Pet-Proofing Your Home

Terrier PicCommon-sense Precautions

So you adopted a new pet? Congratulations! The next step is pet-proofing your home- safety first!

There are many hidden dangers to your new friend within your home in the form of every-day objects. With a few simple precautions, you can protect your pet and prevent many of the common veterinary emergencies.

1) Store medications, cleaning supplies and other toxic chemicals in a location your pet can’t access.

Most people are aware of the dangers of consuming household chemicals, but did you know that your prescription and over-the-counter medications may be poisonous to your pet as well?

  • For instance, Tylenol works wonders on a headache for humans, but to your cat or dog- it causes acute liver failure and potentially death.

Place all chemicals and medications in closed cabinets out of reach of your pets.

2) Place breakables and toxic plants out of reach.

Household plants are a common way to brighten up your home, but many plants contain toxic compounds that may harm an curious pet. Common poisonous plants include:

  • Ivy
  • Philodendrons
  • Dracaenas
  • Poinsettias
  • Lillies

Refer to the ASPCA Pet Poisoning Hotline for further information on potentially poisonous items within your home. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

3) Keep string, yarn, dental floss, sewing kits, needles/pins, and tacks out of reach!

Cats love string- to chase, pounce, and, unfortunately, to chew.

  • Cats that have eaten string or dental floss may require surgery to remove it safely.
  • Sewing kits and craft supplies are another common source of potentially dangerous foreign bodies.

4) Close-in or block access to spaces behind appliances & under the house.

New or inquisitive pets often find warm dark areas to explore within your home, some of which are not safe. It is far easier to block access to such areas before your pet “discovers” them then to rescue them later.

5) Tape all electrical cords to the baseboards and install plug covers on unused outlets.

This helps to prevent a nasty electrical burn from an inquisitive pet chewing on a power cord.

6) Close toilet seat lids & close washer/dryer doors when not in use.

Small pets are all too often willing to get into new areas- and may not be able to get back out of them easily.

7) Tie up window shade & blind pulls.

Cats, as mentioned earlier, love string- in any form. Kitty may become tangled or entrapped in the blind pulls, cutting off circulation to his arm. This may be a medical emergency depending on when he’s discovered.

8) Make sure tree ornaments and tinsel are beyond your pet’s reach.

Glass ornaments break, tinsel or other decorative items consumed may block your pet’s digestive tract, requiring surgery and/or hospitalization to recover after their holiday misadventure.

9) Secure fence boards & gates to keep your pet in a known safe area when you are away. Loose dogs can be hit by cars or get into trouble with unfriendly dogs or people. Sweep your yard for other potentially dangerous items; remember, dogs love to explore with their mouths!

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posted in:  Canine  |  Feline  |  VMA Modesto News