Understanding how to properly pet proof a kitchen is essential for sanitary and aesthetic reasons. The items found in most kitchens could create disaster when met with pet slobber, teeth or claws. Be extra diligent in storing food away from pets’ reach and keep trash tightly enclosed. Failure to do so could result in pets getting sick and you dealing with a great deal of mess. See below for tips on how to best share the space with your dog or cat.
1. Consider Proper Food Storage
Both you and your pet can be harmed by improperly placed food in the kitchen. Most pets are willing to dig into anything edible, so don’t temp them by leaving food out anywhere within their reach. You won’t want your pets slobbering and chewing on your newly purchased groceries without your knowledge and you don’t want them consuming anything that can be harmful to them. Be especially conscious of foods known to make pets sick, such as chocolate, which shouldn’t be left out anywhere remotely within a pets’ reach.
Store dry goods in cabinets with reliably closing doors. Many like to keep a fruit and vegetable bowl out on a table or counter, but those with pets may not be able to afford this decorative element. Some produce items can be harmful to pets’ stomachs and digestion when consumed, so they also belong in cabinets or the refrigerator. Be sure to properly store pets’ own food as well. While it’s not poisonous to them, you don’t want them chewing through the bag and consuming excessive quantities of it. The best option is store it in a large tupperware-style container in a cabinet they can’t get to.
2. Conceal Utensils and Containers
Pets are always looking for chew toys and don’t always recognize that not everything within their reach was created to be such. Some animals will chew through anything and even swallow the remaining bits, so be conscious of how you store not just your edible items but also your utensils. Chewing on metal utensils can be seriously harmful to animals, so be sure to keep silverware and pots and pans in drawers and cabinets that close tightly.
For those with cats that climb on counters, you’ll want to be careful about leaving too many of these items out to dry, especially for cats who climb on counters enough to knock things over. Put dishes away as soon as you can, so your feline doesn’t shatter your ceramics to the ground.
3. Enclose Trash and Recyclables
Many pets aren’t just interested in your scraps before they are consumed, but are willing to go after anything that has the promise of food. This means trash. Keep garbage in cans with tight lids that hinge to the rest of the container. Heavier metal cans make the best options. If you recycle, be sure not to leave empty bottles and cardboard boxes out freely, but seal them up in trash cans or similar containers as well