If you’re a parent (or if you’ve literally ever even seen a kid…), you know how sneaky toddlers can be. They can get into anything and everything, even when you think you’ve mastered the baby-proofing process. It’s a fair assumption to say pets are no different than toddlers, so it’s important to pet-proof your home before welcoming a furry friend into it. Here are a few things to keep in mind to avoid any mishaps...

Pets have noses like no other. They have an amazing sense of smell, making the kitchen one of their favorite spots in the house. Never leave food on the table or counter until your dog learns not to go exploring up there.

...especially chocolate. Chocolate is toxic for dogs, along with grapes, avocados, and more. Always make sure that food is kept tucked away in a safe spot because your dog WILL smell it. While we’re talking about smell, let’s talk about garbage. Dogs love getting into trash because it’s home to food scraps. Always keep the garbage securely covered to prevent easy access. Our CEO recommends a locking trash can if you have a trash-diver, but cautions that even those will open if your pup is motivated enough.

Besides food and scraps, there are certain household items that can be harmful and/or toxic for your pet. Cleaning products are almost always toxic for dogs, so it’s best to keep them in the cabinet when you’re not using them. Laundry and dish detergent pods are particularly dangerous because they are bite-sized and dissolve quickly.  Something most pet parents don’t consider as toxic for pets are household plants. Cats are especially prone to being sensitive to plants, so make sure to dispose of harmful plants. The ASPCA has a list of plants to avoid in your home.

Now let’s talk about cords. Unlike babies who are weirdly fascinated by outlets, some pets love cords. They’re everywhere in houses, and can be easily confused as toys. Make sure to always tuck cords away and try to never leave them laying on the ground. If your pet’s crate is against a wall, make sure there isn’t a cord within reach - that’s a prime opportunity for chew time.

Curious pets might find themselves wandering into the bathroom. Many cat owners will leave the litter box in there, making it a frequent room for your furry friends to enter. In the bathroom, try to leave the toilet seat cover down (especially if you have a thirsty pup!). We wouldn’t drink toilet water, and our pets shouldn’t either. Just like cleaning products, be sure to keep all medicine IN the medicine cabinet as you do not want your pet to accidentally get into your pill bottles.

For those who have a backyard, don’t forget that the outdoors can be just as risky as the indoors. Having a secured fence is obviously important - we don’t want any runaways, do we?

There are several hazardous things that dogs can get into when unattended. Be mindful of lawn chemicals, mulches, and compost piles, as these are all things your dog might dig into. Yards are also home to bugs and insects, including ticks. Make sure to always have your pup on Flea & Tick meds (have a Wagmo Wellness plan? We’ll cover the bill!).

Pet-proofing your home might seem like an annoyance, but it’s necessary to prevent accidents or illnesses. Have any fun pet-proofing tips we missed? Send us an email at community@wagmo.io. We’re all pet parents helping pet parents here!