Pet Safety




Keeping our pets safe is one of the most important jobs we have as pet parents.

Most people who have pets are conscious of some of the dangers that lurk in their homes. While there are others of us that have no idea that pets can get into serious trouble from normal household items.

Today, I am going to touch upon a few things that a pet owner should be on the alert for.

It’s summer time and once in a while our cars overheat, spilled antifreeze is toxic to both cats and dogs. For some strange reason both species seem to enjoy licking up spilled antifreeze.

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which is a lethal chemical compound. A teaspoon full can kill a 7 pound cat.

Should your radiator overheat or should you spill some while filling up your radiator, first make certain your cat or dog is not near by and secondly wash it as quickly as possible off the driveway or garage floor.

Plants also provide hazards for our critters.

Plants can cause problems if ingested, but most plants if you use of common sense can cause nothing more than an upset tummy or other minor ailment.

Puppies and young curious dogs are the most frequent offenders.

Some plants if large quantities are swallowed can cause serious problems. Azeleas or rhododendrum can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, coma or possible death. Even safe plants can cause problems to your dog’s mouth or upset its stomach.

The best news is most puppies or young dogs chew, but don’t really eat leaves or branches.

However, there are a few plants that are extremely dangerous and are toxic. They are the castor bean (the bean itself can be deadly,) jimsonweeed, English and Japanese yew, oleander and rosary pea to name a few.

The ASPCA has a list they publish on the Internet.

Believe it or not, the most common toxic plant a dog seems to eat is Marijuana.

Dogs are known to eat most anything, so in order to prevent any mishaps, I suggest that you remove any plant from your yard that can be deadly.

Cats are a rule have much more discriminate tastes. Cats operate on smell for the most part and plants, other than some grasses, hold no interest for cats.

My cats will follow me around my yard when I am weeding or pruning looking for a game or two with a long weed or branch, but they have no interest in chewing anything.

Chewing is not the only problem we have with plants.

Plants that have stickers or burrs can cause painful paw pads, they also can get stuck between our pet’s toes and cause painful abscesses.

Pesticides used on our lawns can also cause many problems. Make it a rule to not let your cat or dog outside, if you are using a pesticide, until it is thoroughly dry.

Do not use rat poison, snail bait, fly bait or mole and gopher bait in your yard, if your pet can get into it, as they are all highly toxic and dangerous.

There are many household items, you would not even think of as dangerous and toxic. For example, dishwasher detergents, all-purpose cleaners, bleach, mothballs, fertilizers and medications, even fabric-softener dryer sheets are dangerous. Highly concentrated products are the most dangerous.

It is so important that if you have a young puppy or dog (cats, too) you keep all these things up and out of the way. Treat these things as you would if you had a baby crawling around the house.

Cats are not as apt to get into things as puppies are, but if a cat steps into something that has spilled on the floor that is toxic and cats being fastidious as they are, they will lick their paws and ingest whatever they stepped in.

Here are a few other reminders about potential dangers in the house if you have a puppy, kitten, dog or cat.

Always have a fireplace screen in front of your burning fire to protect not only your home, but your pet from flying sparks that could burn them.

Sofabeds, recliners, and rocking chairs are also dangerous as your pet can crawl inside and be crushed. Take precautions to block any entrance ways, if possible.

Plastic bags might seem to be fun for your pet to play with, but they can be deadly.

Small objects can be swallowed, especially by puppies, be careful of needles, cotton balls, medicine in bottles that can be chewed or opened, string, rubber bands, buttons or even toothpicks.

The garbage can, a puppy or dog’s delight, talk about the treasures that can be found in there. Keep trash cans covered with tight lids.

Bathrooms are another place to keep an eye on. If you use a toilet cleaner that flows into the water at every flush, train everyone to keep the lid down.

Dental floss, if swallowed can lead to serious intestinal trouble.

Medicines of any kind can be dangerous to pets if swallowed.

Having a pet is very much like having a young child around.

Puppies are very curious, kittens love to climb and play, electrical wires were meant for chewing, feet were meant for winding around, the list goes on and on.

My last thought is keep “safety first” formost in your mind. Safety for you and your family and safety for your pet, whether that be a cat or dog or both. Have a Great day.