Your pet is a furry or feathered friend, living in a human home. It’s important to keep them in mind when decorating your house or cleaning, especially during out of habitat time. Little things you wouldn’t normally think about could have an impact on your pet’s health can be easy to fix and safer for the whole family.
Different animals each have unique characteristics, making it hard to call any home completely “pet-proof,” but using these tips can help keep your small animal or pet bird safe, healthy, and happy.
Electric CordsExposed cords can be a potential danger to small animals. Guinea pigs, bunnies, and rats naturally like chewing and exploring with their teeth. When they are out of their habitat, keep a close eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape to a room that has exposed cords. Even better, eliminate exposed cords from the floor or cover them to prevent little critters from chewing down to a live wire.
Windows & DoorsPet birds with clipped wings won't get as much height when flying as an unclipped bird. This can be good, as they are less likely to fly out an open window or door. Keep windows and doors closed to prevent a dangerous accidental escape. Windows and doors should also have blinds or shades to prevent birds from flying into them, as without, they may think they are open. Clean windows are great for the human eye, but potentially harmful to curious birds.
Ceiling FansKeep ceiling fans off during out of habitat time. Birds risk flying too high towards the ceiling and potentially harming themselves in the fan blades.
Air Ducts, Small Holes, or Tight CrevicesSmall animals like gerbils, hamsters, rats, and mice can quickly run into tight areas or through a hole. It can be hard to retrieve your pet from these small spaces and they risk getting stuck without food or water. To keep small pets safe when they are out of their habitat, keep them in an enclosed space that has no risk of them burrowing into an air duct or crawling behind a refrigerator. One way to do this is with playpen fencing. This allows critters to roam free within the limits you set, knowing they will be safe and happy.
TemperatureEven though you might not be home for a couple hours, letting your air conditioning or heat turn off could be a health risk to pets. Your pets will be living in the temperature of whatever you keep set on the thermostat. Keep your home comfortable for your pet bird or small animal to ensure they stay in good health.
Other temperatures that pose a threat to pets are cooking hazards in the kitchen. If pet birds are out of their habitat, they could accidentally land on a hot burner, pan, or fly through hot steam. The kitchen should never be a place where birds can roam free due to the many other dangers like sharp knives, off-limit food, potential drowning in a sink or pot, and other risks.
Air QualityToxic fumes like carbon monoxide are obvious dangers. But other issues like fragrant candles, aerosol spray, smoke, and burning food onto a Teflon pan can cause health problems with pet birds. Keep the air in your home clean and free of toxins to ensure a healthy environment for your pet.
Other Pets or Children
Dogs and cats can pose a threat to small pets or birds. It’s best to keep all pets separated unless they have been slowly introduced with full supervision. Small children also pose a risk if they are learning to walk, not yet coordinated enough to hold animals, or are unaware of the animal being out of its habitat. It’s best to avoid any risks by keeping animals in their habitat when others are around, or placing them in their own space with the whole family aware to keep an eye on the ground.
The best technique for keeping your pets safe is by watching them closely if they are ever out of their habitats. Their habitats are a safe place that they call home, but giving them time and space to roam is enriching.
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