Many common household items present a potential risk to your furry friend’s health and well-being so it’s important to learn how to safely organize your home in order to make it a pet-safe environment. Ensuring the following household items are stashed out of reach will drastically lower the chances your dog or cat suffers from pet poisoning.
Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid found in cacao plants. Unfortunately one our favourite treats, chocolate, contains a small amount of it and as dogs aren’t as tolerant as humans, even small quantities of the alkaloid can prove to be fatal…. Cats aren’t as interested in sweets as dogs are, mostly because they lack sweetness receptors, but just in case always keep chocolate products out of reach and be especially careful when you are having parties at home.
When dogs or cats eat the allium species of edible plants (garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, chives, and scallions) it can cause severe erythrolysis (red blood-cells destruction) resulting in anemia and organ failure with lethal outcome. One solution is to prevent your pet from entering the kitchen or keeping these ingredients in a special compartment. Be especially mindful to sweep the floor after prepping dinner as some scraps may have fallen off the chopping board.
Raisins and grapes are the last representatives of toxic foods. Although the mechanisms of toxic effect aren’t thoroughly investigated, death after ingesting them occurs due to kidney failure. Keep this seemingly innocent fruit far far away from your furry friend’s reach.
Non-edible household items
Marijuana is becoming more and more acceptable by law in every part of the planet. However, this product can pose a major threat to your pet’s safety when ingested and therefore needs to be put out of reach (for both pets and children!).
For all other medications, make sure you store them in tight drawers or a cupboard that cannot be easily opened. Every medication can be potentially harmful to animals, especially asthma treating meds or Tylenol. When you need to dispose of old medications do it in a manner so that your pets won’t be able to reach them (eg. enclosed containers or special garbage bins with tight lids).
Unfortunately antifreeze attracts cats and antifreeze poisonings are quite common. If you keep it in the garage then make sure to store this product, and any other product used for motorized vehicles, somewhere where your cats can’t access it.
Hygiene products and disinfectants are dangerous to both humans and animals if ingested. It can be quote common to see cats or dogs playing and chewing on these items which can result in the chemicals getting inside their bellies and causing intoxication and irritation. Topical skin irritations can also be an issue.
Flowers and plants enhance the beauty of our own gardens, but did you know that quite a few plants are toxic to dogs and cats? Avoid or pet-proof foxglove, aloe, daffodils, lilies among others. Some plants are highly toxic and can cause major gastrointestinal disruptions, while others are responsible for minor to mild symptoms. Nevertheless, make sure you educate yourself a bit more about plant toxicity if you plan to have them in your garden or house.
Whenever you suspect a possible poisoning, get your pet to an animal hospital immediately. We, at Stevenson Veterinary Hospital are dedicated to ensuring your pets safety and are here to answer any questions you might have on how to pet proof your home so that this never happens to you.