One of the great perks of owning a home is the freedom to have a pet. No more landlord to lay down pet rules. Along with the responsibility of walking, feeding, or loving your cat or dog, there are measures you can take to safe-guard your home against animal wear and tear, and keep your pet safe in the process.

Think of your dog as a baby. While keeping certain doors closed is an option, you can also block off areas of your home with a baby gate. Many people use these at stairways to prevent dogs from roaming to upstairs bedrooms. They’re also great to limit access to various areas when you’re cleaning or cooking and don’t want your dog to interfere.

Electrical safety. Dogs and cats can, potentially, get into anything. Some are more behaved than others, and for those curious pets, keep them safe by covering electrical outlets and power strips. You can even get a containment system for your electrical cords. Here are a few tips on training kittens to stop chewing on wires.

Protect your trash. Invest in a trash can that a dog or cat can’t open. Try a heavy cylinder can with a step-on lid or a pull-out system under your sink.

Maintain your furniture. Your couch could be the ultimate chew toy or scratch pad for your pet. Here’s a great piece on how to keep your furniture intact.

Keep things tidy. The less clutter around your home, the less mess your pet can make of it. Maintain a tidy home – no piles of paper, dirty dishes, or mounds of clothes.

Hide your poisons. Keep cleaning supplies, detergents, and medicine hidden away in out-of-reach cupboards ­– even mothballs are hazardous. Also, some food and plants can be toxic to animals – do your research.

Check appliances. Before you close the door on an appliance, make sure your pet hasn’t snuck inside. Same goes for closets and cupboards.

Valuables. Anything you value that could be a tempting chew toy should be stored where pets can’t reach it.

Sure, having a pet comes with more responsibility and maintenance – but it’s so worth it for animal companionship.

Photo: Petful