How to make your Perth home pet friendly.
Pets are more than just animals or possessions, they are part of families and our loyal best friends. While our daily lives see us leaving the home frequently for work, socialising, gym and travel, they stay at home, waiting for us to return to them each and every day. We never want to take our pets for granted, and we want them to feel safe, secure and happy in the home while we are not present with them.
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.” – John Grogan
Our furry, feathery, finned friends require attention, time, and a comfortable and safe home just as much as we do. Many people don’t think about pets when buying or building a home, not even pet owners themselves, and this may cause problems down the track. When you are planning a home for both yourself and pets (or the future possibility of a pet), consider their specific needs.
A few Pet Friendly Home Tips:
- Paw safe flooring and fabrics, like easy-care leather or ultrasuede. For heavier dogs, look at ceramic tiles or another hard surface type of flooring.
- Pet doors
- Window screens (if you live in high-rise open windows, screens are vital to keep pets, especially cats, whom often fall out of windows to their death).
- Pet friendly plants
- Paint your internal walls with satin paint, as drooling or wet dog can stain walls painted with flat paint
Remember, well exercised pets are less likely to get into trouble and more likely to rest well at night instead of barking or whining for attention.
1. Get the pet that fits your lifestyle.
Ask yourself questions like:
How can I make my new two storey home more comfortable for my elderly dog?
Do my neighbours have fishponds and birds that my outdoor cat may harass?
How big do I want the backyard… will I be wanting a dog in the future?
What common household items do I have around the home that will be hazardous to my pets?
I want an unusual pet, like a goat or a pig, but what are the requirements and guidelines – where do I find out?
Do I want an indoor or outdoor pet? Who will be looking after it the most? What breed will suit my lifestyle?
Asking questions sets things into motion.
2. Know what is poisonous to your pet.
It is imperative to hide poisonous materials, foods and know what plants are dangerous. Bookmark Pets Poison Helpline for all information regarding poison. They have a thorough Poison List search directory and many Guide to Pet Safety articles.
Here are the Top 5 most common Pet Poisons for dogs and cats:
2. Mouse and Rat Poisons (rodenticides)
3. Vitamins and Minerals (e.g Vitamin D3, Iron etc)
4. NSAIDs (e.g ibuprofen, naproxen, etc)
5. Cardiac Medications (e.g calcium channel blockers)
1. Topical spot-on insecticides
2. Household Cleaners
5. Insoluable Oxalate Plants (e.g. Dieffenbachia etc)
Read the full Top 10 Common Pet Poisons list for more information.
Watch out for plants and flowers. While there are thousands of plants and flowers, only a small percentage are truly dangerous and poisonous to your pet. Make sure you know what they are. One such plant to watch out for is lilies. It is well known that lilies can be very dangerous to cats with their high levels of toxicity. Potentially fatal lilies are of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species, which include the tiger, day, Asiastic hybrid, Easter, Japanese Show, Rubrum, Stargazer, Red, Western, and Wood lilies. All of these are highly toxic to cats, with even small ingestion’s (2-3 petals or leaves) with even the pollen or water from a vase – can result in severe, acute, kidney failure. Other dangerous types of lilies include lily of the valley which can cause life-threaning heart arrhythmias and death when ingested by cats or dogs.
Read Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets for more information
3. Start Training Early
Got a new pet? Training your pet from a young age will help discipline them faster so to avoid misbehaviour around the home. Letting them know you are in charge and your commandments are to be obeyed will help them abide by the house rules. Keep litter boxes away from the feeding area and somewhere more private so they feel more comfortable to go to the toilet.
4. Provide a safe and comfortable outside area
Think about ways to make outside more comfortable and secure for your pet and their needs. Have a place for them to get off the cold hard ground and shelter that protects them from rain and wind. Besides a pet bed, have a couch or chair they can also use, and consider a water fountain so that fresh water is readily available. Petscape your yard, determine whether you need to build or add structures, install invisible fences and always look out for flea and tick prevention. Have a hosing station to frequently clean your pet, as a clean pet is a clean home.
5. Keep them entertained While your Away
Keeping your pet stimulated will distract them, minimising the chances of them playfully destroying your home out of boredom. Leave your pets with sturdy toys and interactive objects that won’t break into small parts. If you have puppies and kittens who are playful and adventurous, consider getting childlock latches for cabinets that have medicines etc in them. Always keep the toilet seat lid down, not only to minimise possibility of drowning, but if you have an automatic bowl cleaner, it could be harmful to your pet.
6. If you don’t have a big enough backyard, take them on daily walks to the local park.
Daily exercise is important, especially for dogs. If they do not receive it, they get grumpy and bored and may take it out on your furniture and shoes when you’re not at home. If you have a limited backyard space or no grass, give them something to look forward to each day you come home, it will make them happy.
7. Make sure pets get along
Long term pets can get jealous and territorial when they see a new pet in the household, especially if they think they won’t be receiving as much as your attention anymore. Always pay equal amount of attention to all your pets and if possible, work on improving their relationships with each other.
We hope our ‘How to make your Perth home pet friendly’ article helps you in some light.