Animal-Proofing Your Home
Animals are curious creatures. Many are capable of jumping onto high surfaces or squeezing into the smallest of spaces.
To protect your foster dog/puppy in its new environment and to safeguard your belongings, it is necessary to animal-proof your house.
- Use childproof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets.
- Keep medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves.
- Keep trashcans covered or inside a latched cabinet.
- Check for and block any small spaces, nooks, or holes inside cabinetry, between cabinets and floors, under bathroom cabinets or dishwashers or behind washer/dryer units.
- Make sure animals haven’t jumped into the dryer before you turn it on.
- Keep foods out of reach (even if the food isn’t harmful, the wrapper could be).
- Keep toilet lids closed
- Place dangling wires from lamps, computers, DVDs, TVs, stereos, and phones out of reach.
- Keep children’s toys put away.
- Put away knickknacks until your dog/puppy has the coordination and/or understanding not to knock them over.
- Remove dangerous items, like string and pins.
- Move houseplants – which can be poisonous – out of reach, including hanging plants that can be jumped onto from other nearby surfaces.
- Put away all sewing and craft notions, especially thread.
- Secure aquariums or cages that house small animals, like hamsters or fish, to prevent harm from another animal.
- Make sure all heating/air vents have a cover.
- A garage usually contains many dangerous chemicals and unsafe items to be an acceptable foster care site. Foster dogs/puppies should never be housed in a garage unless pre-approved by a Foster Care Coordinator.
- Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors.
- Clean up all antifreeze from the floor and driveway, as one taste can be lethal to an animal.
- Bang on your car hood to ensure that your animal has not sought the warmth of the engine for a nap.
- Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors (drawstrings and loose buttons can cause major problems).
- Keep any medications, lotions or cosmetics off accessible surfaces (like the bedside table).
- Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing.
Potentially Dangerous Situations
- Closet and bedroom doors
- Open doors to the outdoors (escape)
- Open dryer doors
- Open cabinet drawers
- Computer wires (electrocution or strangulation)
- Folding chairs
- Potted plants (possible poisoning or pulling plant off shelf onto animal)
Never underestimate your foster animal’s abilities.
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