How Seniors Can Keep Their Home Safe for A Pet



This posting was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Jessica Brody



Elderly people, who have retired from their jobs and are struggling with problems related with advancing age, may experience feelings of depression and loneliness. Having a pet in the house can be a major game changer, particularly for those who live away from family. Bringing home a pet is a new, positive challenge and can keep you both mentally and physically healthy. If you are considering adopting a pet, you need to ensure that your home is safe for the new member so that there are no emergency trips to the vet or other tragic scenarios. Here’s how you can pet-proof the different areas of your house:

Living Area and Bedrooms

If you are getting a cat or dog, it will be around you in the bedroom and play around in the living area, so ensure that all potentially dangerous items are taken care of. For puppies, a ‘no-chew’ spray applied on items that you want to keep them away from can be helpful.

  • Keep electrical cords off the ground or block them with furniture so that there is no tripping or chewing on these.
  • Ensure that all air/heating vents are properly covered.
  • Keep children’s toys and smaller items out of reach as these can be choking hazards.
  • Keep cupboards closed and valuables in shut containers as pets can often get curious and hurt themselves while exploring corners.
  • Mothballs should be placed where the pet cannot reach. If you have a cat, place these in a tight container.


The kitchen is a delightful place for your furry friends as this is where all the goodies are kept, but this is also one of the most dangerous areas full of wires, hot items, and edibles that are poisonous for them.

  • Keep all breakable items off the counter and on closed shelves. Ensure that all knives and sharp items are placed inside drawers.
  • Use garbage cans that have tight lids as these cans are particularly tempting for pets and they can ingest harmful substances.
  • Keep cleaning items like soap, bleach, etc. out of reach on high shelves that can be closed rather than under the sink. Use childproof locks on cabinets wherever necessary as cats can reach up or knock down the bottles, resulting in dangerous consequences.
  • You can also train your pet to keep out of the kitchen. Alternatively, install a safety gate to keep the four-legged member away while you are cooking.

Laundry Rooms and Bathrooms

There are many harmful, toxic things stored in these areas that you need to keep your pet away from.

  • Keep all human medications and sharp items like scissors, razor, etc. inside cabinets.
  • The toilet lid must be closed at all times so they do not end up drinking this unsanitary water.
  • Keep the washing machine closed and check each time before using to ensure complete safety.
  • If you live on a higher level, keep all windows shut.


While it is a blessing for pets to have a yard to run and play around in, they can also try to escape from such areas.

  • Ensure that there are no holes or gaps in the fence from where pups and kittens can squeeze through.
  • Consider creating a specially fenced area for the pet to play in.
  • Make sure pool and yard care chemicals are safely stored away and that spills are cleaned up quickly.
  • Remove all poisonous plants from the yard and do your research before planting any new ones.

Once you get an animal home, they give their utmost dedication, unconditional love, and much more throughout life, but as much as we like to consider them as a family member who is no different from others, safety comes first. Making the space where the pet will live hazard-free for them is the least we can do as owners. If you are finding it difficult to follow these tips on your own, enlist the help of a friend or family member so that you do not need to worry about anything when your pet arrives.

Jessica Brody has her own delightful website at OurBestFriends providing pet photos and stories.