Day 1 of our 30 days to a Better Pet Home Challenge will focus on pet-proofing the cabinets in your home.
Importance of Pet-Proofing the Cabinets
It’s important to pet-proof the cabinets in your kitchen & bathroom for a variety of reasons:
1) Keeping Your Pets Away From Pet Poisons in the Kitchen: Not only do your want to avoid leaving poisonous foods on the counter, but you also don’t want these foods to be available to your curious dog or cat in unsecured cabinets.
2) Avoiding Accidents or Injuries: Not only do your pets risk hurting themselves by falling off kitchen counters and cabinets, but kitchens are also full of knives and other very sharp objects with pose a threat to your pet’s safety.
3) Avoiding medications: Many people store vitamins, supplements and other medications in their kitchen or bathroom cabinets. While mostly curious pets will seek out these items in the cabinet, it definitely puts them at serious risk as many medications and supplements can be harmful.
— American Kennel Club (@akcdoglovers) April 1, 2016
What’s the Best Way to Pet-Proof the Cabinets?
Although it may seem like a complicated answer, the answer to this question is simple: child-proof latches. Based on my research, I couldn’t find any particular types of locks that were more geared toward pets. Additionally, I didn’t find any special veterinary recommendations for these kinds of products. However, I will caution you on using the following items:
- Rubber Bands: I haven’t seen these used in a while, but sometimes they do just fine for securing the cabinets. However, if you have a cat, I caution you against using these. Some cats have an affinity for eating rubber bands, hair ties, and string. If these rubber bands get lose, or someone forgets to put it back on the cabinet knobs, your cat could be looking at a foreign body surgery.
- Plastic: If I put these on my cabinets, and Rooney wanted to get in them, he would simply chew them off, and probably eat some of the plastic. That being said, Rooney has no interest in the cabinets, and he isn’t tall enough to reach any of the high cabinets (hehe). Your dog or cat may have no interest in destroying the plastic, but it’s just something to think about.
If you believe that both rubber bands and plastic pose a serious threat to your pet, and your pet simply won’t leave the cabinets alone, then I would seriously consider a lock. If I were in that situation, I would put all non-refrigerated poisonous/harmful items in that cabinet and lock it. It may seem like a very serious step to take, but it will definitely help improve your peace of mind and it will keep your pet safe.
If you aren’t sure where to start and don’t know which cabinets you should lock, I really like the following suggestion from Houzz.com: look at your house from their point of view. What stands out? Does anything look enticing?
Understanding how your pet views your world could really change your perspective on pet-proofing your home.
How Do I Know if I need to Pet-Proof My Cabinets?
The reality is, you may not know if your pet is spending any time in your cabinets. Perhaps you just brought a pet into your home, or maybe your pet has just never been caught. If you want to find out, you have technology on your side.
There are a variety of Pet Tech tools available these days that would allow you to check on your pet while you are away. My favorite is the PetCube. Not only can you check on your pet to see if they are counter surfing, but because this device also has a two-way voice option, you can tell your pet to stop, and perhaps reinforce good behavior even at work.
I am really interested to hear your stories. Have you ever caught your pet counter surfing? Are you pet-proofing your cabinets at home? What do you use to keep your cabinets pet-proofed?
A photo posted by Pumpkin The Raccoon (@pumpkintheraccoon) on