How to Pet Proof your Sunroom

A sunroom can be a great addition to your home. Since the quarantine began we’ve heard a lot of people choosing to keep their pets separated to cut down on any barking or noises. If you are going to keep your pet in a sunroom, we have several tips for you to make it a safe experience for your pet.

Make sure they don’t overheat

Dogs and cats don’t have the same ability to cool off by perspiring that humans do. You should never keep your cat or dog in a 3 season sunroom that doesn’t have some form of cooling.

Sunrooms can work as a type of greenhouse meaning that the windows will let the solar energy in the room and which will heat up the room throughout the day. What may feel nice and comfortable in the morning could be complete torture and dangerous to your pets by noon or in the afternoon.

As such, you should always makes certain the room has some form of cooling. Preferably air conditioning, but depending where you live opening the windows with a fan maybe enough.

That is going to be a personal decision where you live. As we live in Arizona, I would never leave one of our pets in a non-airconditioned sunroom.

Give them plenty of water

We have two separate water bottles for our pet bunny. This way if one gets knocked over, she’ll still have access to the other. Also, we know that she doesn’t drink through a whole bottle in a day. By checking both bottles each time, we feel confident she’ll never run out.

When we had two water bottles, there would be some warmer days that we’d see her after work and her water would be very low or sometimes out. I never want her to be hot and lack for water.

Pet proof the room

Before keeping your pet in your sunroom, you will want to make sure it is pet proof so that your little furry friend can’t hurt themselves. This could mean putting up items they would eat that may hurt them.

If could mean sealing off areas where they could fall or get stuck. We have a large sectional that our bunny loves hopping on. We originally had it slid against the wall with a small gap between the wall.

We realized the bunny could get caught and possible trapped if she fell behind it. Worse yet, if she did fall behind there was absolutely no way out for her. Many animals will become frantic if they feel trapped and start to panic.

This panic behavior can lead them to actually hurt themselves far more than if they could just stay patient and wait for their human to come save them. For us we put some soft padding behind the couch so that if she fell the landing wouldn’t hurt her.

We also slid the comforter away from the wall several inches so she has a clear scamper path back to the main part of the room.

Screens are not enough

A lot of people leave their screened windows open to allow fresh air for their pets. The issue is that screens alone are not enough to stop animals from getting out. The wind blowing through the window may cause the pet to come over and start playing and pawing at the screen.

When they do this, it can lead to rips and tears to the stream. Unfortunately, once the screen starts tearing, it becomes possible for your pet to get outside or something looking for a tasty snack to get inside.

If you are going to leave a window open, make sure that it is in a place that your pet can’t ever get to. Also, I prefer only with aluminum screens rather than the generic fiberglass ones.

Electrical covers are nice

We bought some rubber electrical plugs that we put into the outlets. This stops our little bunny from accidentally chewing the socket. These are relatively in expensive, and they just give us a piece of mind the room is more safe for her.

Another side benefit is that we want to lower the chance of her ever starting an electrical fire. I accept the odds of this happening are astronomically low, but I still feel better knowing that it’s not even a possibility for us since we have all the open sockets covered.

Tie down dangling wires

When you have a television, DVD player, computer it’s normal to have cables loose and dangle down. As humans we are never back there, but our little furry friends can get under tables, behind chairs or other places that would be not easily accessible to us.

Sometimes dogs, cats and bunnies can pull against these cords pulling down expensive electronics. This will normally cause property damage of breaking the TV or computer. But it can also injure the pet if something like this falls on it.

Pickup puzzle pieces and small toys

Cats and dogs don’t necessarily understand what items they can eat and what will harm them. Puzzle pieces and other small toys that your pet can eat can cause major issues for their digestive track.

In the best case scenario, they will be able to pass it. It will cause some discomfort, and won’t be life threatening. However, this is not always the case. Some pets will eat items that they simply can’t pass. This clogs their digestive tract. This leaves only two options of an expensive surgery to remove the items or to have the the pet taken out of it’s misery.

This is something to be taken very seriously, and it’s tragic because nice little furry friends are enjoying their life and one decision they don’t understand leads them down a path of no return.

Careful what plants are in the sunroom

Bunnies are especially bad for eating whatever green plants they can find. Unfortunately, there are certain plants that are poisonous to them. I can’t list all the plants that you shouldn’t have so instead, I am going to suggest doing a google search for whatever plants are in your sunroom, and checking to see if they are safe around any little animal friend that will be in that area.

Keep vents fully sealed and check them

A loose vent can be a death trap for your pet. The cool or warm air coming from it is an inviting space that they will want to explore. Unfortunately, sometimes they can climb into the vent and not be able to get back out. This can either be because of a drop or a bend that they can’t back through. In some cases, they just get scared and hurt themselves while trying to scurry out of the ventilation system.

Put all sewing items away

Sewing is an especially dangerous hobby when you have pets. The needles can look like strands of hay or string. When a pet eats a needle it becomes very dangerous for them as it’s so likely to poke their their intestines.

Also, thread can form little balls in their stomach which will cause problems. We recommend always keeping your sewing limited to a room where you don’t have pets. It can seem like you’re just sitting it down for a minute to check on something in the oven or to go to the bathroom; however, it only takes a few seconds for the pet to eat something that will forever change both your lives.

Keep any cleaning chemicals out of the sunroom

A lot of liquids look tasty to pets only to turn out poisonous with a single sip. Antifreeze is especially dangerous for pets and should never be kept in a room where you pets will have access.

Wrapping up

So that’s our guide for how to pet proof your sunroom. These are not all the methods that you’ll want to do to protect your little furry friends, but it does give you a good start.

You can look around the room form the perspective of your pet and ask yourself what could he/she misunderstand that would hurt them.

As we’re a community, we’d love to hear from you. Do you have any recommendations of what our other members could do to keep their pets safe?

Losing a pet is never easy, and it feels so much worse when the passing was caused by something that could have been avoided. I’m not sure how many people and animals we’ll help with this post, but if it’s even a single family it’ll be worth the time I invested writing our tops for this.

Last Updated:April 07, 2024