When you have a baby, you go through great pains to baby-proof your home and make sure that it is safe for your family's new addition. But how safe is your home for your family's furry, scaly or feathered friends? Here's how to pet-proof your home:

Under the kitchen sink

Chemicals in cleaning products and detergents can be harmful to pets, so make sure they are secured well out of reach. If you use mothballs, keep them stored in a tightly sealed plastic container to keep pets out. Also, keep pets away from freshly cleaned floors, tables and shelves if you use chemical cleaners because pets will lick their paws and ingest the toxins. Yet another reason to clean green!

In the bathroom

Make sure that all medicines, even if they have child-proof caps, out of reach of pets. That goes for prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter drugs and even vitamins.  Pets can easily crush or chew medicine bottles (or swallow them whole) and ingest lethal doses of medication.  

In the laundry room

Fabric sheets contain harmful detergents known as cationics that can make pets sick. If you use these sheets, be sure to store them out of your pet's reach.

In the garage

Chemicals like paint thinners, antifreeze and pesticides are extremely dangerous for pets. Keep these items on a tall shelf and clean up spills immediately. Make sure lids are on securely and that excess liquid or powder is removed from the sides of the bottle or can.

On the windowsill

There are a number of plants that can pose a danger to pets. To see if your plants are a problem, check out the ASPCA's listing of plants that are toxic to animals.

Photo: beverlytaz

Is your home safe for pets?
How to pet-proof your home and keep it safe for your four-legged friends.