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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Security Systems and Tips Category

Improvement Project:

How to make a house safer for pets.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):


Making your house safe, especially for your pets, should be a very high priority on your list of things to do.  There are obvious and then the subtle dangers of any house setting that should be addressed out of concern for your pets' safety.

With the above in mind, here are just a few things that you should consider doing:

  • Adequate water, shade and food a must.  As a rule of thumb, you may want to strive to have at least two bowls of water and two bowls of food for your pets in the yard.  Furthermore, you should rely on creating either natural shade for your pets through the plantation of bushy trees or artificial shade for your pets with the use of gazebos, canopies, tents, huge umbrellas, etc.


    Chemicals, such as antifreeze / coolant, must be properly stored away from pets.  Properly store all chemicals per their respective manufacturer's instructions and local regulations, and this includes antifreeze / coolant.  Like other harmful chemicals, antifreeze / coolant should not be left anywhere near your animals or where they may be able to reach such chemicals.  The reason is simple:  While you know antifreeze / coolant is harmful to ingest, pets are without that key information, and a chemical like antifreeze / coolant laying around can easily become something a pet ingests because, like some other chemicals, it inherently smells and tastes sweet.  In this vein, antifreeze / coolant and other chemicals should be stored and used away from pets, especially since just a small amount of antifreeze / coolant can do substantial harm to a pet, even cause it to die.

  • Christmas holiday no-no's. When having your pets in the house, you must be considerate of the potential dangers your holiday decorations may pose to them.  For example, a Christmas tree may easily tip over and fall if a cat--cats of which are known to do--decides to climb it, so make sure the tree is secure in its tree stand and even support its standing with wall ties, etc.  Other decorations, like tinsel, should also be restricted to only high levels of the tree and other high points of the house, or tinsel may even be eliminated altogether, as tinsel can cause serious ingestion problems for pets if swallowed.

  • Electrical cords and other cables.  Your electrical cords and other cables should be neatly organized so as to prevent your pets from biting a hold of, and subsequently inadvertently strangling themselves with, a cord around their neck, or becoming electrocuted instead.  You also want to tightly control your electrical cords so that your pets won't accidentally jerk on them so as to cause whatever are attached to such cords to fall on them.  To help prevent this from happening, bundle or otherwise tie up your electrical cords and other cables together, using cable ties to tie such cords to a stable structure, such as a table leg; you may also consider using specialized cord organizers or cable organizers, or even devices that shorten electrical cords and other cables.

  • Food no-no's.  Of all the things you shouldn't do, at the top of this do-not-do list is the handing out of chocolate to dogs.  Chocolate kills dogs.  Even a small amount of chocolate given to a dog may cause serious health repercussions such as seizures, muscle-control failure, diarrhea, and even vomiting, among other consequential injuries.  This is all due to the toxic element of chocolate to dogs, which is theobromine.  Immediately contact a local veterinarian or poison control if you believe your dog has ingested any amount of chocolate.

  • Plants that you shouldn't have.  Plants are nice to have.  They begin to be unpleasant to have when they threaten the lives of your pets.  In this vein, you should always choose plants that not only look nice, but also can get along with others, including your pets.  Thus, toxic plants like Poinsettia, Day Lilly, and Narcissus should be kept far away from your pets.

These are just some safety measures you can take in the interests of keeping your pets safe at home.  Contact your local veterinarian, animal shelter and humane society for more information.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


ADT Monitored- Free Home Security System! 


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