Tip of the Month

9/12/2008 Trouble Areas in the Home – Dangerous Places for Pets

Trouble Areas in the Home – Dangerous Places for Pets

Both dogs and cats can get into a lot of trouble in many areas of a house or yard. Keep all areas safe for your pets and watch them closely. For guidance regarding safety for your pets, consult those in animal jobs, such as your dog trainer, veterinary assistant, or animal behaviorist.

• Swimming Pools – A pet can fall into a pool and drown. Keep the area around a pool fenced. Provide a ramp in case a pet falls into the water.

• Gardens, Garden Sheds, and Garages – Pesticides, antifreeze, fertilizers, gasoline, and oil all contain chemicals that may cause serious illness or death. Keep containers tightly closed and out of harm’s way in locked cabinets or placed high on shelves. If your pet is suspected to have ingested harmful chemicals, take him/her immediately to the veterinarian to be assessed by the vet and his/her veterinary assistant.

• Balconies – Pets can either fall from balconies or slip through railings that are spaced too far apart. Make a barrier to either keep pets away from balconies or to block railings.

• Doors and Windows – An open door or window is an invitation for a pet to run away and explore if left open. Doors should be kept closed and all windows should contain screens.

• Electrical cords – Electrocution can occur if pets chew on electrical cords that are plugged into a wall. Keep cords for computers and all electrical systems hidden under carpets or behind appliances.

• Washer and Dryer – Cats are known for jumping into washers and/or dryers. Keep lids closed when these appliances are not in use or when you need to leave them unattended for even a few moments. Spilled bleach can cause chemical burns if walked through or illness if ingested. Again, if your pet is suspected to have ingested harmful chemicals, take him/her immediately to the veterinarian to be assessed by the vet and his/her veterinary assistant.

• Fireplaces – Eating fireplace ashes can cause a pet to get sick. Keep a screen in place and ashes out of pets’ reach. If your pet ingests fireplace ashes, contact your veterinarian or bring your pet to the animal hospital to be examined and treated by the veterinarian and his/her veterinary assistant.

• Trash Areas – Spoiled food can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Fruit pits may cause blockage in the pet’s intestines as can aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Empty tin cans could cause cuts on the mouth and/or tongue if chewed on. Pets may get their heads stuck in discarded containers. Again, it’s crucial to take your pet to the veterinarian immediately to be assessed by the vet and his/her veterinary assistant if your dog is suspected of having ingested harmful substances (such as onions from the trash can).

• Bathrooms and Kitchens – Cleaning products, either ingested or picked up on the pads of the feet and licked off, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. An owner’s prescription medication may cause serious side effects or death if left out and ingested by a pet. Take your pet immediately to emergency veterinary care to be assessed and treated by the veterinarian and veterinary assistant if he/she ingests cleaning products or prescription medications.

Reference: ASPCA Pet Insurance


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