Pet Friendly Home

Danny Lipford with dog

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Pets may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about home improvement. But since they live in houses, too, I decided to find out how to make your home more pet friendly. Find out how to keep your pet safe while protecting your house from the inevitable damage that’s bound to occur.

Safeguarding Your Pet at Home

Household chemicals under sinkA number of chemicals, drugs, and plants can make pets sick and even be fatal. Cats in particular are very sensitive to household cleaners and other chemicals, as well as medications like aspirin, so be sure to keep them hidden away out of reach behind closed doors. Certain plants—such as lilies, holly, and mistletoe—can be toxic to cats as well.

Preventing Fleas in Your Home

The lifecycle of fleas lasts two to three weeks. Most flea treatments target either the eggs or adults, but not both. To reduce flea problems in your home:

  • Vacuum your home frequently and thoroughly.
  • Add flea power to the vacuum cleaner bag before vacuuming to kill any fleas that are sucked up.
  • Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag outside when through.

Installing wood to prevent dogs from digging under a gate

Keeping Dogs from Digging Under a Fence

To prevent a dog from digging out under the gate of a fenced yard:

  • Dig a shallow trench under the gate the width and height of a pressure treated landscape timber.
  • Measure the distance between the fence posts, and cut the landscape timber to length.
  • Fit the landscape timber between the fence posts on either side of the gate, so it’s flush with the surface of the ground.
  • Attach the landscape timber to the fence posts using deck screws.

Electronic Containment System for Your Yard

An electronic containment system is less obtrusive than a fence and easier to install. It uses a buried wire, transformer, and battery powered shock collar to prevent the dog from leaving your yard.

To install an electronic containment system:

    Dog with electronic containment collar

  • Dig a 3” to 4” deep trench around the perimeter of the area.
  • Position the wire in the trench and backfill.
  • Attach the wire to the transmitter.
  • Place temporary flags around the perimeter of the area to serve as a visual reminder during training.
  • Buckle a battery powered, wireless collar on the dog.
  • Train the dog by leading it near the wire until the collar emits an audible chirp, warning the dog not to go further.

Pet Doors Provide Outside Access

Pet doors are a great way to allow a dog or cat easy access to the outside on demand. Pet doors, such as those from Patio Pacific, come in various sizes that can be installed in doors, walls, screens, or widows.

Pet door with dog coming out

Preventing Pet Damage to Your Home

To keep dogs and cats from damaging the foam weather stripping on the door to your home:

  • Remove the damaged weather stripping by pulling it out of the groove.
  • Replace it with new weather stripping that fits your door.
  • Cut a strip of solid vinyl lattice molding to the height of the door casing.
  • Nail the lattice in place over the weather stripping to prevent access.
  • Set the nails below the surface, and fill the holes with spackling.

To protect corners on walls, doors, and cabinets from scratching, install clear plastic strips to cover the area using nails in predrilled holes.

Making Pets More Comfortable in Your Home

Cats often like to sit on a windowsill and look outside, but the standard window stool on isn’t wide enough to provide a comfortable perch. To remedy that problem:

    Installing shelf board on windowsill

  • Use a pry bar and hammer to remove the existing window stool.
  • Cut a solid wood shelf board to the proper length.
  • Use a jigsaw to notch the shelf board around the window casing.
  • Fit the shelf board into position on the window, and attach it with finishing nails.
  • Cover the nail holes and joints with caulk.
  • Prime and paint the shelf board.

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