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April is National Pet Month 2024!

This month gives us a brilliant excuse to celebrate our wonderful pets, from tiny hamsters to horses. The awareness month was organised to share the importance of responsible pet ownership and to celebrate the benefits that owning a pet brings.

Most of our beloved pets live in our homes and gardens with us. But have you ever stopped to think about how pet friendly your house is? We’ve put together a check list for assessing the safety of your home. Which might inspire some changes to make when Spring cleaning this National Pet Month!

1. Lock away harmful chemicals

Keep nasty cleaning chemicals locked away and out of reach of pets. Some of our household products can be very harmful to pets and they should be stored somewhere pets can’t access or don’t frequent. Have you thought about adding latches or locks to cupboards that contain dangerous chemicals? This also applies to any human food and drink or medicines that are not safe to share with pets.

2. Make sure your garden is a safe haven

Some garden plants can be poisonous to pets. Make sure any flowers or shrubs planted in your garden are pet safe and remove any that could pose a risk if ingested. Check the perimeter of your fence for any gaps that could provide an escape route and keep gates shut safely with latches or locks. Keep a protective cover on any ponds or water butts that could pose a drowning risk to animals.

3. Keep your house tidy of clutter

Regularly pick up any clutter that could become a danger to your pet. This includes small children’s toys, jewellery, beauty products, electric cables and other items that could look inviting to a pet for chewing on! Storage bins that securely close can provide great spaces for household clutter that you might not have got round to sorting through just yet.

4. Temperature control

With the weather changing each season it’s important to adjust your home to meet your pet’s requirements. In hot weather does your pet have a cool, shaded area both indoors and outdoors to relax in? In winter, is your pet’s bed a safe distance away from radiators or fireplaces to avoid them overheating? Or do they need extra blankets on cold days to stay warm?

5. Consider an easy-clean flooring

Carpet requires a lot of maintenance to keep clean in a pet friendly home. Hoovers can leave behind old pet hair and dust, and carpet provides the perfect home for unwanted pests likes fleas. If you are able, why not consider a hard flooring option that can be regularly wiped clean with pet safe products.

6. Check your alarms

As with humans, pets are vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation. This Spring test all of your alarms, replace old batteries and install new alarms if you are missing any throughout your home. An annual boiler check is also important to keep your household safe from any gas leaks.

7. Safety check windows

Pets may jump out of or fall through gaps in open windows or balconies. To avoid any unexpected injuries, make sure windows and doors are locked shut and any gaps in balcony railings are covered. Most windows have an open-lock function to keep air flowing through your home. Or why not consider installing a safety screen?

9. Prepare your pet first aid kit

It’s important to always be prepared for an emergency as a pet owner. Why not prepare a first aid kit with some essential products to have on hand. This could include tweezers and scissors, gauze, cold packs, wound ointment, a thermometer and anything else you can include to treat your pet quickly. Make sure your pet insurance is up to date and keep a folder of your pet’s essential information incase a vet visit is needed.

10. Avoid air fresheners

When trying to get rid of odours around the house, avoid products like plug in air fresheners, candles or reed diffusers that are not pet friendly. Essential oils in air fresheners can be very toxic to pets. Chemicals can cause skin irritation and enticing scents can encourage pets to ingest harmful ingredients. Candles also pose a fire risk to our furry friends. The best way to avoid odours in your home is regular cleaning and ventilation of spaces.

 

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