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Environmental Management for Pets

When it comes to human babies and toddlers people put a lot of work into baby proofing and supervising to ensure that the child won't put themselves in harms way. In this video I talk about applying that same thinking to keep our pets safe, and our minds from being lost.

We as parents are super aware of a crawling baby or a running toddler, we installed baby gates and play mats, soft covers on the edges of tables and stoppers on doors. We have even sold certain items of furniture and bought more safe for a toddler items. We have completely shaped our home around our daughters safety. And, most parents do the exact same thing.

However, many people do not do the same thing for their pets. And not doing so can be disastrous when things go wrong.

Many people have crazy expectation of puppies, dogs and their other pets. You can read more about the difference in expectation on this article:

Much of the time people simply won't do anything inconvenient to keep their pets safe. Now, this is not because they wouldn't, normally they just don't think about it.

Just in the past 10 days I have had people ask me for advice or help after a pet has been hurt due to their poor environmental management. A dog choked on clay which was left out after pottery, a cat required surgery after swallowing thread and a sewing needle and 2 dogs who were poisoned due to ingesting human food which is toxic to dogs.

And in every situation someone involved would say something to the effect of that dog/cat needs to be smarter, or needs to learn, or that animal is stupid.

Dogs are expected to enter the human world knowing that decorations are not toys, that some items are for chewing, but not something else which they have never been taught to differentiate, eat this food but not that food. The list of these contradictions could go on forever.

There are a few simple things to think about with regards to keeping your pets safe through environmental management.

  1. Prepare your dogs. Ensure you are training your dog and effectively educating them what is appropriate in the home and what is not.

  2. If you don't want it to be destroyed or eaten, make sure your dog does not have access to it. (Unless you have effectively done point 1). This means ensuring food is not left unattended, delicate ornaments are not at the edges of surfaces, tidy up after yourself if you are doing an activity, and many more examples which boils down to having a think before you do them.

  3. Do your best to avoid clutter. Litter, mess and disorganisation will lead to you leaving something out which shouldn't be. This could lead to a dangerous situation for your dog.

  4. Control your dogs movement. Are you doing something potentially dangerous, DIY, cooking, anything where a dog under foot could end in catastrophe, then ask your dog to go to their bed, or if you're unable to, put them into another area which is gated.

Most of this comes down to what many would refer as common sense. However, it is more about being aware of your own home and the potential for something to become a danger. So, take the time to be aware of your home and apply the basic advice to your own environment.

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