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
A 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.
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:
- 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.
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:
- 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.
Watch Videos from This Episode
- Tips for Safeguarding Pets in Your Home
- Tips for Eliminating Fleas in Your Home
- Tip for Keeping Your Dog from Digging Under a Fence Gate
- DIY Electronic Containment System for Dogs in Your Yard
- Innovative Pet Doors for Your Home
- How to Prevent Pet Damage to Weather Stripping on a Door
- How to Prevent Pet Damage to Woodwork and Furniture
- How to Make a Window Perch for Your Cat
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Aromatherapy for Your Home
To eliminate musty or stale odors and give your home a fresh scent, try sprinkling a few drops of either vanilla, orange, lemon, or almond extract on your return air filter when you replace it every two to three months. Scented air will be sucked through the filter and distributed around your home. (Watch This Video)
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop
The Reveal Spray Mop from Rubbermaid has a reusable microfiber pad that picks up 50% more dirt than standard mops. It comes with a refillable spray bottle that can be filled with water or cleaning solution. The Reveal Spray Mop is available at The Home Depot.
(Watch This Video)
Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Recycled Plastic Fencing
Milk jugs can be reused in many useful ways around your home, including as scoops and bird feeders. In addition, the high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic in milk jugs can be recycled and made into composite fencing for your home that looks and feels like wood but is virtually maintenance free. (Watch This Video)