Next up in my pet-proofing series: the bathroom. This is a door that many pet owners (myself included!) choose to keep closed. Bathrooms can present a slightly different, additional risk for pet owners... the risk of embarrassment. I remember eating dinner at a friend's apartment in New York when, all of a sudden, I looked over, and her dog had brought us a lovely present he fished out of the bathroom trash can. Charming. She was understandably mortified about this gift and, the next time I visited, I noticed her mini, flip-lid trash can.

To learn about the common bathroom risks for your pet,

  • Paper products. So, it's not just about presenting garbage at the feet of strangers, some pets even eat paper – and other surprises – from the trash can. Other pets love to pull paper off the toilet paper roll or even chew and claw the spare rolls. If you feel that the paper products in your bathroom present too much of a temptation for your furry friends, use my simple solution: keep the door closed.
  • Laundry. Some pets will fish socks and underwear out of the hamper to scatter throughout the apartment, chew on any soiled clothes, or even decide to crawl in the hamper for a nap. Make sure if you do have a hamper, you keep it closed, and consider the type of lid. You don't want kitty to jump on top, fall in, and get stuck!
  • Toilet. I'm guessing you have a toilet and, if you also have a pet, please keep the top lid down! Regardless of the amount of fresh, natural spring water in your pet's bowl, many of them just want a taste of that toilet water. And, if you are letting them kiss you... well, that's a problem in my book.
  • Chemicals. Also present in the toilet are dangerous chemicals, especially if you've used those toxic blue tablets. But, even if you just store drain cleaners in the bathroom, keep them out of pets' reach. Also, be careful about any surfaces that pets could be licking or chewing – not only for the cleansers you use on them, but poisonous lead can often be found in paint, linoleum, and caulking compounds!
  • Small items. I've found teethmarks on a lip gloss tube from devilish North, so please keep makeup out of reach! Once again, be careful with any small, shiny objects that may fall to the floor... you don't want to wait 'til your earring emerges from the other end!