Houston Home Service Experts

Pet Home Safety

We close our pet and home safety week with some easy ways to pet-proof your home. If you own a dog or a cat, you’ve no doubt experienced the destructive results of curiosity (and sometimes outright anger) from your beloved pet. Shredded toilet paper, mangled shoes, shattered picture frames and scratched furniture are just a few of the costly consequences of owning cats and canines.

But with a little preparation you can help keep your pet from ruining that new pair of running shoes or Ikea coffee table. Some of the tips are rather obvious, some of them are time-consuming, but all of them have proven to help in ensuring our pets and products cohabitate peacefully.

We’ve broken down the tips by room:


  • Remove Poisonous Plants – There are dozens of common house plants that are toxic to dogs and cats. A few of the more popular are the Asparagus Fern, Elephant Ear, Lilies, Philodendron, Aloe Vera, Satin Pothos, Sago Palm and Milk Weed. A quick internet search will turn up many more than can do great harm to either dogs or cats – and sometimes both. Be sure to remove any from your home before bringing an animal inside.
  • Remove Floor Debris – Check the floor or carpet for loose items that your pet might chew or swallow. Children’s toys, board game pieces, fallen food scraps and loose string or thread. (Always be mindful of what you leave on the floor!)
  • Secure Cords – Secure all dangling electrical cords and wires from televisions, battery chargers, computers and other electronics.
  • Secure Paper Products – Keep newspaper, books and magazines off of the floor and out of easy reach. A basket for periodicals positioned on a shelf is a great idea and will keep pets from creating a huge mess.
  • Move Breakables – If you have picture frames, small sculptures or other small breakables on a shelf that your cat might happen to jump on – remove it or reconfigure the objects so that they can’t be easily bumped and broken.


  • Secure Trash – Make sure that all trash receptacles are covered or have a lid.
  • Remove All Open Food – Fruit sitting in baskets, packaged deserts, bags of chips or any food that is accessible should be put away. Dogs in particular will follow the scent and tear into anything that they can reach.
  • Childproof Cabinets – Cabinets that contain edibles, medicine or harmful cleaners that a cat could easily access should be secured with a childproof lock.
  • Block Holes – Block any holes under the sink, in the walls or cabinets where a cat might explore and get trapped. Tight areas under the refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer should also be closed/secured.


  • Pick Up All Laundry and Shoes – Dogs especially like to rummage through clothing – and make a hobby out of eating shoes. Be mindful of everything that you leave on the floor. Use a clothes hamper for dirty clothes and make sure to throw your shoes in the closet or anywhere not accessible to your pets.
  • Secure Personal Products – Don’t keep cosmetics, medications or other health and beauty products that could potentially poison your pet on a night stand or an easily accessed dresser.
  • Closet Sweep – Before you leave the bedroom, make sure that a pet isn’t trapped in a closet. Most people with pets will reflexively close their closet doors, always do a quick sweep to ensure your pet isn’t locked inside all day.
  • Tuck Loose Fabric – If you have covers, blankets or any kind of material that loosely hangs over the bed or other furniture, tuck it in. A pet, especially a cat, will find hanging material something amusing to claw and bite. Unless you are fine with holes in your blankets, make sure that they are secure and not left dangling.

Having pets can often be a challenge, but the rewards are worth the small sacrifices made for peaceful cohabitation.

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9 Tips for a Pet-Friendly Home

Remember that Universal can help pet owners with complete duct cleaning services. Pet hair can compromise air filters, return registers and grilles – contaminating the air and slowing down the performance of your HVAC unit. Call today and we’ll send out a technician for a duct assessment.