Is Your Home Dangerous for Your Pet?

7.12.2016
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kittens looking out windowsPets love to explore and get into things they shouldn’t. Just as you would childproof your home to prevent accidents and keep hazardous objects out of reach, you should also take similar measures to keep your Pet safe. By knowing the basic home dangers for Pets, you can take steps to make the environment safer.

 
Dangerous Items for Pets
Homes are filled with items that are safe for adults to use, but hazardous to Pets. Store the following items in a safe spot:

• Household cleaners

• Antifreeze

• Detergents

• Batteries

• Pesticides

• Fertilizer

• Medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs

• Vitamins and supplements

• Rodent poison and traps

 

Foods to Keep Away from Pets
Some Pets love it when you share food. Giving into your Pet’s longing stare and good behavior, however, could do more damage than good. Foods that can make your dog or cat sick include:

• Garlic

• Onions, chives and leeks

• Salty meat, such as ham

• Alcohol

• Grapes and raisins

• Mushrooms

• Items made with yeast, such as bread

• Salt

• Raw meat

 

If you have a different type of Pet, talk to a veterinarian about the types of food to avoid. Keeping the foods listed out of a Pet’s reach is a good first step toward keeping it safe. Pair this action with behavioral training that teaches your Pet not to eat food that isn’t in its bowl.

 

Remedying Home Dangers for Pets

Kitchen

• Use childproof latches to keep cabinets and drawers closed.

• Place medicines, supplements, chemicals and cleansers on upper shelves or in a lidded storage container.

• Use a lidded, Pet-proof garbage can or keep the trash bin inside a latched cabinet.

• Look for small spaces that your Pet could crawl into or under and block them.

• Put away food when you’re done eating and clean the crumbs.

 

Bathroom

• Use childproof latches to keep cabinets and drawers closed.

• Keep medicines, supplements, chemicals and cleansers on upper shelves or in a lidded storage container.

• Use a garbage can with a lid that isn’t easy for a Pet to open.

• Keep the lids to the toilet seat closed to prevent drowning and accidental poisonings due to drinking toilet water with cleaning chemicals (e.g., slow-release bleach tablet in the tank).

 

Laundry Room

• Use childproof latches to keep cabinets and drawers closed.

• Keep laundry detergents, chemicals and cleansers on an upper shelf or in a lidded storage container.

• Look for small spaces that your Pet could crawl into, under, or behind and block them, such as the space behind a washer and dryer.

• Make sure your Pet is not inside the washer or dryer before you turn it on or close the lid.

 

Living Room, Family Room and Den

• Cover HVAC registers with grilles.

• Keep dangling electrical wires out of a Pet’s reach. If your Pet enjoys chewing on electrical cords, use cord protectors.  

• Put away toys and games when you family is done playing with them.

• If you have a kitten, remove breakable items that you normally keep on shelves and tables until it has better coordination.

• Put away craft and sewing supplies when you finish using them each day.

• Move houseplants to areas that your Pet can’t reach. Ask your veterinarian for a list of plants that are poisonous to your Pet.

• If your Pet has mobility problems, but enjoys sitting on the couch with you, purchase or make a short set of stairs to prevent injuries.

• After extending your legs in a recliner, ensure your Pet is not under the chair before closing the leg rest.

 

Bedrooms

• Keep electrical wires out of reach.

• Avoid keeping medications, cosmetics, lotions and perfume on accessible surfaces, such as nightstands.

• Keep shoes and clothes that aren’t in dressers in a closet.

• Close closet and dresser drawers when you finish getting dressed or putting away clothes. Before closing the door, double-check that your pet is not inside.

• If possible, keep your laundry hamper in the closet. Otherwise, use a lidded laundry hamper.

• Block areas where a Pet can hide, such as the space under the bed.

 

Garage

• Keep chemicals on high shelves or in a lidded storage container.

• Immediately clean spilled chemicals.

• Bang on the hood to scare away a cat that might be sleeping under the vehicle or in the engine before starting the car.

• Store sharp objects and tools out of a Pet’s reach.

• Use garbage cans with lids; keep the lids closed.

 

Backyard

• Mend fences and fill holes near them to prevent escapes.

• Block areas that lead to your home’s crawlspace to prevent your Pet and other critters from entering.

• Ensure your Pet has an area that will keep it safe, dry and comfortable throughout the year.

• Avoid planting plants that are toxic to Pets.

• Keep an eye on your Pet when using the grill to prevent burns.

As you Pet-proof your home, pair your efforts with training. Training will teach your Pet to avoid performing unwanted behaviors, such as getting into the garbage, digging, jumping onto counters or chewing your belongings.

Your Pet offers love and loyalty for life. In return, it’s your job to keep it out of harm’s way. The time you take to secure your home is a worthy investment that will more than pay for itself with unconditional companionship and fewer trips to the vet.

[Photo from kitty.green66 via Creative Commons 2.0.]

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