So the kids are going out of town and you’re going to be on grandpet duty — what now? If you’re not used to having a furry friend around the house, you might be wondering what you’ll need to do to prepare. We’ve gathered some important tips for pet-proofing your home, and we have some advice on how to keep your grand-furbaby safe and sound during their stay.
Remove the chewables.
Dogs and cats (especially young ones) like to gnaw on things — and sometimes it’s hard to resist the temptation to chew on your brand-new shoes or the super-soft blanket on the couch. Before your grandpet’s stay, put away or secure anything that could make for an inappropriate chew toy, including:
- Cords and plugs
- Baskets or floor décor
- Pillows and blankets
If your grandpet is a big chewer, consider using a bitter apple spray on items you can’t remove, like wooden furniture. Also plan to keep lots of toys on hand to distract your granddog or grandcat from chewing on household items.
Gates are your friend.
Consider investing in gates to keep your grandpal out of rooms you can’t pet proof. They’re also useful if you need to leave the house and don’t want to risk your furry friend running around or getting into trouble.
Take out the trash and latch the cabinets.
The kitchen is chock full of delicious smells and cabinets to explore — which aren’t always safe for our pets. Outfitting cabinets with childproof latches can prevent pups and cats from investigating. If your garbage bin doesn’t fit in a cabinet, consider hiding it where your grandpet can’t tip it over while trying to get at the scraps from last night’s pork chops.
Remove any plants that are not pet-friendly.
If you don’t regularly have a pet in your home, you might not be aware that some houseplants can be toxic to dogs and cats. Do some quick research to see if any of your greenery will be dangerous if your grandpet takes a nibble. To be on the safe side (and to spare your pretty plants from getting chewed), keep houseplants in a location where your grandpet can’t reach them.
Lock the medicine cabinet.
Many human medications — including common painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — can be very harmful to pets if consumed. Keep your medications well out of reach of your grandpets. If possible, keep them locked in a cabinet and off countertops, where curious felines and larger dogs will still be able to reach them.
Avoid treating your grandpet from your plate.
Foods like garlic, onions, grapes, caffeine, and especially chocolate are toxic to furry family members. To be safe, resist the temptation to treat your grandpal to any of your food during their stay (we know, it will be hard!) and stick to dog or cat treats that won’t risk your grandpet getting sick.
Make a safe spot.
Your grandpet may feel unsettled for the first few nights while the Pet Parents are away. Make a cozy room where your grand-furbaby can retreat if they get nervous or need a little space. Pet proof this area and fill it with toys, bedding, crates, and things that smell like home.
These pet-proofing tips will give you the peace of mind you need to simply relax and enjoy the quality time you’ll get to spend with your grandpet!