Pets are family, and it's super important to ensure that your house is a safe and homey space for your curious companions. Unfortunately, the kitchen is an area of the house that can be hazardous for dogs and cats alike. It doesn't have to be that way, however. We're breaking down a few simple steps you can take to ensure your kitchen is as pet-friendly as possible.
Consider pet-safe cooking appliances
Electronics and animals can be a very bad mix. Wires and electrical components are hazardous for your pets, especially if your dog or kitty has a tendency to chew on things.
Fortunately, there are tons of fantastic pet-safe cooking appliances you can add to your own kitchen. Consider investing in the following easy additions:
Non-slip mats to prevent nasty falls
Tall dustbins to keep trash out of your pet's reach
Stocking your kitchen with pet-proof containers
These small purchases are key to ensuring your pet can safely spend time with you while you cook.
Use dog-proof kitchen cabinet locks
Another critical aspect of kitchen safety is preventing your pets from getting into your kitchen cabinets. The last thing you need is your pug or chihuahua finding its way into the snack cupboard or breaking your expensive crockery.
If you have fully-stocked cabinets, you may want to consider making sure your pets don't have access to them, and a simple cabinet lock will go a long way.
Choose Pet-Friendly Kitchen Surfaces
Choosing materials for your kitchen is a tough choice as it is, but how can you keep your kitchen stylish while making sure it is safe for your pets? Standard carpets are never a good decision around food or pets; they are difficult to clean after a mess and can be easily ripped apart by a pet who's feeling a little bored.
A more appropriate rug choice is pet-friendly and washable, like the one below from Ruggable.
If you'd prefer a cleaner look, opting for materials such as tiles, wood, or marble may be the best way to ensure your kitchen looks good and is pet-resistant.
Consider non-toxic cleaning products
It is no secret that the majority of store-bought cleaning products are incredibly toxic and not intended for consumption, and while we humans know this all too well, our pets, unfortunately, do not.
In order to avoid ever having to worry about your special little companion eating something poisonous, consider switching to completely non-toxic cleaning products.
Non-toxic cleaning products are widely available and may cost slightly more than the more mainstream offerings, but this is a small price to pay to keep your pets safe. Of course, they may still end up eating your laundry detergent, but at least it'll taste bad and not cause severe harm.
Install pet gates in the kitchen
The easiest way to avoid your pets getting up to all kinds of mischief in your kitchen is by using pet gates. They are affordable, can be assembled and moved around easily, and are a great way to block off portions of your kitchen space you don't want your soulful sidekicks to explore.
For example, many homeowners have open pantry spaces where they store tons of snacks and goodies. Placing a gate in front of your open pantry is a simple method you can use to avoid your pets grabbing a jar of peanut butter to nibble on. Believe it or not, peanut butter can be toxic to pets, as are many other pantry items, so it's important to keep your pets out of anything that may result in a call to the emergency vet down the line.
Design for your pet's needs
Most importantly, make sure to design a space for your pets to chill out while in the kitchen. Relaxed pets are less likely to cause mayhem in your kitchen than restless ones, so consider allocating a section of your kitchen to your animals.
A simple bed or two and a water bowl may be all you need to keep your pets happy while you are in the kitchen. But throw in a couple of toys if your pets are of the more energetic variety, and you'll notice the change immediately.
If you have the budget (and flexibility), you can add cool touches like a doggy door that leads to the outside, like this home from House Beautiful below.
You may even want to consider adding a separate spot for pet feeding or organization as well if you're designing your kitchen from scratch. If not, you can add a portable storage bin and fill it with all your pet's goodies so they have their own space separate from human foods.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.