Safety First!

 

 

Toxic food to Animals

 

Before you bring home your new puppy, you should also do a sweep of your entire home to identify and remove any potential safety hazards. Could your dog get into the pantry and chow down on potentially hazardous foods (like chocolate)? If so, invest in a lock or gate to restrict access to the area. Do you have a number of plants in your home? Do your research to make sure none of them are toxic to dogs—and, if they are, get rid of them.

Remember—your new puppy won’t be able to identify any safety hazards, so it’s up to you to remove them from your home before your puppy arrives.

 

For some people, a pet’s craving for human food may seem cute or entertaining. Because people enjoy certain foods without immediate health risks, they may mistakenly assume that their pets can enjoy the same items without any ill effects other than potential weight gain. Unfortunately, weight gain is only one of the many problems that may arise from feeding one’s pet certain types of human food. Some foods, even those that are commonly associated with pets such as cats, are toxic and can cause digestive problems or even death.

The safest thing that one can do for their pet is to eliminate any risk and avoid feeding them human food altogether. If that is unacceptable, pet owners must research what foods are safe and which are toxic.

Examples of toxic foods for pets, in general, include alcohol, which can cause depression, breathing problems, and even death; grapes and raisins, which can cause kidney failure; and doughs made of yeast, as they can cause a pet’s intestines to rupture.

Chocolate and foods containing caffeine can result in vomiting, abnormal heartbeat, increased urination, seizures, and, in some cases, death.

Some items, such as milk, are confusing for pet owners, as images of cats lapping up saucers of milk are common. In reality, milk causes digestive issues such as diarrhea, as animals lack enough of the enzyme needed to break down lactose.

Other foods that may be toxic to animals include garlic, citrus, raisins and grapes, walnuts, avocados, onions,garlic, chives, Xylitol, Salt and Salty Snack Foods and macadamia nuts and other nuts,

 

 Toxic Plants to Animals

Toxic plants are both an indoor and outdoor safety issue for families with pets. Pet owners must be aware of what plants they bring into their home for decorative purposes during the holidays or for everyday decor. Outdoor flowers, shrubs, and other plants can prove dangerous to pets that may chew and eat them.

When purchasing plants, one can ask local nurseries which plants are safe for animals, and nurseries can also help identify clippings of plants that may be toxic. One’s vet is also a source of information, and they can provide pet owners with a list of plants to avoid both indoors and outside. While there are more than 700 plants that are dangerous if ingested, some of the more common ones include flowers such as calla, day, and Easter lilies, azaleas, hydrangeas, oleander, and autumn crocus.

Other plants that are toxic to animals include the elephant ear plant, English ivy, and rhododendron. If one’s pet has eaten a toxic plant, the animal may show signs such as tremors, vomiting, lethargy, and breathing rapidly.

Pet owners who suspect that their animal has poisoned itself should take it to the vet immediately. They should also bring a cut sample of the ingested plant.

 

Indoor Pet Safety

For some people, their pets spend a good deal of time indoors. While this may seem safer than letting pets outdoors, there are dangers both hidden and obvious that can prove deadly for household pets.

Toxic chemicals in the form of household cleaners can be dangerous for pets. Cleaners should be kept closed and stored in a location where they cannot be knocked over or otherwise spilled. People should also avoid using chemicals near their pets, particularly near their food and water.

Windows can be dangerous for pets, particularly high windows. Keep these closed or use screens to prevent animals from falling out.

Stairs may also prove dangerous for pets and owners alike, as some pets may have difficulty walking up or down them and fall, and pets laying on stairs can become stumbling hazards for people. Baby gates can be utilized to keep pets off of stairs and effectively eliminate these types of risks.

Candles are yet another safety issue for homes with pets. Candles should be placed in a sturdy location high enough so that they cannot be knocked over. Special care should be taken when burning candles in homes with cats.

Household temperatures are another danger for pets, particularly during the summer months. Temperatures inside of one’s home can increase during the summer months, causing pets stress and putting them at risk for heat exhaustion.

People can keep their homes cool by programming their air conditioning unit so that it remains a comfortable temperature. Closing shades or blinds can also keep some of the heat out.

Ideally, if a pet is kept inside of a home during a hot day, place the animal in one of the cooler rooms in the house and make certain that clean water is accessible.

 

Outdoor and Seasonal Pet Safety

There are many hazards to take into account when ensuring the safety of a pet outdoors. Some of these hazards are year-round concerns, while others are more seasonal.

When a pet is outdoors other than in one’s fenced yard, it should be kept on a leash at all times. This can help protect the animal from running into the street, where they face the threat of traffic.

A leash will also keep one’s pet from wandering into areas that can prove hazardous in terms of toxic plants and flowers, other animals, or homeowners who may not want animals on their property.

During the summer months, pet owners should protect their pets from extreme temperatures and the problems that too much sun can cause.

Dogs, for example, can become sunburned if their noses are exposed to sunlight too long without protection. This is particularly true for animals with lighter-colored noses.

Hot sidewalks and other surfaces can burn the pads of an animal’s feet if they become too hot as well. On the hottest days, keep pets indoors when possible. If this is not possible, keep them in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight.

During the winter season, pets can become too cold outdoors as well. As in the summer months, keeping pets indoors is ideal during extreme temperatures.

Animals that are unaccustomed to staying indoors can be moved into a garage that is well-ventilated and warm. An outdoor pet house is also an option. If one’s cat is an outdoor pet, tap the hood of a vehicle before starting it in the mornings: Cats often seek warmth in the area of a car’s engine compartment.

If they are not startled from their warm spot, they are in danger of serious injury from the radiator fan once the vehicle is turned on.

When it comes to canine pets, snow can easily get packed in the pads of their paws and can result in frostbite. When walking outside with a dog, pet-sitting teens or family members should get into the habit of checking paws for snow or ice.