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How to make your home safe for a puppy or kitten

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Puppies and kittens are curious and energetic characters who will undoubtedly become beloved members of your family.

While you rely on them to bring joy to your home, they depend on you to keep them safe, which starts by making sure your home is a secure environment for them to be in.

Inside your home

Check your home for fittings that could cause danger to your puppy or kitten. Look at:

  • Cables – puppies and kittens are likely to chew these
  • Furniture – your new pet will want to explore their new surroundings so make sure you prevent them from climbing onto tall furniture which they could fall from and hurt themselves
  • Appliances – puppies and kittens will hide wherever they can, so make sure to close the door on appliances such as fridges, freezers, washing machines and microwaves
  • Toilets – make sure to close toilet seats as puppies and kittens may jump in to drink the water. Toilet bowl cleaners will also be poisonous to them.

Small items 

Pets are guaranteed to play with anything they can find, even if you think it’s hidden away. Make sure these items are out of your pet’s reach:

  • Food – puppies and kittens will eat anything they can get their paws on. Make sure they can’t eat your food as it may be poisonous to them
  • Toys – your new pet will want to chew everything it can find, so make sure children’s toys are put away as there is a risk of your pet choking on small parts
  • Cleaning products – the chemicals in cleaning products will be poisonous to your pet, so make sure to store them away out of their reach
  • Plants and flowers – many types of plants are poisonous to kittens and puppies, so make sure you do your research and get rid of plants that could harm your pet
  • Broken glass – check all floors and worktops are free of broken glass, as this could cut your pet’s paws or mouth

Outside areas

You’ll also need to ensure the area surrounding your house is safe for your pet, once they start to explore the great outdoors. Consider:

  • Fencing – make sure the area is secure so your pet can’t escape onto nearby roads and there’s no risk of them being stolen
  • Pest and weed killer – cleaning products and weed killers (herbicides) contain chemicals which are poisonous to animals so keep your pet away from areas sprayed with these
  • Tools – make sure no garden tools are left out while your pet is outside as your four-legged friend is likely to injure themselves on them
  • Ponds – puppies and kittens may try jumping into ponds which could put them at risk of drowning if they do not have any experience with water

What to do if you’re worried your pet’s eaten something dangerous

We spoke to Elaine Humphreys, an Auxiliary Veterinary Nurse in south Wales, for some expert advice on what to do if your furry friend eats something it shouldn't.

"If it’s suspected that something poisonous has been ingested you shouldn’t wait for the animal to start showing symptoms; a vet should be called immediately," said Elaine.

"Often by the time they are showing signs the damage to the kidneys has already been done.

"The vets will all have a list of different products and 'safe' tolerance levels and can often advise over the phone when to leave it pass through and when to bring them in.

"So if you spot a chewed packet or other evidence that your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t have, phone the vet immediately."

Other symptoms to look out for

Elaine, who has also lectured on small animal care, offered the following advice: "If cats have eaten something like anti-freeze they will start foaming at the mouth almost immediately, again, phone the vet straight away," she said.

"If a pup has eaten something non-poisonous but potentially large, like a sock, then make sure you monitor them. It will often pass through but if they stop producing faeces and/or start vomiting, take them to the vet and this could indicate a blockage."

  • As hard as you try to keep your pet out of trouble, accidents happen. Pet Insurance will protect you against expensive vet bills if something were to happen to your pet. Choose from various cover options to suit the needs of you and your pet.

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