One of the greatest joys of having a pet is the unconditional, non-stop love and affection that they give. For most of us, we consider our pets to be like our children — and, just like children, they require a lot of TLC to keep them safe from harmful dangers that lie around the house.
Here are a few potential household items that you should keep an eye out for while your furry friends are around, in order to avoid the “uh-oh’s” and “oh-no’s” that accompany being a pet parent:
1. Human medications
While this may seem like a no-brainer, if cats and dogs are able to reach your prescriptions, most of the time they will do whatever it takes to get their paws into trouble, which could cause serious life-threatening harm. Be aware of the placement of any type of medication as these are toxic and could harm your animals — ie. NSAID’s, birth control, sleep aids, acetaminophen, and more. To avoid the risk of consumption, place medicine into cabinets where animals are unable to access; make sure that medicines are not left on the counter and are always closed properly.
2. String, yarn, rubber bands
Although cat’s love playing with strings and other types of bands, be sure that you remove these items from their reach when you are done using them. An unattended pet with these small items could result in a choking hazard. Place these items in containers and drawers that are impossible for your pet to open while they are unsupervised.
Your guests aren’t the only ones who admire your indoor and outdoor plants—pets seem to enjoy them as well; whether that be for entertainment, or as a post-dinner chew toy. However, some plants are known to be be toxic — ie. oleander, hyacinth bulbs. To avoid the possibility of ingestion, try hanging plants where your pets cannot reach, place fences around outdoor gardens, or simply avoid purchasing these items.
4. Cleaning Products
Be aware of where you store cleaning products and if they are easily accessible to your pets. Keeping toilet bowl cleaner on the bathroom floor, for example, could seem like a curious chew toy for some pets, when in reality, it contains harmful toxins that could result in serious injuries for your animal. Try storing your household cleaning items on a shelf in your laundry room, or underneath the kitchen sink (if the cabinets are secure).
Most of the time, it’s hard to resist the tableside begging for your leftover dinner scraps. Though it takes a lot of willpower, be aware that there are many ‘people foods’ that are harmful for animals to ingest. Some of these include: chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, and even bones. To keep your canine safe, try to resist those big eyes and stick to their kibble, or dry food diet. We strongly advise against feeding your animal from the table, but if you just can’t resist, keep some Healthy Habits® treats around to pacify your playful pet while you attempt to eat in peace.
In the case that your pet happens to ingest any of the items above, be sure to call poison control for precautionary steps to ensure your pet’s safety.
General rule of thumb: if it’s hazardous for you to consume, it’s more than likely harmful for your pet to consume. Do you have any of these items at-bay for your pets’ curiosity to take over? Try keeping these tips in mind in order to keep your little (or big!) fur balls happy and healthy.