Having a pet to keep you company at home is one of life’s greatest joys. But even inside the safety of your home, there are dangers your pets should be aware of – but since they lack the knowledge to do so, the responsibility falls to you.
Cats get by a little easier just because they’re generally not so keen to eat everything they see, but they’re not immune to curiosity. There’s a reason we have the saying “curiosity killed the cat.
But dogs are far more eager and tend to get into trouble more easily. This is why they require the most care and attention when it comes to these dangers, though any step you take to protect your dogs will also work for your cats if you have both!
Electrical chords and electronics
This is a common problem for both cats and dogs. The cats I’ve had never bit any cables, but they sure didn’t mind tangling themselves in them – luckily they never got hurt, but it was a risk. Dogs, however, may chew on them, which is far more dangerous.
The best way to protect your pets is to hide as many cables as possible by clever means. Nowadays it’s not that hard to hide your cables behind walls, so definitely do that if you can!
In my old office there was no way to do that, so I just hid one cable under a large rug and used a cable organizer to keep them all in one clump. Made it much easier to prevent any accidents.
In case you need help or a budget for these changes, get free quotes from a local electrician!
You will never catch me saying a bad thing about houseplants, but there are a few specific species that can be harmful to pets when ingested, making them a serious pet safety concern. I recommend doing some research if you’re bringing a pet inside or if you’re planning on getting one to make sure which houseplants are safe for pets.
In fact, you can start your research right here: avoid these 12 houseplants to keep your pets safe!
Pieces of plastic from random packages are one of the many dangers to pets at home. And that goes for both cats and dogs. If they ingest even tiny pieces of this, they may have a severe stomach ache or even intestinal damage – if that píece of plastic doesn’t come out, the only resort may be surgery.
Always avoid leaving plastic in places where your pets can easily reach. For example, if your dog loves to chew on stuff, get them a proper chew toy – they’ll love it!
Your household cleaning products should never be within reach. Not only are they usually in plastic containers that are easy to crack open, but they have strong scents that often attract dogs.
The solution is to either keep your cleaning products in a locked cabinet or high above where your dogs can’t reach. Cats aren’t that interested in these, but you never want to leave them in the open where they can be easily ingested.
Most people know this but it never hurts to stress: chocolate is poison to cats and dogs.
This is because chocolate contains theobromine, which they cannot metabolize effectively, leading to severe symptoms that can cause death. It also contains a small amount of caffeine, which for humans is hardly noticeable, but once again, these animals cannot handle it well.
If you notice your pets may have ingested chocolate (or someone gave it to them unaware of its effects), you should take them to a vet immediately. The usual course of action is to feed them activated charcoal, which forces them to vomit the chocolate before it leaves their stomach – but you should first seek out professional help before attempting this!
The best way to prevent this situation is to never leave chocolate in the open where your pets can take a sneaky bite.
If you use fertilizers or other chemicals in your lawn, you might want to be more careful with your choices – this is one of the most well-hidden dangers to pets! Cats and dogs like to play around in the grass, and both of them will often chew on grass, so if it’s filled with chemicals… you might realize why that’s a problem.
The best thing to do if you’re unsure is to lay off the chemicals immediately and either look for safe alternatives or more natural ways to care for your lawn that don’t involve chemicals. You can also talk to a local landscaping company for more info on the best fertilizer for your region.
Though dogs love to chew on bones, you have to be careful what you give them. Small bones or cut bones, for example, are serious choke hazards, as they may swallow them before chewing. Bones should always be large enough that they can’t be swallowed whole.
Also, bones should always be raw. Cooked bones may splinter and either cause your dog to choke or deal internal damage!
Coffee, tea, and alcohol
As mentioned before, caffeine is very harmful to cats and dogs. Though not immediately lethal in small quantities, it can be depending on the animal and the quantity ingested. It accelerates their heart rate by a lot and can lead to heart attacks.
We can handle caffeine better, yes, but remember that there are cases of people dying after ingesting an exaggerated amount of energy drinks in one day. Even humans aren’t immune to this, so imagine your pets!
For the same reason, teas in general should be avoided as some of them contain caffeine. Even without it though, there’s no real benefit for either cats or dogs to ingest tea.
As for alcohol, I’m sure I don’t have to be reminded of all the harm it can do to us… So yeah, keep it away from your pets at all costs.
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