This is a guest essay by Wren Kitchens.
How to pet-proof your kitchen
Whether you have a playful puppy or a curious kitten, the moment they step through our doors, they become a part of our family. As they start to adjust to their surroundings, they’re likely going to want to explore, and the kitchen can be a dangerous place for them.
These easy steps will help to protect your furry friend from potential hazards, whilst keeping your kitchen clean.
Create a special space for your pet
It goes without saying you’ll want your companion to be able to spend time with you in the kitchen as you go about your daily routine. By creating a special space that’s just for them, you can do just that. Place their integrated food and water bowls next to your kitchen units or island, so that you can enjoy mealtimes together. You could also add a bed for them under the worktops so they can relax while you cook – just make sure they’re not directly below the area where you’ll be preparing food, as they could accidentally trip you up.
You could also clear out a cupboard to create a dedicated space for all of your pet products, such as food, treats, medications, waste bags and treatments – allowing for easy access, whenever you need them.
Keep food out of reach
Sadly, there are so many common household ingredients that are toxic to cats and dogs, which you ordinarily wouldn’t think twice about. That’s why it’s so important to keep your food away from pets – especially dogs, who are often attracted to food that’ll harm them!
Make sure you store away coffee, grapes, raisins, and chocolate in sealed containers, and keep them out of reach. If you have to keep food on the side for any reason, then push it to the back of the cupboards, to stop them from falling on the floor.
While cats are less likely to try and eat your groceries, the issue becomes when they jump on the worktops. To stop fur – and paws! – from getting in your food, cover your food with a Tupperware box when it’s left on the side.
Be extra careful with cleaning products
While you’ll want to keep your kitchen clean to the highest standards, cleaning products are highly toxic to both humans and pets if swallowed. Whilst many of these products have child safety locks; inquisitive dogs will likely be able to chew through the plastic.
Store all of your cleaning products in one cabinet, and make sure that as soon as you’ve finished using them, you pack them away; and install a child-proof latch on the door. When you’re cleaning your kitchen, keep your pets out of the room, so they don’t accidentally step in anything toxic.
Most pets, when tempted by the smell of food, will start rummaging around to try and find it – and if you have any toxic materials left around, that could be fatal. This is especially true of the bin, so we’d recommend installing a child-proof latch there too.
Be careful with cooking appliances
For cats that accidentally jump up on a hot hob, it could be fatal. Consider installing an induction hob, as it will only get hot when covered by a pan – plus, it cools more quickly compared to a gas hob.
Cutlery – particularly knives – can also seriously harm pets. Store your large knives in a sturdy block that won’t tip over from the brush of a tail or paw; or go one better and install an implemented knife block in one of your drawers.
Cleaning your kitchen when you have pets
Moulting fur, mucky paws and drool are just some of the things that pet owners have to deal with on a daily basis! And even though it might seem like your pet is always getting in a mess, it’s actually really easy to keep your kitchen clean and tidy.
Sealed laminate is the ideal kitchen flooring for pet owners, as it can be easily cleaned with a brush and microfibre mop, meaning you can clean away dirty mud and water as quickly as they appear.
Some wall paints are water resistant, which is great if you find you need to constantly wipe away mud, as it won’t ruin your paintwork. Tiles too, are easily cleanable, and great to install if there’s a particular wall that’s prone to being splashed.
Aside from that, you should always spend five or ten minutes sweeping your kitchen to remove any excess fur and dirt. If you’re a first-time pet owner, it can be surprising how much fur a pet can shed, but doing it everyday will be much easier than trying to tackle it at the end of the week!