Let’s be honest, pets are always finding ways to get a hold of things they shouldn’t! But while we can’t protect our furry friends from every danger, we can take steps to make our homes as safe as possible. So, to help you “pet-proof” your home, here are five common hazards to keep your dogs and cats away from.
1. Plants and flowers
Yes, flowers look pretty, but they can be dangerous (and even fatal) to cats or dogs. Here’s a rundown of the most toxic plants.
- Aloe vera
If your pet nibbles on a toxic flower or plant, treat it like a medical emergency and contact a veterinarian immediately.
2. Household chemicals
Many household chemicals are extremely dangerous to pets, including:
- Cleaning liquids
- Cocoa mulch
- Human medicine
- Mouse and rat poisons
Try to use non-toxic products where possible, and always keep home chemicals stored away somewhere safe. When you are spraying outside, keep pets indoors.
3. Human food
Maybe you love chocolate and coffee, but these foods are toxic to your furry friends! Human food can cause everything from vomiting to kidney failure in dogs and cats, so it’s absolutely crucial you watch what your pet eats.
Here are common foodstuffs to keep your pets’ paws off.
- Caffeinated drinks
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Products with xylitol, an artificial sweetener
- Sweets and candy, including chocolate
Don’t let your pets near the garbage, either. They could pick up food poisoning from the bacteria and germs growing there.
4. Outdoor parasites
From fleas to ticks, your pets can pick up all kinds of nasty bugs outside. While you can’t keep them from exploring the great outdoors (and you wouldn’t want to!), it’s important you watch out for signs of parasites.
- Regularly run your hands over your pet’s fur to check for ticks.
- It’s best to de-flea and de-worm your pets once a month, but some treatments require more frequent application.
- Ask a vet for advice if you’re concerned that your pet has picked up bugs and you don’t know how to help them.
5. Small toys and objects
Sure, your pets love to chew things, but it’s crucial you keep them away from choking hazards. Keep the following items out of reach:
- Jewelry and hair ties
- Kids’ toys
- String including thread and dental floss
The golden rule? If it’s small enough to ingest, ensure it’s stored away somewhere safe.
Replace your pet’s chew toys frequently, too. These toys may look innocent enough, but they can harbor bacteria and cause sickness. And, if a toy looks worn or frayed at all, switch it out for a newer product. Your pets will thank you for the treat!
Keeping your pet safe
No, we can’t protect our pets from all dangers. However, we can definitely take steps to make our homes safer for all our furry friends.
- Walk through your home and garden. Make sure everything chewable is stored safely out of sight.
- Keep chemicals, including pesticides, car cleaning products, and soap, hidden away. Mop up leaks or spills immediately so pets aren’t tempted to lick them.
- Don’t let your pets sit in the sun for too long, and always give them access to shade and fresh water.
- Supervise pets when they’re playing around kids, especially if there are small toys lying around.
- Don’t feed your pets human food unless you’ve checked with your vet that it’s safe to do so.
Has your pet ingested something they shouldn’t have? Contact a vet right away for advice.