• by Janette Moon

Keeping Man’s Best Friend Safe At Home

Dogs and humans have lived together for tens of thousands of years. In fact, over 60 million American households have dogs. They’re our best friends (and furry family members) for a reason--they’re smart, loyal, cuddly, and they know how to have fun. They’re so reliable that some of them even have jobs to keep their humans safe and calm. Dogs are truly part of the family--so it’s important that we keep them safe and sound. We all know the dangers of leaving them in the car, but what hazards are lurking in your home that may be overlooked?

Fragrant But Dangerous

While keeping your home smelling fresh is especially important if you have pets, you need to be aware of what you’re using to mask your animals’ natural odor. To start, try to keep both your home and pet as clean as possible. This, of course, isn’t the answer to all your problems; if your dog is particularly active or just really loves playing outside, you’re going to encounter pet smells no matter how clean you are. You have a few options here, each with their own risks and rewards.

Candles are one of the most popular and oldest ways to keep your home smelling nice, however, these require extra care and safety. First, make sure they are kept well out of reach of your pets--since animals can be a bit clumsy and don’t process information the same way we do, you’ll want as little exposure to an open flame as possible. Second, make sure you use soy candles instead of paraffin. Paraffin candles contain more toxic chemicals, as well as dyes and fragrances that affect animals differently than ourselves, largely due to size. Soy candles, however, are naturally scented and burn cleaner, and therefore don’t produce the same dangerous chemicals.

Essential oils are increasingly more popular--and while many people swear by them for their own health, they are not entirely safe to use around your dogs. Some of them, like lavender, can have similar benefits in dogs as they do for humans, but many of them, like peppermint, juniper, and tea tree, can actually poison your pets. Similarly, certain house plants and flowers can be toxic if ingested by your dog. Since this is not an all-encompassing list, make sure you consult a veterinarian before purchasing or growing unfamiliar plants.

Other Dangers

Many families with dogs also have children, so any parents reading may have already taken these following precautions. Much like childproofing your home when you have a child, you’ll need to “dogproof” your home for a puppy or rescued dog. Make sure cleaning supplies, medications, and any other chemicals are stored in a locked cabinet--puppies, like kids, are extremely resourceful, so simply hiding things from them might not suffice. You’ll also want to make sure there are no exposed nails, splinters or plastic film of any kind so your beloved pet can’t accidentally hurt themselves. You may also want to invest in a cord cover to keep electronic cables from being chewed, which is not only an electrocution risk for your darling pet, but also an expensive replacement for you.

While some of this may seem like overkill, nothing is too tedious or expensive when it comes to caring for your fur babies. After all, you and your home are their entire lives--so take the steps to prevent any accidents from happening. Pet proof your home, and I promised your puppy will thank you for years to come.

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