3 Ways to Pet-Proof Your Kitchen
According to a survey undertaken by the PDSA, 54% of UK adults own pets. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, cats and dogs are the most popular with 26% of UK adults owning dogs (that’s 10.1 million dogs) and 24% of UK adults owning cats (that’s 10.9 million cats).
That’s a lot of cats and dogs (21 million, to be precise).
There are two types of cat and dog owners – those who are used to never eating a meal that doesn’t contain fur and happily turn a blind eye to paw prints on their worktops and those who absolutely freak at the idea of even a single hair entering their pristine kitchen, let alone paw prints on their gorgeous marble worktop from TOPSCO.
Even if you don’t mind your furry friends hanging out with you while you’re dishing up your dinner, it’s really not a good idea to encourage your pets to spend too much time in the kitchen.
In fact, pets in the kitchen should be positively discouraged, so here’s how you can pet-proof your kitchen.
If you leave out an unattended cream-covered cake in the kitchen, you can expect to find two things on your return. One, a once-cream-covered cake now covered in lick marks and barely any cream; and two, a cat that very much looks like the cat who got the cream.
Yes, I speak from experience.
To be fair, you can’t really blame your pets for taking advantage of your – let’s be blunt here – stupidity at leaving food out in pet-height plain sight. There’s a reason why one of the classic comedy sketches is of a dog gleefully making off with a string of sausages that were left on a countertop – because it happens.
So, don’t leave food out and don’t leave cabinet or fridge doors open where your pets can help themselves to whatever goodies you’ve got stashed away. Pets can be determined when they want to be though, so keep food in cabinets inside sealed containers to ensure the contents are safe from prying noses.
Keeping food out of sight isn’t just to spoil your pet’s fun by spoiling your dinner, it’s also to stop them eating food that can be toxic or poisonous. For example, both cats and dogs should never eat chocolate, while grapes and raisins can cause liver and kidney damage to dogs (and grapes and raisins aren’t great for cats, either).
It’s not just food that can be a danger to cats and dogs – kitchens are dangerous places for humans, let alone nosy pets.
If you’re getting an upgraded kitchen (lucky you!), consider an induction hob. Induction hobs only get hot when they’ve got special induction pans on them and the rings cool down quickly, unlike gas or electric hobs.
Induction hobs are also easy to wipe clean, so if you do find the odd paw print or tuft of fur on the hob’s shiny black surface, it can be removed easily.
Knives are also a danger in the kitchen, so keep knives in a heavy block that can’t be knocked over by a nosy paw or swishing tail. And while we’re on the subject of knives, a greedy dog will be far more interested in the tasty food that’s on a knife that’s just been used, than any danger aspect, so never leave a used knife unattended either on the worktop or in a dishwasher that’s been left with the door open.
Keep your pets busy while you’re cooking
Pets love hanging out with their humans and aren’t deterred easily. You can pick them up and put them in another room as many times as you like but they’ll soon be back to see what you’re doing.
While this is undoubtedly cute, if you’re in the middle of making dinner, it’s not a great idea to have four-legged companions about the place. Pots and pans containing boiling water or scalding oil are too easy to knock over when you’re trying to cook around your cat and there’s also the danger of tripping over the dog if it decides to lay down at your feet.
Keep your pets busy by giving them their dinner while you’re making yours. If there’s one thing a pet loves as much as their humans, it’s food. You can also distract them with toys and games or if you get really desperate, shut them out in the garden while you’re cooking.
These are just a few ways that you can pet-proof your kitchen, helping you to get fur-free meals and preventing any injury to your cat or dog.