Home Design 101: Making Your Home Pet-Friendly

You’d agree that our four-legged friends are capable of getting themselves into as much trouble as kids. How do you then prevent curiosity to get the better of them?  

May sound silly but a “puppy’s eye-view” of things is the best way to know and inspect areas that little Tommy can access. Get down on all fours. Start thinking like your pet! You can start off by looking out for these: 

High-Rise Syndrome

The term “High-Rise Syndrome” was coined by veterinarians after reports of cats falling off high places were on a frightening rise. Cats have a natural fondness for heights, and window bars are not adequate protection for them;  grills can be deceiving. A safer option any day would be to mesh your windows and low balconies. Don’t forget to mesh your staircases as well to prevent smaller pets from rolling down or trying to jump out of excitement. 

Be wary of swinging doors 

Swinging doors are dangerous for pets. Avoid them. If you already have one at home, use a heavy door stopper that your pet cannot navigate or play with. 

No dangling wires 

Wires pose entanglement and electrocution hazards. Put away trailing cables and wires from lamps, TVs, stereos and the like behind furniture. You could consider covering your cables with an easily available thick cable protector to make them chew-proof. 

Know what plants to keep at home 

House Plants Expert has released a list of common household plants that could be potentially poisonous to your furballs. While lilys can cause severe kidney problems in cats, aloe vera is known to cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs on ingestion. Do your research or talk to the vet before you decide on what to decorate your house with. Keep them out of reach if you must bring them indoors.

Trash the trash 

Pets knocking over the trash is a common phenomenon. Absolutely no low-lying dustbins, unless you want old food and tissues strewn across the floor. Trade them for tall, pedal lid trash cans that your pet would find difficult to topple or stick their nose into. Sprinkling baking soda over the trash will mask the smell too. Don’t devalue this step because what we consider harmless fruit seeds, contain natural contaminants that can result in cyanide poisoning. For example, grapes and raisins are reasons for kidney failure while nutmeg can acutely affect the central nervous system.


Keeping birdcages away from windows protects them from the heat of the sun, as well as from your neighbour’s cat. Likewise, direct sunlight is bad for fish tanks; too much heat contributes to the formation of algae that turns water green. 

The higher, the better 

You are just one tail wag away from a mishap. Candles, glassware and anything that sits too low is set up for breakage. Likewise, detergents and medicines all need to be stacked up on higher shelves or in cupboards with childproof latches.

Give them personal space

Animals love cozy, small spaces that they can curl into. If it is well-equipped with a comfy bed, water, food and toys, your pet would not find the need to venture into unknown territories.