published Monday, March 28th, 2011

Pet-proof your home


An unhappy dog left alone at home can be destructive.
Photo from DogCentral.Info
An unhappy dog left alone at home can be destructive. Photo from DogCentral.Info

Does your dog get lonely when everyone leaves the house?

Does he or she express anger by ripping your furniture to shreds or going to the potty in inappropriate places?

According to Nancy Purvis, owner of the Nashville franchise of Camp Bow Wow, a doggy day and overnight camp, leaving a pet alone can not only result in damage to your home, but it can also be harmful to the dog.

“Pets can end up in a potentially dangerous situation inside the home if given the freedom to roam the house and if they are not monitored on a constant basis,” she said.

One safeguard is to keep the pet in its crate when you’re not at home — and even if you are home but can’t keep a close eye on the animal.

Purvis acknowledges that some owners choose not to crate their animals.

“In that circumstance, the owner needs to make sure that all possible dangers inside the home have been addressed before leaving the pet unattended,” she said.

The following tips for leaving a pet unattended are from Camp Bow Wow CEO and owner Heidi Ganahl.

• Put child-proof locks on cabinets and use child-safety gates in doorways.

• Spray pet-friendly lemon or bitter apple scents on furniture.

• Install electric cord shorteners on television, phone and computer cords, outlet covers in wall sockets and window cord safety locks.

• Tie curtains, and be wary of blinds.

• Avoid houseplants, because many are poisonous for pets.

• Use seat covers on sofas and chairs.

• Hide trash cans.

• Educate yourself on fruits that are dangerous for pets. Grapes (and raisins), for example, are deadly for dogs.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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