You have probably put serious consideration into your pets’ habitats.
Whether you have a furry animal like a dog or cat or something scaly like a lizard or snake, you’ve likely researched their needs. No matter your furbaby of choice, you’re likely making an effort to provide the best possible home for them.
However, you might not be aware of how clutter affects pets. It's important to make sure your home is a safe environment.
Here are 5 reasons why controlling clutter is critical to giving your pets the best home possible.
1. Give your pets room to play
When high levels of clutter are present, it can be tricky for your pets to navigate your space. They might not be able to run and move freely if there are many items on the floor. Many pets also experience anxiety, which can be exacerbated by cluttered surroundings.
Even if pets are not injured or harmed by the clutter, they may still be limited in their ability to thrive. High levels of clutter may restrict their activity to the point where they’re not getting the exercise they need to be as healthy and happy as possible.
2. Prevent injuries
When homes have excessive clutter, there is a higher risk of injury to your pets. They may:
- Step on something sharp
- Trip or fall when trying to navigate the space
- Come into contact with sharp objects or corners
It’s important to put all dangerous objects out of reach and have clear, navigable pathways for your pets’ safety.
3. Keep pets secure
A clean space makes it easier to make sure your pets don’t escape. It would be heartbreaking for a pet to get lost—or even to cause minutes or hours of worry if they go wandering before returning home.
Doorways and windows should be secure so pets don’t get out (unless it’s into an enclosed space, like a fenced-in backyard).
Make sure you have a general idea of where your pets are and check on them often.
4. Keep pets safe from hazardous substances
Just like kids, animals can get into dangerous chemicals. Some items that aren’t dangerous for humans can be harmful to other animals, like chocolate for dogs.
It’s important to keep anything that can harm your pets out of reach or locked away.
Chemicals like antifreeze, pesticides, fertilizers, paints, and even dryer sheets can be hazardous. They may look like food to your pets and should be kept out of reach.
Medications should also be carefully stored away from your pets. If your home is cluttered it can be harder to notice these items are not safely tucked away.
Certain house plants can also be dangerous for pets. Some of the most common plants that should be kept out of reach of cats, dogs, and other animals include:
- Aloe vera (may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors when ingested)
- Rose of Sharon hibiscus (may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea)
- Tulips & Daffodils (ingestion of the bulbs may cause oral irritation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and potential liver damage)
- Azaleas (may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and comas)
- Poinsettias (may cause irritation in the mouth or stomach, leading to vomiting and diarrhea)
- Pothos (may cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty breathing)
Certain foods that you enjoy may also be dangerous. Putting food away and cleaning up food waste will help your pets stay healthy. Make sure your dogs, cats, and other animals stay away from:
- Avocados (only mildly toxic to dogs and cats, but can be severely toxic, even deadly, to birds, rabbits, horses, and ruminants such as cattle, goats, and sheep)
- Grapes (may cause kidney failure in dogs, with early symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea; effects are less well known for cats but symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea are likely)
- Onions & Garlic (may cause include early-onset vomiting and diarrhea, along with symptoms of anemia including breathlessness, lethargy, pale, yellow, or “muddy” colored gums, rapid breathing, and an elevated heart rate)
- Salt (may cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, incoordination, excessive thirst, excessive urination, tremors, and seizures)
- Yeast dough (may cause symptoms associated with bloat—enlarged abdomen due to the buildup of gas and dough, in addition to weakness, increased heart rate, and collapse)
5. Prevent illness and infection
Just like humans, not cleaning up properly can result in the growth of microorganisms that can cause illness and infection in pets.
Mold and mildew growth can cause illness, as can eating food that has been left out for long periods of time. Regularly clean up pet waste and make sure their water is clean. Disinfect your animals’ living spaces as needed.
Make sure that you wash your hands often, both to protect your animals and yourself.
We love our pets, but they can also cause problems for us if they aren’t properly housed and cared for.
Make sure you clean up feces and change litter boxes or cage linings promptly. Vacuuming and cleaning up animal hair can help with allergies and odors.
All your pets should also have their needed vaccinations so they can remain protected from common diseases and issues that arise in their lives. If you’re not sure if they’re up-to-date, call your veterinarian to check their records and schedule their next booster.
It’s also important to only have as many animals in your home as you can take care of. Pets are lovable and it can be difficult to say no to more when you are passionate about animals. However, be mindful of how much space you have, and know your city’s rules on the number of animals you can legally have in your space.
Don’t bring more animals into your home than you can clean up after or feed. Giving the pets you already have the best quality of life is better than having more pets than you can take care of and risking everyone’s health.
Need Help? We’ve Got Your Back.
If you’re struggling to get your clutter levels under control or need help cleaning up a big mess, Bio-One is here for you. We’ll help you get your home in good condition for you and your pets. To learn more, give us a call anytime at (616) 209-2313 or fill out a service request on our website.