Is your home a safe place for your dear pet friends? If you don’t know, simply take a look around. Do you see any poisonous plants, electrical cords, or human medication? If yes, then you have some work ahead of you.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who has pets living in a dangerous environment. Most pet owners are not aware of the many dangers lurking around in every household. That’s why we’ve prepared these 10 home safety tips for pets to help you discover indoor hazards and create a safe home for your four-legged friends.
Plants can bring a refreshing feel into our home. They can make us feel closer to nature, and at the same time, purify our indoor air. However, you have to be extra careful about which plants you keep in your home as some plants can be toxic to your pet.
For example, all types of lilies are toxic to cats. Azaleas, mistletoes, and poinsettias are also poisonous. Cats might sniff and eat these plants and become ill. Too much ingestion of plant oils can also be fatal. If you have toxic plants in your backyard and your pet has access through a pet door, make sure you remove them.
Also, if you have these plants in your home, it would be a smart decision to remove them. If you want to keep them, make sure they’re placed on a higher shelf and out of the pet’s reach.
Here’s a detailed list of plants that are toxic to your pet’s health.
Many things that are harmful to dogs and cats can be found in the kitchen. It might be tempting to give your pet leftovers, but what is tasty and nutritious for us, it’s potentially unhealthy for our friends.
Some of the most dangerous foods for dogs and cats are:
- Onions and garlic
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Corn on the cob
If your pet accidentally eats one of these foods, you may see diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity, and seizures. To avoid these stressful situations, make sure you keep your pantry doors closed and don’t leave food on tables and kitchen counters.
Dangerous Household Liquids
Did you know that some cats are lactose intolerant? Drinking milk can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Pets also can’t tolerate drinks that contain caffeine. Caffeine-rich liquids can cause your cat or dog to become restless, and suffer from rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors. Make sure they don’t drink any coffee, energy drinks, or tea.
What’s more, alcohol is another liquid that pets can’t tolerate. As little as a sip of alcohol can lead to severe liver and brain damage.
Let’s not forget the laundry liquids, including detergents, bleach, and other household cleaners. They can also cause harm if inhaled, swallowed, or if they come in contact with your pet’s skin and fur.
Remember to keep these liquids out of your pet’s reach. Pick them up from their viewpoint and store them safely in your cabinets.
Certain medications might help humans relieve illnesses, but for cats and dogs, they can be life-threatening. If your pet eats pain relievers, for example, they will experience agitation, wobbliness, disorientation, vomiting, tremors, and possibly seizures.
According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, one-quarter of emergency phone calls are about pets ingesting human medications.
Some of the most common human medication complaints are regarding pets ingesting:
But how can you protect your cat or dog from these substances that are highly harmful to their health? Take a look at these home safety tips for indoor pets:
- Keep human medications out of your pet’s reach.
- Don’t leave your medications in places where your pets can see them, including on counters and table tops.
- If you accidentally drop a pill on the floor, quickly pick it up before your pet gets to it.
- In case your cat or dog ingests any medication, call your vet for advice.
Risky Electrical Cords
Pets love nibbling at electrical cords. By doing this, they’re at high risk of getting electrocuted, burned, or tangled in the cords. Doesn’t matter if the cords are from holiday decorations or appliances, they are all equally dangerous for your pet’s well-being.
To keep your dog or cat safe, follow these home safety tips for indoor pets:
- Hide all electrical cords under carpets or behind furniture.
- Use cord covers to make them inaccessible to pets.
- Train your cat or dog to stay away from cords.
Holidays are indeed a magical time of the year! But as much as you want to enjoy yourself, you also have to be extra careful with your holiday decorations. Things like cords and lights, gift ribbons, ornaments, plastic eggs, and confetti can cause serious harm if your pet ingests them or gets tangled. If your pet chews on one of these items, they can be cut by sharp edges, or their stomachs and intestines can be clogged by indigestible items.
So, what can you do to protect your dog or cat? Here are some home safety tips for pets:
- All cords and cables should be hidden under the carpet or rubbed, or behind furniture.
- As soon as you open your gift, make sure you get rid of the gift ribbons and wrapping paper.
- Keep all holiday decorations out of your pet’s reach.
- Hide your holiday decorations behind closed doors.
- Use some type of barrier to prevent your pet from going to decorated rooms.
- Consider pet-friendly decorations.
Small Home Items
Pets are playful animals who are intrigued by all kinds of things. Dogs might get interested in playing with batteries, toy parts, or game pieces. Cats can be happy to play with safety pins, rubber bands, or buttons. However, these small household items are not exactly pet-friendly. On the contrary, they are quite harmful if ingested or chewed.
You can’t remove your pet’s curiosity but you can make your home pet-proof. Here are some home safety tips for pets:
- If you drop a small item on the floor, make sure you pick it up quickly before your pet gets to it.
- Store all small items out of the pet’s reach.
- Consider placing all small items in closed containers.
- Clean your home as often as possible so that you can quickly find lost items.
Pesticides and Weed Killers
Do you have a garage in your home? Is it packed with all kinds of bug sprays, insect traps, pesticides, and weed killers? If yes, then you have to make sure these harmful items stay out of your pet’s reach. Chemical pesticides can be life-threatening to pets and even the smallest traps can cause serious injuries.
If you want to protect your cat or dog, follow these home safety tips for indoor pets:
- Place traps and baits out of your pet’s reach.
- Use pesticides in areas away from your pet.
- In your garage, store pesticides and other dangerous items on a shelf.
- If you spill any poisons or antifreeze, make sure you clean up immediately.
Are you a smoker? Did you know that even in small amounts, nicotine can cause illness and even death in pets?
Whether it’s cigarettes, cigar butts, nicotine patches, or chewing tobacco, you need to make sure these items don’t get in touch with your cat or dog.
Don’t leave them on tabletops as your pet can easily reach them. Store them safely in closed cabinets and protect your pets from giving them a taste test.
Vents and Ducts
If your home has open vents and ducts, you might want to make sure they’re pet-proof. Why? Because your four-legged friend can easily fall down a floor heating duct or get stuck in a vent. What’s more, fireplace vents and heating ducts can release fumes that are hazardous to pets.
Is there anything you can do to protect your pet? Here are a few home safety tips for indoor pets:
- Close any exposure to vents.
- Make sure the vents don’t release too much heating or cooling.
- Make sure you don’t place your pet’s bed or cage near a vent.
- Inspect your vents and ducts regularly for any bending or warping that can hurt your dog or cat.
If your pet gets hurt or ingests something harmful, please call your vet immediately. For any health-related questions, always consult with your vet first.