Making Your Home Safe For Pets

Part of being a responsible pet owner is to familiarize yourself with potential dangers and help your pet avoid hazards that are in your home and property.

Pets need to be safe in their environment. But you cannot always remove every potential hazard from your pets reach. Start by teaching them what is offlimits with a sharp "No" or "Aughk" noise to show your displeasure. If you are consistent and certain behaviors persist try commercial products that can be sprayed into your pets mouth. "Bitter Apple" is one of these products. It will not harm your pet but after a few sprays your pet will discontinue hazardous behavior simply by seeing you show them the bottle!

HOUSE AND YARD PLANTS

Not only are a majority of houseplants poisonous to pets, they can be easily ruined by animals shredding the leaves or knocking them over. Look for ivy leaves, cyclamen, lily of the valley, rhododendrons, tulip bulbs, azalea, wisteria, daffodils, delphiniums, rhubarb leaves and poinsettias are all dangerous.

Start by hanging as many of your plants as you can. Keep the plants on the floor in heavy containers and cover the exposed soil with decorative rocks to discourage cats from using plants as a litter box. You can cover most plant leaves with hot Tabasco sauce or diluted cologne to discourage pets too.

Ask your family vet what plants found in your area are poisonous to your pets. Oleander flowers, leaves and bark is hazardous to both children and pets. Even the smoke is dangerous if you burn dead plants. Nightshade, Larkspur, Water Hemlock, Pokeweed, jimson weed, foxglove and Yew can also be dangerous if ingested.

Even chewing on grass can be harmful if the grass has been recently sprayed with pesticides.

CLEANING PRODUCTS

Many household cleaning products are also unsafe for pets. Never assume that if the product is safe for humans it is also safe for pets. Even if you pet does not eat the product, they could unknowingly walk through it and lick their paw. Another danger is when the chemicals release fumes that cause skin or eye irritations. Quaternary disinfectants which have a ammonium chloride base is safer to use around animals than phenol or carbolic acid bases which can be lethal.



The best disinfectant is called Chlorasan, it can be purchased from vets and will kill most viruses and bacteria safely.

HOUSEHOLD DANGERS

Keep gasoline, solvents, weed killers, antifreeze, rat poisons, boric acid, mothballs varnish removers, acetone and other common everyday items out of your pets reach. Think of your pet as a curious child and protect them by taking the precautionary measures to prevent potential hazards.

My curious dog played with the dried worm on a fishing pole and got the hook stuck deeply in his tongue. This could have easily been avoided had I been on top of potential dangers.

Dogs can also suffer nicotine poisoning by consuming ashtray contents.

Remove pins and nails they could step on and make sure plastic bags are not left on the floor as a suffocation hazard.

Pets could also chew on live electrical cords that could burn their mouth or lead to death.

DANGEROUS ANIMALS AND INSECTS

The common Black Widow spider is said to possess venom over 15 times as toxic as many rattlesnakes. Check your property and animals sleeping areas often.

Bufo marinus, or giant toad, can secrete a dangerous toxin that could kill dogs if ingested.

Part of being a responsible pet owner is to vaccinate your pet, create a safe environment for them and familiarize yourself with potential dangers.

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