When it comes to our furry friends we know that we need to feed them, give them water, play with them, take them out, and keep them up to date on their shots, but do you know that there are also many common household items that can pose severe dangers to our pets? Read on to find out which dangerous items your pets may accidentally be exposed to.
Protecting Your Pet From Chemicals
Not surprisingly chemicals can pose multiple threats to our pets just as they can to humans. Chemicals can be extremely toxic and life threatening if ingested by our pets. Some chemicals that you should use and store with caution around your pets include: antifreeze, paint and paint thinner, household cleaners, expandable foam insulation, tar, pool chemicals, drain cleaners, laundry detergents, lead, and zinc. You should always read all labels on any chemical products and use and store chemicals appropriately. Seek immediate attention from a veterinarian if your pet is exposed to poison from any type of chemical you are concerned about.
Protecting Your Pet Outside
- Plants – the ASPCA states that there are more than 1,000 plants that may be dangerous to your pets. Some of the most common plants that can be dangerous to pets include: azaleas, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, lilies, mistletoe, sago palms, and mushrooms.
- De-Icing Salts – ice-melting chemicals can cause your pet to develop dryness and irritation on their skin if they step in ice or snow with these chemicals. Your pet could also get ill if they lick the chemicals off their paws. It is best to wash your pets paws off as soon as they come in from outside or buy them booties that they can wear over their paws while outside.
- Pesticides and Insecticides – while pesticides and insecticides can be useful for keeping harmful insects, weeds, and rodents away from your pet, they can also be dangerous to your pet if ingested. You should remove pets, pet toys, food bowl, and bedding from the area before treatment, keep your pets away from treated areas until the area is completely dry, and follow any directions on the label.
- Fertilizers – similar to pesticides and insecticides, fertilizers can be dangerous to your pet if ingested.
- Bait Traps – traps can be just as much of a hazard to your pet as they are meant to be to the animal you trying to trap.
Protecting Your Pet From Medications
Although medications are important for us to use as instructed, they pose a serious threat to our pets if they accidentally eat them. It is common for people to leave prescription medications and over the counter drugs on a nightstand, dresser, or low reaching counter but these are often areas that are easy for our pets to reach. It is best to keep all medications in a child proof container that is more difficult to open and out of your pets reach such as in a medicine cabinet. If your pet ingests any medication at all it is best to contact your veterinarian immediately.
Other Household Items And Decorations
Alcohol – alcohol poses the same risks to our pets as it does to us and can cause liver and kidney damage and may also cause acidosis and cardiac arrest.
Window and Patio Screens – generally speaking screens will not pose a threat to your pet if they are sturdy and properly installed. But it is still a good idea to keep an eye on your pet when they are near an open window or on a screened-in patio to make sure the screen does not break, and your pet does not get tangled or caught in the screen or have a chance to escape.
Holiday Decorations and Lights – your pet can easily get tangled up in a string of holiday lights or pull the string of lights down causing other damage to occur. Other holiday decorations such as ornaments also typically pose a choking hazard to your pet. It is best to try to keep your pet in an area of the home that is not decorated, especially while you are not home.
String, Yarn, and Rubber Bands – it may seem like it is fun for your pets to play with a roll of string or yarn, but these items can all actually be very dangerous to your pet and are not worth the risk. Your pet could easily become tangled in the string or yarn, and string, yarn, and rubber bands can all cause intestinal blockages that are difficult to detect if ingested.
Fabric Softener – you may be surprised to find out that fabric softener is not only dangerous to your pet in liquid form. Fabric softener sheets can be just as dangerous to your pet if they eat them as the liquid softener can be. It is best to keep your laundry room closed off and all of your laundry supplies up on a shelf that is out of your pet’s reach.
Exposed Electrical Wires – exposed electrical wires are a danger to your pets both because they can become easily tangled and because many pets will try to chew on the wires. Be sure to tape down any exposed wires and try to keep them out of your pet’s reach.
Recycling Bins and Trash Cans – it is easy to forget how easily your pet may be exposed to any of the above dangerous items, along with many others, if they are able to access your recycling bin or trash can. It is best to keep these bins in an area that your pet will not be able to access such as a cabinet.
What To Do In An Emergency
Even when we take every precaution, accidents may still occur. Signs that your pet may have ingested something they should not include: vomiting, diarrhea, fever, muscle tremors, abdominal pain, listlessness, and lack of coordination. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or harmed you should immediately contact your veterinarian, the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680, or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888-426-2235 (there will be a fee of $65 per case). You should be prepared to provide the name of the poison or food your animal was exposed to, the amount of poison exposure and how long ago, the species, breed, sex, and weight of your pet, and the symptoms your pet is experiencing.