Congratulations, you’ve found your dream home! You’re ready to move in and your pets are, too. So how do you make sure that your new home is safe for your beloved furry family members? Here’s a list of 7 ways to protect your pets in your new home, courtesy of Dr. Jody Clarke, Veterinarian at Pender Veterinary Centre in Fairfax, Virginia.

Choose carpet or textured flooring

For older pets (dogs in particular), hardwood floors pose some difficulty when it comes to their mobility; the smooth surface makes it hard for them to stand up after sitting, and it’s easy for them to slip and injure themselves. Consider opting for carpets, ample throw rugs or textured flooring to make it easier for your pet to get around, particularly if they’re elderly.

Bundle or hide your cords and cables

Cats, kittens and puppies love to chew on cords and cables or get tangled in them, which can lead to injury or even electrocution. Bundle your chords or find a way to hide them away from your pets so they can’t access them. Wikihow has some tips on how to do this.

Keep toxic materials out of reach

If you’re designing your cabinetry, set them up high and out of your pets’ reach, particularly if you plan to store toxic chemicals in them like pesticides, fertilizers or cleaning products. The more you can store up and away the better, particularly if you have dogs. If it’s not possible to put toxic materials of reach, consider investing in some child proof latches for your storage cabinets (and even your trash can) to prevent your pets from opening them up and digesting the contents.

Block crawl spaces and gaps

If you have a kitten or puppy, take a good look around your new home to see if there are any small crawl spaces or gaps in the flooring, drywall, baseboards or moulding that they can wiggle into and get stuck in. Make sure to block those spaces before letting your little guys loose in the new house.

Make sure your window screens latch properly

We all know how much our feline friends like to hang out on window sills, and our canine pals like to look out windows, too, so make sure that your screens are firmly installed and latched to prevent your pets from escaping or falling.

Avoid toxic plants

Some plants are toxic to animals, so be careful what types of plants and flowers you bring in the house or plant in your yard. The ASPCA has a great list of toxic and non-toxic plants for cats, dogs and horses, which can help you identify what’s safe to bring in and around your home.

Store cat litter pan in a safe, quiet spot

Cats can startle easily (ever called someone a “scaredy cat”?), particularly around loud or sudden noises. For this reason, store your kitty’s litter pan in a safe, quiet and secluded spot away from excessive noise. Avoid placing the litter pan in the laundry room, for example, with your noisy washer and dryer.   For more tips for your family and home, follow Van Metre Homes on Facebook or read more on our blog.