When adding a new baby to the household, most people “baby proof” everything. Yet, we often don’t realize that our pets can also be endangered by common household items. This can be especially true for curious young kittens and puppies, although pets of all ages can be at risk. Take a look around your home, and reduce the odds of your pet encountering these common dangers.
Cleaning products. Most cleaning products are safe to use within the home if you have pets, but you should take special care with storing them. Choose a cabinet that is either locked or out of reach. Also, keep products in their original containers, so that in the event of accidental ingestion you’ll know exactly what was ingested.
As for self-cleaning ovens, we know that their fumes can be fatal to birds.
Other chemicals. If you store items like antifreeze, gasoline, paint thinners, fertilizers, and de-icing salts in your garage, restrict your pet from going in that area of the home. Check for chemicals stored in areas like laundry rooms, too.
Your medications. Obvious culprits are pain pills, anti-cancer drugs, cold and flu meds, and diet pills. But watch out, also, for vitamin supplements. They might seem harmless, but vitamin overdoses can be dangerous for both people and pets.
Choking hazards. As with children, small items can be ingested by pets. From there, choking can occur, or intestinal obstruction if the item is swallowed. Avoid leaving small objects lying around where your pet can access them.
Houseplants. Cats, dogs, and other pets often like to chew on houseplants. Unfortunately, a plant that seems totally benign can actually cause illness and fatality in animals. When in doubt, research a houseplant before bringing it into your home, or call us to inquire about its potential toxicity.
Your food. What is safe for humans is often dangerous to pets. Keep these food items far from your kitties and doggies:
- Coffee grounds
- Raisins and grapes
- Fatty foods
- Yeast dough
- Salty foods
- Onions and garlic
- Any product containing artificial sweeteners, particularly xylitol
And of course, don’t hesitate to call us if you believe your pet is in danger. If poisoning is suspected, bring the bottle or container with you to your appointment. If you have any other questions about keeping your pet safe in your home, we’ll be happy to answer those over the phone or at your next appointment.