Seven Household Dangers for Pets
Feb 28, 2018 05:06PM ● Published by North Hills Monthly magazine
As a pet owner, it’s likely that you use extra caution with certain chemicals and toxins in your home that can be harmful to your four-legged family members. But things like insecticides and rodenticides are just scratching the surface. Keep an eye out for these everyday household items that may pose a threat to your pet’s well-being!
Most of us like to show our pets how much we love them by slipping them some yummy table scraps. But it’s not just chocolate, grapes and raisins that should stay out of your pet’s bowl. Foods like avocados, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic and foods containing xylitol, such as gum and certain peanut butters, are no good. You’ll also want to be sure your pet steers clear of coffee grounds, yeast and alcohol.
Cooked meats can pose a serious threat to your pet’s health, too. Bones can become brittle when cooked, increasing the chance of breaking or splintering which is a big issue when ingested by your animal companion.
We know to keep our medications out of the reach of children, but human medicine can be enticing for curious noses and paws, too! From prescription to over-the-counter, human medications are not safe for our pets. Even inhalers can pose a danger, so be sure to keep your medications out of reach of your kids (two- and four-legged alike).
Many people know that poinsettias and lilies are toxic to cats, but plant varieties such as azalea, rhododendron and sago palm are some of the less commonly known hazards! Additionally, kalanchoe flowers and schefflera leaves are often found in homes and can be harmful to pets.
You may be aware that chemicals like bleach and detergents can pose a threat to your pet. If ingested (or even inhaled), other common substances such as disinfectants or antifreeze can also be harmful. Don’t forget about garden fertilizers or paint chips containing heavy metals, too!
While essential oils might be helpful for treating human ailments, many of these substances are volatile compounds, which mean they can be toxic to your animal companion. Cats can be especially sensitive to the scents in essential oils. Keep in mind that what is safe for you to use isn’t necessarily safe to use with your pet nearby.
In addition to the dangers listed above, rabbits can face special risks when it comes to toxic substances. There can be traces of cyanide in almonds, cassava roots, mangoes and millet sprouts, so those are not safe foods to feed to your bunny! A substance called “psoralen,” found in parsnips, is also poisonous! Growing your own veggies in a garden might be great for people, but not all veggies are safe for rabbits. Stay away from eggplants, potato plants, sweet potato plants, tomato plants and the root of mustard plants.
Odds and Ends
Poisons aren’t the only thing that can pose a threat to your four-legged family members! Keep an eye out for other dangers like loose strings (especially attached to blinds or dental floss), rubber bands, treated toilet water and plastic bags. In the wintertime, ice melt can get into paw pads and injure the skin. Coins and other small objects such as lip balm, batteries, socks and hair ties can look or smell appetizing to your pet, but could cause serious internal damage if ingested.
While accidents happen, the best way to keep your pet happy and healthy is to know what to look for and keep a close watch over potential hazards in the home. If your pet does consume something they shouldn’t—or even if you suspect they may have gotten into something unsafe—take them to the nearest emergency veterinarian right away!