I have a few posts discussing dangers for our pets: snakes, poisonous mushrooms, and hazards around the holidays with ribbons, ornaments, Halloween candy, and toxic seasonal plants. These kinds of dangers are fairly well known but I, for one, get in a routine and can let my guard down.
I won’t attempt to mention all the various household dangers in this one post, but there are a few hazards which I think are worthy of a mention. Please talk with your veterinarian and do some research on what may pose dangers to your beloved animal companions.
Foods – there are several foods which are toxic to some species. Chocolate is one of those food items found in many homes and it is imperative that we keep chocolate and candy out of the reach of pets. Other common household foods and cooking ingredients include garlic, onions, raisins, grapes, alcohol, coffee and coffee beans, some nuts, and the stems and leaves on garden tomatoes.
Cleaning products - in addition to obvious cleaning products such as detergents, bleach, and disinfectants, cleaning products may contain other chemicals that can harm our pets. Check the label for warnings and lock them up. Better yet, don’t use them if a *poison* label is present. A floor cleaner, for example, may leave a residue on the floor which your pet will walk through and then may lick their paws. Use caution if a product lists ammonia, acids, calcium hypochlorite, turpentine, and phenols in their ingredients list.
Medications – all human medications should be kept well out of the reach of children AND animals. Basic over-the-counter pain relievers can cause serious kidney problems if ingested by an animal and can even be fatal, according to a list of the 10 most poisonous meds for pets complied by the ASPCA, and decongestants can elevate heart rates and cause seizures. Keep medications locked up and out of reach, especially if you have a particularly curious cat or a dog that loves to counter-surf your nightstand or bathroom counters!
Use common sense and “pet proof” your home. It will save much heartache later!
See more household dangers in part two, More Household Dangers for Pets.