March 12, 2013

10 Common Household Hazards for Pets

Our homes are full of things that can become hazardous for pets. Several everyday household products and common substances are hazards waiting to happen. But with precaution we can make our homes a safe place for our pets.

Here are a few common everyday items that you should keep out of reach of your cats and dogs:

1. People Food like chocolates, raisins, garlic, onions, oil, butter and several dairy products can cause serious digestive issues in cats and dogs, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity and in some cases, cause seizures and even death. Avoid feeding your pet table scrapes and make sure you have a good understanding of what foods are good and bad for your pets.

2. Human Medicines can be lethal for pets. Over-the-counter drugs, medications, pain killers and supplements are the most common hazards in our homes. Don't ever give your pet ANY medicines without your vet's prescription. Pets can easily lick or eat medicines lying around the house. Which is why it is essential that you immediately clean any medicines that might have accidently dropped on the floor and avoid leaving them in easy to reach places around the house.

3. House Plants carry a variety of bacteria and toxins that are harmful for pets. Mushrooms, morning glory, aloe, cactus, iris, ivy, fern, holly, fruit salad plant and various species of lily are a few toxic household plants. Most of these plants are specially toxic and life-threatening for cats. View the complete list of dangerous plants for cats and dogs at ASPCA website.

4. Insecticides & Pesticides might get rid of pests in your home but they are generally unwelcoming for your pets. One common insecticide is flea and tick powder which can be easily misused if used without veterinarian consultation. Do not use any flea powder on your cat or dog without consulting your vet first. Also avoid spraying pesticides while your pet is in the same room. Certain chemicals in insecticides can be life-threatening if ingested by cats or dogs.

5. Garden Products like fertilizers and other plant foods can cause gastric issues and even cause poisoning if consumed in large amounts. Keep your dogs and cats away from such products.

6. Household Cleaners like drain cleaners, paint thinners and floor cleaners can easily cause health issues like gastric upset, respiratory difficulties, poisoning and chemical burns in cats and dogs. A pet that walks on the floors that have just been treated with floor cleaners is venerable to poisoning as it can lick its paw and ingest the chemicals.

7. Paints & Heavy Metals such as mercury, lead and zinc can be lethal for pets if they are exposed to it. Lead can be found in paints and other consumer products. Pets can be easily exposed to lead in an environment where scraped or sanded paint is found.

8. Strings, Threads, Wool, cords and other similar strings that your cat loves to play with can cause severe intestinal damage if ingested. Never leave these things lying around with an unattended pet.

9. Plastic bags should be kept out of reach and not left around the house when you are not around. Cats love to play with and sleep inside plastic and grocery bags. This might look cute to you but cats can easily suffocate in them if left with a plastic bag at their own devices. So please keep them out of reach.

10. Small Toys & Rubber Bands should be kept out of reach of pets. Cats especially love to play with these and they can easily ingest them, leading to life-threatening consequences.

By being a little cautious we can make our homes a safe place for our pets. After all, no one wants to put their pet in a life threatening position on purpose.

Did I miss out on mentioning any common household item that can be dangerous for pets? Please do leave a comment and add to this list. Your feedback is appreciated.

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