Have you ever wondered what’s okay for your pet to eat, lick or nibble on around the house? Whether you have a dog, cat, bunny or bird, keeping their health top of mind is crucial when it comes to household products. To get a clearer picture on which items could potentially put your pets in danger, we sat down with Dorothee Bienzle, Professor and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Guelph.
Here are 5 household dangers for pets
Most people know chocolate, for example, is bad for dogs but there are also foods we assume are safe and even healthy, that can cause your pet discomfort and potentially death if you aren’t careful.
Your pet’s stomach operates differently than yours and though it may be tempting to drop down bits of this-and-that from your dinner plate, it could end up causing them more pain than pleasure. When it comes to foods, make sure to avoid sharing the following:
- Any type of food or beverage that contains caffeine
- Synthetic sweeteners and sugar replacements – these can be found in anything from diet yogurt to ketchup
- Grapes and raisins
- Moldy food
- Poultry bones
Pet food and treats have your pet’s best interest in mind. Stick to the basics and you’ll keep them healthier and happier for years to come.
Pets are curious creatures and whether they’re out playing in the yard or examining the flowers you brought home from the market, chances are they’re taking a nibble or a lick, or both. Though most plants are considered safe, there are a few that owners should be wary of:
- Easter lilies – these are especially dangerous for cats. Whether they ingest the pollen or eat the leaves, both can cause severe kidney failure.
- Yew trees – these are often found in landscaping around homes and public spaces in cities. However, if eaten or licked, even just a few yew needles are deadly to humans and animals alike.
- Mistletoe – pretty as this can be during the holiday season, make sure it’s out of your pet’s reach. The leaves on this plant aren’t as worrisome as the berries, but if consumed they could cause moderate to severe abdominal discomfort.
Puppies, bunnies and kittens, just like babies, seem to have a fascination with electrical wires, cords and cables. Whether it’s playing with them or chewing on them, they too run the risk of being burned or electrocuted. Think of your new pet as a curious toddler. To reduce damage and keep everyone safe, it’s best to get ahead of potential disasters and pet-proof your home.
4. Toys and clothing
Believe it or not, Dr. Bienzle mentioned veterinarians often have to remove socks and even underwear from dogs’ stomachs, not to mention baby toys, buttons, and the list goes on. If you notice your pet swallowing any of these objects, call your vet right away. They will either have you bring your pet in or provide you with instructions on how to induce vomiting at home.
5. Cleaning Products
Spills and leaks happen, but with an inquisitive pet around ready to lick them up, it’s important to keep certain products like bleach, laundry detergent, anti-freeze, and pool cleaners out of reach.
There are countless items your pet will eat when they shouldn’t. Most of them you will never have to worry about, but to be safe, get on their level. Look around your home for toys, cables, bottles, and foods that are in paw’s reach and remove them, relocate them, or find ways to ensure they don’t become hazards.