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Fix Your House to Help Your Pet

No matter what style, shape or size your home, it probably contains potential hazards to your pet.
Pet owners concerned with the safety of their bird, cat, dog or other beloved animal might be on guard against traditional dangers, but forget to eliminate or reduce threats from something all around them: their home.

Birds are a good example. Somewhat fragile by nature, many pet owners are up to date on dangerous toxins or diseases. But with all the threats and protections they use, they may overlook some simple steps they might take.

Clear As A Bell!

One example involves windows. Many who feed wild birds have had birds fly into a nearby window, sometimes injuring or even killing themselves. Smart bird feeders have learned to use decals on their windows to help birds spot the otherwise invisible surfaces.

Pet bird owners who allow their birds to fly around the house should take similar precautions. Decals, drapes, blinds or shades are relatively simple solutions to keep your bird from ramming headfirst into an “invisible wall” and hurting itself, perhaps severely.

Spring Screens

But what if it’s a beautiful spring day and the windows are open. Screens may be easier to see than a window, but if you’re like many of us, not every screen in your house is “bird proof.” All it takes is a loose corner and your feathered friend can be gone. Before letting your bird loose, make a quick survey of your screens to make sure they are secure. If a screen in one room needs repair, you can solve the problem (at least temporarily) by simply closing the door to that room.

This is a good example for all pets and even young children. If your dog, cat or other pet has access to an upstairs room make sure open windows have screens without tears or holes. Even a sure-footed cat might burst through a torn screen when it sees a bird or other potential prey. The upstairs of a home or upper floor of an apartment are obvious examples.

Fans of Fans

Heating and cooling elements of your residence are another potential threat. If you use fans they must be enclosed so that a loose bird or other pet won’t come into contact with the fan blades. For your bird, don’t forget a ceiling fan.

A lack of temperature control – fan or otherwise – can be dangerous to other pets as well. Everyone has heard warnings about leaving dogs in a locked car, but an un-conditioned room – say one you shut off to save on the electrical bill – is not where you want to leave a pet. Birds are especially sensitive to temperature extremes like this.

A list of other potential threats is almost endless, although your home is likely to have only a few. Computer equipment is now widespread but even a printer can be a danger for a bird that becomes caught with moving parts or high temperatures. A good place to begin researching such dangers can be found on reliable websites like www.aspca.org. The key is to survey your home from your pet’s perspective and reduce or eliminate every potential danger possible then make the others off limits by closing a door or creating another barrier.

Both you and your pet will be glad you did!