Household Dangers for Pets and How to Handle Them

It’s hard not to love the boundless curiosity and playful nature of your pets, but sometimes their desire to taste and experience everything can get them into trouble. Learn to recognize some of the most common household dangers so you can keep your four-legged friends safe and healthy.

Know Your Plants

Potted plants may brighten your home, but some of them can poison your pets. Identify and look up each of your houseplants, and move toxic varieties out of reach or keep them in closed-off rooms to keep your cat or dog from nibbling on them. Pay attention to your landscaping, too, as some pets get sick from chewing on toxic ornamental plants, such as orleander.

Pets and Cleaning Products Don’t Mix

Many pets get sick from drinking multipurpose cleaners and other common household detergents, and some harsh cleaners can irritate delicate paws and noses. Keep your products safely stowed away between uses, and clean up any spills immediately. Consider putting your pet outside or in another room if you’re using a particularly strong cleaner.

Organize Your Cords

Loose cords can seem like an attractive toy for rambunctious cats and dogs, but chewing on them can give your pet a nasty shock. Keep them tied away and stashed behind furniture, and consider putting particularly destructive puppies and kittens in a room without any plugged-in cords. Rabbits, hamsters and other small animals also love to chew cords, so unplug and pick up any before letting your small pet run free.

Pick Up Your Toys

Children’s toys are a tempting treat for some animals, but blocks, figurines and other small toys can cause choking or intestinal blockages. Keep your child’s toys stowed away in a box or other container when not in use.

Don’t Share Your Sweets

Macadamia nuts, chocolate, nutmeg, and other common dessert ingredients can cause serious problems for dogs and cats. Get your pets their own treats and keep your snacks safely stashed in a pantry or other inaccessible location. Be careful with other human foods, too, as many foods that are safe for us can make your furry friend sick.

Be Careful With Pest Control

Never leave rodent poisons or insecticides where your pets can get at them, as those potent poisons can severely affect dogs, cats, rabbits and more. Instead, opt for live traps or contact a pet-friendly pest control company.

Choose Your Pet’s Toys Carefully

Some low-quality plastic toys can splinter, causing your pet to swallow them and risk a blockage. Choose high-quality toys and remove them if your pet begins to eat them. Don’t let your pet chew on wood, either, as it can cause splinters in the mouth and throat. Consider using bitter apple spray to deter seasoned wood chewers.

Keep That Litter Box Clean

Dirty litter boxes can spread disease to you and your pets, so make sure to scoop them regularly. Cats may also refuse to use a dirty box and wind up holding their bladders too long, which can cause urine crystals that may require surgery to remove.

Prevention is the best cure, and with a little planning and precaution you can keep your beloved pets safe from these common household dangers. Once you’ve puppy/kitty-proofed your home, share the love by donating to support pets that aren’t lucky enough to have a home of their own.

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