Our pets are part of the family and that’s why it’s so important to help keep them safe! Your home can hold a lot of unrecognized dangers for your pets, and some items that are completely safe for humans are actually unsafe for your pet.
Pets can be curious and want to investigate anything and everything! It’s imperative that you’re aware of what substances can potentially make your pet ill, and keep them stored safely.
- Hazards in the Garage: Your cabinets or garage may contain chemicals and substances to feed the yard, poison bugs and rodents, and keep cars running in top form. Toxic liquids like antifreeze, for instance, taste sweet to dogs but can kill them. If your dog or pet spends time in the garage, make sure all such items are locked away out of reach, or pet-safe alternatives are used. Better yet, use pet barriers or baby gates to keep them in the pet-safe areas only.
- Harmful Foods in Your Home: Many pet owners like to feed their animals human food as treats or to show love, and sometimes even in their pet’s meal itself. There are several human foods that are toxic to your pet and should be kept in high cabinets or behind closed child-proofed cabinet doors. See the list below of harmful foods to your pets:
- Sugarless products that contain xylitol (gum or other food products)
- Foil wrappers
- Coffee grounds, or any products with caffeine
- Fatty foods, such as fat from meat, many nuts
- Pan drippings
- Macadamia nuts
- Grapes or raisins
- Raw meat
- Dairy products
- Baby food
- Yeast dough
- Unripe tomatoes
- Household Plants: There are many different plants commonly found in gardens all over that can make your pet ill. Some of the plants are highly poisonous while others are mildly poisonous causing just an upset stomach. Plants also vary in their attractiveness to pets. You could have a plant for years that they aren’t interested in, and the next moment a pinecone falls and they’re running for it immediately. When getting new plants for your yard, you should keep the following plant types in mind when doing so:
- Spring Bulbs
- Spring crocus
- Certain types of lilies (especially Lilium and Hemerocallis)
- Apple Seeds
- Hazards in the Yard: Be aware of chemical treatments that are applied to your lawns. Be sure to keep your pets off the treated areas for the recommended time, if not, the chemicals can stick to their paws and fur allowing them to lick it off later, making it harder for you to identify the source.
- Household Cleaners: Many pet owners do not know the threat airborne toxins can have on their furry shadows. Inhalation of any toxin, like bleach vapors, secondhand smoke, or paint fumes not only have damaging health risks for people, but also for pets. A good rule of thumb is anything that is harmful for people is harmful for pets. To see the full list and explanations, please visit the American Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website, here.
What should you do if an emergency happens?
If your pet has ingested anything you think might be harmful, stay calm, and call your veterinarian/emergency animal hospital in your area or ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline at 888-426-4435. When you call for help (and to make sure you get things moving as quickly as possible – when time is of the essence), make sure you have the following information readily available: your pet’s species, breed, weight, sex, and age; your pet’s symptoms; the name of the poisoning agent (if known), the amount consumed, and how long it’s been since exposure; the actual packaging for the poisoning agent, remnants of the poison consumed, even a picture of what it was, and where it happened is helpful to vets. Keeping/documenting what it was that your pet ingested helps professionals quickly diagnose them, allowing your pets to get appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.