Pet proofing your home is vital for the health and safety of all family pets especially a puppy or kitten.

Young animals chew on things incessantly because they are very curious and often are teething. By taking a few precautions you can protect your pets and your home. Try to corrall small objects (such as strings, rubber bands, paperclips and money) and sharp objects (like nails, staples, pins and can tabs) in closed and latched containers or cabinets, up and away from the animals. If a puppy or kitten swallows or even chews on these types of objects, it can result in a serious injury to the pet’s mouth or gastrointestinal tract, for example, intestinal obstruction or perforation. Electric cord or wire is especially dangerous when chewed on.

Common household items chemicals are dangerous to pets

(e.g. laundry soaps, toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, insecticides, medications, antifreeze and fertilizers) are often poisonous and should be kept up in a locked cabinet in your house or garage.

Plants are toxic if chewed or eaten

Some plants commonly found in home or yards that are known to be poisonous to pets are English ivy, Oleander, Azalea, Morning Glory, Yew plants, Easter Lily, Hydrangea, Philodendron, and Caladium. For more information on toxic plants visit

Inspect your home and yard for hazards

There are other other potential hazards around the house – which can be safe with the approproate precautions to protect your pet.

  • keep toilet seat lids closed;
  • place a barrier at the top of all stairs or prevent access to any area with stairs;
  • move any unstable heavy objects that a pet could knock over or pull over on themselves;
  • prevent access to burning candles and fireplaces.

There are also many places your puppy or kitten can crawl into that can pose a significant risk to them. Many houses or apartments have small holes or spaces that a curious youngster might discover and investigate. Kittens might even jump into an open oven, refrigerator, clothes dryer or heating duct

When you cannot supervise your pet, provide a “safe haven” them.  You can confine them to a crate or take one room of the house and make it into your pet’s home for when you’re gone. It should include a soft, warm place to sleep and plenty of toys, and it should be regularly examined for the hazards listed above.