Your pet is special to your family. So special, in fact, that you consider them part of the family. You take them to the vet for annual shots to ensure that they’re healthy. You have them groomed to look great. You give them food, you provide them with exercise, and you reward them with lots of love and attention.
Like any other member of your family, you want to ensure that your pet is kept safe from harmful items. While some of these are obvious – small bones, toxic chemicals, etc., there are plenty of household products that most people don’t realize can be harmful to your pet. Here are just a few:
1 – Small Cans
Animals are curious by nature, and they certainly enjoy eating food that belongs to humans. Smaller animals may find a can or small jar and wonder what was inside it. During this curiosity, the animal can get their head stuck in the can or jar and become unable to set themselves free. If this happens, the animal may freak out and run rampant, which can cause major harm if the jar is glass.
Plus, depending on how tight the jar or can is around their head, your animal may run out of oxygen at a quick rate, keeping them from breathing. In order to keep your pet safe, make sure to place the lid back on any jars and squeeze cans so that an animal’s head cannot fit inside.
2 – Lawn Chemicals
If you take pride in your yard, you want to keep it free of weeds and bugs. This sometimes requires the help of toxic chemicals. Before spraying your yard and letting Fido run around in it, make sure the read the back of the label carefully. Most lawn products will let you know if there is a specific time you should wait after use before letting your pet in the yard.
Your pet may eat a plant that has the chemical on it, which can cause anything from upset stomachs to death. Even if your pet licks their foot after walking in the chemical all day, they could be putting themselves in harm’s way. Rather than risk the health of your pet, make sure to read the labels. If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and keep your pet off the lawn for 24 hours.
3 – Human Medication
Though it’s okay for some animals to have some human medication, such as Benadryl, there are plenty of human medications that are not good for animals. Even one pill can have negative side effects on your pet. Make sure that all medication is out of your pet’s reach. It’s also important to make sure that the lids are tightly sealed too.
If you spill medication on the ground, make sure that your quickly pick up all the tablets and keep your pet out of the room for a while until you’re sure there is nothing let on the ground.
If your pet does get into your medicine cabinet, you need to call your vet right away. You may get lucky and your pet will only experience minimal side effects. Or you may need to take your pet in for an emergency visit in order to have the medication removed from their system.
4 – Small Strings
Cats love string, but string and yarn that is small in size can be deadly to your pet. Anything small, including hair ties, rubber bands and dental floss, can cause blockage in your pet’s digestive tract if swallowed. This is why it’s important to keep these items out of the reach of your pet.
If your cat loves yarn, make sure that you keep it attached to the ball. The longer the string, the harder it will be for your pet to swallow. But you still need to keep an eye on your pet, as longer strings can cause strangulation.
5 – Holiday Gear
Your pet is not used to the Christmas tree or the Easter baskets or the pumpkins, so they will be curious as to what it is and why it’s there. Small dogs and cats will love climbing in the Christmas tree. Not only could they force the tree to fall over, but they could also start nibbling on lights and electrocute themselves. Some holiday plants are also dangerous to pets, and smaller items, such as nativity scenes, could easily be eaten and become stuck in your pet’s digestive tract.
While you shouldn’t stop decorating because of your pet, you will simply need to make some changes. Make sure lights are hung high enough so that animals can’t reach them. Keep all plants in an area that your pet does not go, and make sure all small items are high enough out of your pet’s reach.
By taking simple precautions and knowing what to look for, you’ll be able to keep your pet safe around these household items.
About the author: Flora Huges lives in Chicago. She is an avid writer and likes to write about health, safety, and cleaning. Flora recently wrote about the importance of MSDS sheets.
Photo credit: Evangelos Vlasopoulos