Pet Dangers Lurk Inside Your HomePublished March 1, 2010
When it comes to safety, you can never be too prepared. As pet owners we all strive to keep our pets happy and healthy. We look at our homes as a safe haven for pets. Nothing could possibly hurt them while they are lounging out on a doggie bed with a good chew toy, right? Well, not exactly. I know I am neurotic when it comes to my pets and their safety. I admit I take things completely overboard. But, I don't know what I would do if something horrible happened to them--especially if it could have been prevented by increased diligence on my part. I worry about the household cleaners under my sink so I stack them out of reach. I check to make sure all of their caps and lids are on tight. I tie up all mini-blind chords before I leave the house each day. I ensure no floss, bobby pins, safety pins, price tags or other potential choke-ables are on top of the trash. I wash my hands at least twice before giving Ralph his asthma medication... You get the picture. But, that's not to say I'm the perfect pet parent either. I let Ralph jump on top of the fridge and explore. Sadie used to eat grapes (along with a ton of other not-so-healthy foods for dogs). Bianca is always running around with a bone in her mouth that's a total choke hazard. But, pets are like kids! It's just so hard to keep an eye on them at all times. They really do get into a ton of mischief. Like one couple's dog in "Vetting: The Making of a Veterinarian" by Dr. Peter Freyburger. The adventurous pup ate a pair of ladies lingerie and ended up having surgery to remove it (turns out, it wasn't his owner's panties--the husband was having an affair! Gasp!) But I digress... Really, all we can do as pet parents, in my opinion, is educate ourselves to the fullest and just try to apply that knowledge as best we can. So to start, it's important to know what's potentially harmful to your pets in your own home. The ASPCA recently released a list of the top 10 pet poisons. Of course, household cleaners were on the list, as well as gardening chemicals (important for your outdoor pets since spring is just around the corner). But, here are the top three poisons to keep your eye on: Human Medications: The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center fielded more than 45,000 calls last year regarding incidents with pets ingesting cold medications, anti-depressants, dietary supplement, etc. Our furry friends find them in drawers, find pills dropped on the floor and just lap them up. So, it's important to store all medication out of reach and make sure you don't leave any lying around. Insecticides: We try our best to protect our pets from fleas and ticks, which is great. But, many people administer flea and tick medications to the wrong species, according to the ASPCA. It's important to consult your veterinarian prior to giving your pets flea and tick treatments. People Food: What we wouldn't expect to be classified as a poison is on the list-- people food. Grapes, raisins, avocado, and chocolate for example can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets. So, don't go on feeding Fido that guacamole or chocolate cake. Reward him with a friendly doggie or kitty treat instead. All we can do is educate ourselves and be as diligent as possible in providing a safe environment for our pets. So, check out Petside.com's All About Toxins page for detailed info on how to protect your pets (and I will try to tone down my neuroses in the meantime).
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