Pet Control: Common Threats And Household Killers

Pet control: Information on pet proofing your home, common poisons, plants, and everyday hazards.

Puppies and kittens are curious by nature. This curiosity can often lead to serious injury or death. Here are some simple tips on making your home as safe as possible for your new family member.

Electricity - Young pets are known to chew on anything while teething. Exposed electrical cords and wires can be deadly to your pet. Keep all wires and cords out of reach. If this is impossible, try a pet-repellent spray or something like Tabasco sauce to deter the chewer.

Chocolate - This can be deadly! Chocolate contains a powerful stimulant called theobromine, which is highly toxic to pets. Chocolate poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, coma and death. Other sweets such as cakes, candy and cookies should also be kept out of a pet's reach. These can often cause digestive upsets.

Bones - Never give a pet turkey, chicken, or rib bones as a treat. They can splinter causing deadly damage to stomachs and digestive tracts.

Chemicals - Keep all cleaning agents, bleach, ammonia, drain cleaners, paint, and gasoline locked up. Also put any insecticides or rat poisons where the pet can't reach.

Antifreeze - Deadly! The small amount left on a kitten or puppy's paws after walking through antifreeze is enough to prove fatal. Keep all antifreeze and window-washing solutions in a tightly sealed container. Always wipe up any spills immediately.

Plants - Many common household plants are poisonous. These include lilies, dieffenbachia, phiodendron, elephant ears, azaleas, ivy, amaryllis, pyracantha, oleander, boxwood, Jerusalem cherry, spider plants and even plant bulbs.

Insecticides - If you treat your lawns or house with insecticides or fertilizers, keep pet out of the area until it is dry. Some of the signs of insecticide poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, nervous twitching and seizures.

Toys - Don't leave plastic bags out, they can suffocate puppies and kittens. Also remember the rule about size. Many objects are small enough to fit down the trachea and can cause the death. If any or all of something will fit into a mouth, it is dangerous. Things to watch out for are cigarette butts, rubber bands, balloons, small balls, sewing needles, thread, string, ribbons, socks, light bulbs, Christmas ornaments, panties and even pantyhose. Whenever something is eaten, it must come out, often by way of surgery.

Personal items and medications - So many everyday items like cosmetics, shampoos, creams, perm solutions, antihistamines, aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), laxatives and sleeping pills can be lethal to pets.

Collars - Puppies and kittens grow at an amazing rate. Collars and harnesses need to be checked regularly to insure they still fit. Many times a pet will be presented to a veterinarian due to a collar becoming too small and "growing into" the neck. Removal of these items is often costly and painful. The after care is also time- consuming and upsetting to the owner.

Young puppies and kittens are similar to human babies. Secure your household as you would for a new baby. It often helps to get down on the floor and look at the entire house from the pet's perspective. Doing this, will help insure a long and happy relationship between you and a new pet.

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