. Does Max have his favorite toy? How about his comfort blanket? What about the coffee pot? Did I leave it on? Sadly, not all of us have the luxury of being able to bring them along, and when we leave our fur babies behind, like any good parent, we want them to be OK. How do you make sure your pets are safe at home while you’re away?

One of the best ways to ensure the safety of your pets is to install security cameras wherever they have access. That way, you never lose sight of them. You should also pet-proof your home and yard by removing harmful things they might find appealing.

Thankfully, in this article, we’ll cover these in detail. We’ll also review a few handy tips to ensure your pets are as safe as possible while you’re out of the house.

Let’s get started.

Make Your Home a Safe Space by Installing Security Cameras

There’s not much worse than spending a whole day worrying whether Whiskers is safe and secure. Thankfully, by installing security cameras in your home, you don’t have to. Not only do security cameras give you the peace of mind to go about your day without stress, but they also help reduce separation anxiety for your pet. Additionally, you may be able to claim a discount on your home insurance, which lowers your monthly premium.

If a complete system sounds too much, you may want to consider IP cameras that are viewable from the web as long as they are plugged in to an internet connection. They provide the flexibility of being used on their own; some even have a microSD slot to record inside the camera. If you decide later on that you need to record for a long period of time or need multiple cameras, then investing in an NVR would be a good idea. A NVR is a centralized recorder for network cameras like IP cameras.

Let’s review:

    Peace of Mind

    According to a national pet owners survey, 67% of households have a pet. That means nearly 85-million families have a furry little one running around during the day. Sounds like a lot of torn up shoes and pillows, right? Stop worrying, start watching, by keeping an eye on them throughout the day. Not sure if you closed the back door all the way? What about giving them food and water? Is the pet-watching service you hired taking care of them?

    With a home security camera system, it’s as simple as picking up your smartphone or tablet and checking in.

    Save On Home Insurance

    While not all home insurance providers offer a discount for a home security system - some do. These savings can deduct as much as 20% off your annual premium. The average cost of home insurance is about $1,200, meaning you’d save $240 per year or $20 monthly.

    Home security camera systems with a DVR or NVR have no monthly fees unlike alarm system that cost between $10 to $35 per month. So, if you can claim a discount, it can end up being a lot more affordable than you might have first thought.

    Separation Anxiety

    Being separated from our fur babies is stressful, not only for ourselves but for them as well. Did you know that separation anxiety in pets can lead to health problems and bad behaviors? Some of these include:

    • Pacing
    • Chewing, digging, home destruction
    • Barking and howling
    • Coprophagia (feces eating)
    • Escape attempts

How to Pet-proof the Inside of Your Home

Did you know that even something as simple as a household plant can be a health hazard to your pet? No matter how smart Charley might be, the truth of the matter is that he does not know what’s safe and what isn’t. All they know is that they love their masters (and their squeaky toy). Because of this, it’s up to you as their parents to ensure they’re free from harm. The best way to do so is to pet-proof the different rooms of your home.

Let’s review:

    Bedrooms

    While most of us consider the bedroom a safe place. There are, in fact, dangers that are best to avoid. Take your closet, for instance. Which likely holds many fascinating things for pets, including a tasty pair of shoes. The problem isn’t the loss of the possessions (though, that doesn’t help), it’s the threat they pose to our animals. Not only can shoes contain chemicals and dyes that are toxic. But they also present a choking hazard and can get stuck in their digestive tract as well.

    Be sure to keep your closet door closed to ensure they can’t get in. If you do not have a barrier, consider using a pet or baby gate to keep them out.

    Other dangers include:

    • Mothballs
    • Jewelry
    • Open Windows
    • Electrical Cords

    Laundry Room and Bathrooms

    These two rooms are likely the most dangerous places in the house for your beloved friends. The reason is the products most homeowners keep in them. Things like laundry detergents, bleach, shampoos, and medications (to name just a few) are extremely toxic to them. A safe way to protect against their natural curiosity is to make sure you close the bathroom door before leaving the house.

    Another thing that many might not consider is letting their pets drink from the toilet. Not only can this lead to drowning, but toilet bowl cleaners can poison them as well. Why risk it at all? Instead, be sure to place anything potentially harmful out of their reach. If your pet is especially crafty and can nudge their way into a cabinet door, consider adding child-proof locks.

    Kitchen

    There’s a good chance your pets have associated the kitchen area with food, which likely makes them overly curious about any hidden goodies. Depending on how acrobatically gifted your little buddy is. You might have to worry about them jumping, meaning they can reach just about anywhere. For this reason, not even your counter-tops are safe, which means they aren’t either.

    A few harmful foods for dogs and cats include:

    • Chocolate
    • Garlic
    • Onions
    • Dairy Products
    • Grapes and Raisins

    There’s also cutlery to think about since they can easily fall and cause injury. The same goes for pots and pans, which, depending on the size of your pet, can be deadly. Part of being a pet owner is avoiding bad habits that might be harmful. For this reason, be cautious about what you leave within reach.

    Then there’s the garbage can - the holy grail for anything with a tail. The problem doesn’t just revolve around avoiding a mess to clean up. The primary concern is what your pet might decide to devour. Such as chicken bones, which can splinter and damage their stomach and intestines. You can help deter this by only using garbage cans that have lids, as well as ensuring they’re not left open.

    Living Room

    If you’ve ever found yourself screaming: “Not the couch!” - you might be a pet owner. How do you protect your living room from destructive puppies? Anti-chewing spray is a good start, which most dogs hate due to how bitter it is. It’s not just about what they can harm, it’s also about what can harm them, and sadly, the living room has several dangers.

    One of the primary concerns is electrical cords. Not only can these lead to electrocution when chewed on, but pets can also become entangled in them, which may lead to choking. Be sure to cover exposed cords whenever possible to deter them.

    There are also old batteries to keep in mind which might look like shiny toys but are extremely hazardous. The same goes for candles. Although it’s rare for a pet to decide to eat one, they might knock one over, creating a fire hazard.

Now that you have a better idea of what to watch out for on the inside of your home. Let’s look at a few dangers lurking outside.

Make Your Home a Safe Space by Installing Security Cameras

So, you’ve pet-proofed the inside of your home, great job. However, there’s also the outside to consider. Most pets love having an open area to play, but sadly, many threats can jeopardize their safety.

Let’s discuss a few of them:

    Yard/Garden

    Would you believe that in 2013, the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA) received more than 18,000 reports of poisoned pets due to outside dangers? You may have never thought about it, but some plants are toxic to cats and dogs. Some of these include:

    • Lilies
    • Hydrangeas
    • Daffodils
    • Azaleas

    The same goes for many yard and gardening chemicals, which pose a substantial amount of risk to them. A few of these include:

    • Pesticides
    • Herbicides
    • Mulch
    • Fertilizers

    Be sure to remove any toxic plants (or keep them somewhere out of reach) to ensure your pets are free from harm. For chemicals, there are several non-toxic and organic products you can use instead. There are also homemade solutions, such as using garlic as a pesticide or scrap food as fertilizer.

    Garage

    It should come as no surprise that this is not a safe place for your pets to hang out. Not only are there often heavy items that can fall on them in a garage, but there’s frequently also a lot of harmful chemicals they should avoid. Some of these include paint, gasoline, oil, and antifreeze. Why take the risk in the first place? Instead, keep them up and out of reach from your pets.

    Other things to be wary of include:

    • Screw, nuts, and bolts
    • Leaked fluids on the floor
    • Electrical Cords

    Regardless of whether you park your cars in the garage or out of it, you should always make sure your pets haven’t decided to take a nap under them. Be especially careful on hot summer days when they’re more likely to seek shade to keep comfortable.

Now that you know a few ways to ensure the safety of your pets outside. Let’s look at a few additional ways to keep them safe while you’re out of the house.

Additional Suggestions to Ensure Your Pets Safety

    Make Sure Your Home is a Safe Temperature

    While your home might not reach “dangerous” temperatures. Setting it within a comfortable range can make all the difference to your pet. Thankfully, if you do forget and it ends up being a particularly hot day, there are thermostats available that you can control via your phone. Seeing your pets wagging tail when you return should be all the proof you need that he/she’s grateful.

    GPS Trackers

    If your pet is newer to your home, they might need time to get used to their new master. Until they’re feeling safe when left alone, they may feel the need to attempt an escape. The last thing you want is your new buddy to get lost without a way to find them. Thankfully, adding a GPS device to their collar is a great way to avoid this.

    Find a Sitter You Can Rely on

    Do you have a new pet and don’t want them to feel sad while you’re gone? Having a trustworthy sitter is a great way to ensure their needs get met. Some pets have health problems that require that they take medication. Do you feel safe allowing someone with a lack of experience to give them their dosage? Thankfully, services like Rover or Wagmake finding someone you can trust, easy.

    Make Friends with Your Neighbors

    No matter how safe you make your home or whether you fill it full of cameras – things happen. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to have someone in your back pocket to call in the event of an emergency. Mainly, your neighbors. Not only that - but if they have pets as well, Max might make a friend.

Additional Suggestions to Ensure Your Pets Safety

Sure, you might have to make a few changes to ensure your home is a safe space. But at the end of the day, isn’t it worth it when it comes to the safety of your babies? Do yourself (and them) a favor, and consider installing a home security camera system to keep an eye on them while you’re away. Inspect the inside of your home, as well as the yard, garden, and garage, and make sure there’s nothing you might have missed. Thanks for reading, and give your pets a treat for us.

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