Pets—they’re our companions, our best friends, the ones who never judge us. They rely on us, and it’s our job to keep them safe. This responsibility goes beyond keeping your little buddy out of the busy street and out of harm’s way. Your home—the place you deem most safe—could actually be one of the most dangerous environments for your pet. Reviewing this list of eight major household dangers will help you make your home safe for that little furry ball of joy.
The medication you take was designed for humans, and can be toxic to pets. Just like you’d be vigilant with small children in the house, be sure to check for any dropped pills—animals can’t discriminate between pills and food until it’s too late.
There are many houseplants that are poisonous to animals. Do research before bringing a new plant or pet into the house—and if there are any dangerous plants within reach, move them out of reach or completely remove them..
3. Small objects
Toys with small or moving parts can be a choking hazard for your pet. Loose string, yarn, rubber bands and even dental floss can all cause intestinal blockages. Be especially vigilant around the holidays; all of those new and exciting decorations and knickknacks may make a tempting yet dangerous chew toy. “Babyproofing” your house for your pet is your best bet when it comes to keeping your furry friend safe.
4. Human food
While most of the foods we eat are completely safe to share with your pet, there are a few that could prove fatal. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, cats and ferrets. Pits from fruit (including apple seeds) can be toxic. Grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts and walnuts as well as foods that contain caffeine, alcohol or xylitol also pose a danger. In addition, refrain from giving your pet leftover chicken bones, which could shatter, causing your pet to choke. There are several other foods to avoid with your pet—please take the time to educate yourself.
5. Fumes or scents
Fumes from nonstick cooking surfaces and self-cleaning ovens can be fatal to birds. Meanwhile, hamsters and gerbils are very sensitive to the fumes emitted by soft wood shavings (such as cedar).
6. Heavy metals
Paint chips that contain lead or pennies that contain zinc could cause a serious health problem for your pet if they were ingested.
Household chemicals like detergents, cleaners and insecticides can all pose a threat your pet. Keeping everything in high cupboards that are well out of reach will ensure the safety of your cuddle buddy.
8. Outside hazards
Even if your pet primarily resides indoors, chances are he’ll at least poke his head outside every once in a while. Antifreeze is deadly to pets, even in small doses, and some deicers can be hazardous when your pet licks her paws after walking on a treated surface. Finally, although fertilizers make your lawn lush and green, some may not be so great for your pet—make sure to read the bag and look for clearly marked pet-friendly mixes before spreading chemicals all over your yard.