Bringing a pet into your home is like adding a new member to your family. However, just like childproofing is crucial for the safety of children, pet-proofing is essential to ensure your furry friends are protected from potential hazards around your home. Pets, especially cats and dogs, are curious by nature and can easily find themselves in trouble. From cat and dog toxins to small objects they might choke on, there’s a lot to consider. Let’s embark on a room-by-room journey to make your home a safer place for your beloved pets.


The key to safeguarding your pets in the kitchen is the management of food storage. A myriad of common human foods, notably including chocolate, grapes, and items sweetened with xylitol, pose significant risks to pets. Ensuring these and other harmful foods are stored securely can prevent inadvertent ingestion by curious pets.

Another area of concern is the trash can, which can be a treasure trove of hazards for pets. From bones that can splinter and cause internal damage to wrappers that could lead to choking, the risks are plentiful. Implementing secure lids or keeping trash cans behind closed doors with child-proof locks can mitigate these dangers. Similarly, pets may be drawn to explore lower cabinets out of curiosity. Utilizing child-proof locks on these cabinets can prevent access to cleaning supplies and other small objects that could be hazardous if ingested.

Living Room

One of the first steps to pet-proofing the living room is managing electrical cords which, if left exposed, could tempt pets into dangerous chewing behavior. By utilizing cord organizers or protective covers, the risk of electric shock can be significantly reduced.

Houseplants require careful consideration as some are toxic to pets. Identifying and either removing these plants or placing them well beyond the reach of your pets will help prevent accidental poisoning. While specific plants like lilies and Sago Palm are especially toxic to cats and dogs, it’s critical to research all household plants for their safety around pets.

For homes with fireplaces, the cozy warmth can attract pets seeking comfort, making a sturdy screen necessary to block off direct access and protect pets from sparks or hot ashes.


Begin pet-proofing you bedroom by organizing personal belongings, ensuring items such as jewelry, hair accessories, and small toys are securely stored away from curious paws and noses, to avert any risk of ingestion or choking. Essential too is the proper storage of medications; these should be kept in secure drawers or cabinets, out of your pet’s reach, as even a small dose of human medication can be toxic or fatal to them.

Attention should also be paid to windows and balcony doors. Ensure that screens are secure and that pets cannot accidentally push them open, which could lead to falls or escapes. For added safety, consider adjustable window guards that allow fresh air in while keeping pets safely inside.


Medications, often stored in bathrooms, can be fatal if ingested by pets. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure they are securely stored in cabinets that pets cannot access.

Cosmetics and personal care products, tempting with their scents and textures, can be harmful to pets. Store these items in drawers or cabinets with secure closures to prevent curious pets from coming into contact with them. 

The toilet poses its own set of hazards. Pets, especially dogs, may be tempted to drink from the toilet bowl, which can lead to the ingestion of harmful chemicals from cleaning agents. Always keep the toilet lid down and consider using pet-safe cleaning products to minimize risk. 

Additionally, the bathroom trash can should have a secure lid or be stored in a location inaccessible to pets, as discarded razors, floss, and sanitary products can be hazardous if ingested.

Garage and Outdoor Spaces

Chemicals, such as antifreeze, which is particularly appealing yet deadly to pets because of its sweet taste, along with pesticides and fertilizers, should be stored out of pets’ reach—preferably in locked cabinets or high shelves. These substances pose a significant risk of poisoning, with even minimal exposure potentially leading to serious health complications or death.

Next, ensure the physical safety of your pets by securing the perimeter of your yard. Inspect fences for any openings or weaknesses that could serve as escape routes. Strengthening these barriers not only prevents your pets from wandering off but also protects them from external dangers, such as traffic or predators.

Be mindful of the plant life within your pet’s access. Regularly review and remove any such plants from your garden or outdoor spaces to eliminate the risk of poisoning.

Additionally, water features, pools, and ponds present a drowning hazard to pets. Even if your pet is a proficient swimmer, unexpected accidents can occur. Erecting a fence around these water bodies or ensuring they have secure covers when not in use can prevent tragic accidents.

Top 10 Dog Poisons:

  • Chocolate
  • Mouse and rat poisons (rodenticide)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Xylitol in sugar-free gum and human foods
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Acetaminophen570
  • Vitamins (especially chewable flavored ones)
  • Prescription drugs such as stimulants
  • Fertilizers and pesticides

Top 10 Cat Poisons:

  • Lilies (all Lilium species)
  • Spot-on flea/tick medication meant for dogs (do not use your dog’s products on your cat)
  • Household cleaners
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Essential Oils
  • Anti-inflammatory Medications
  • Mouse and rat poisons
  • Stimulant Medications
  • Onions and garlic
  • Vitamin D overdose

If you pet ingests any of the above poisons or any other toxins harmful to pets, please contact Village at Main Veterinary Hospital at 503-570-9735 or contact the Animal Poisons Helpline (ASPCA) at (888) 426-4435.