SAFETY TIPS & HOUSEHOLD HAZARDS
At Petland we know that your pets are cherished members of your family and that providing them with a happy, healthy atmosphere is a primary concern. Your home (as well as the outside world), can be a dangerous place!
Like small children, pets are curious and will put almost anything in their mouths. This is exactly why you must prepare your home for your new pets' arrival. It only makes sense that anything that is poisonous to us must be kept out of your pets' reach, however, there are also common household items (some of which can be deadly), that every pet owner needs to be aware of.
Is Your Home Pet Proof?
Unfortunately, you cannot remove all potential pet dangers, however you can make sure your pet is safe from these common household hazards:
- Open washer and dryers
- Open toilets (keep lids closed)
- Hot pots and pans with non-stick coating (which release fumes that can be toxic)
- Filled bathtubs and sinks (especially hot water)
- Open doors and windows
- Hot electric/gas/wood stoves
- Frayed electrical wiring
- Holiday hazards (such as Christmas tree water, ribbons or tinsel, batteries)
- Mirrors and windows without curtains/blinds (specific bird hazard)
- Fans (ceiling or stand alone, specific bird hazard)
Common cold weather concerns: Anti-freeze, ice melting products, rat and mouse bait, hypothermia (due to inadequate shelter), damaged foot pads (extreme cold or walking on salted sidewalks).
Food and Drink
Although most are harmless to us, the following items can be potentially lethal to your pet:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Caffeine (coffee, tea, soda)
- Chocolate (contains theobromine, which in large quantities can be fatal)
- Tobacco and cannabis products
- Moldy or spoiled foods
- Raw meat
- Raw eggs
- Onions, garlic, chives
- Raw peanuts in shell
- Macadamia nuts
- Fruit seeds
- Salty foods
- Grapes and raisins
Products in our homes which are toxic to ingest are usually labelled as such. Since our pets can't read (wouldn't that be something!) they are reliant on us to keep them safe from dangerous items. What many pet owners do not know is that even just the fumes from certain chemicals and everyday household products are harmful to all pets, and specifically to pet birds. The following is a list of the most common products to exercise caution when using around your pets:
- Certain wax melts and essential oils (cats and birds in particular)
- Cleansers (floor, drain, oven, etc.)
- Felt tip markers
- Flea bombs
- Floor/furniture polish
- Glass cleaner
- Hair sprays & hair dyes
- Hand & body lotion
- Lighter fluid
- Nail polish & remover
- Over-heated non-stick cookware (Teflon®)
- Paint & paint related products
- Scented candles, incense
- Smoke (including cigarette and cannabis smoke)
- Spray starch
- Suntan oil & lotion
Many common indoor and outdoor plants are toxic to pets. If these plants are ingested (or in some cases, just chewed on) they can cause serious illness and even death. Petland recommends taking the following precautions:
- Hang indoor plants out of your pets' reach
- Provide safe cat grass to chew
- Use commercially prepared, pet-safe repellents
- Use safe deterrents such as a spray bottle (filled with clean water) or motion-sensitive devices
Some indoor and outdoor plants which are not classified as harmful to your pets include: bamboo, beech (American & European), blueberry, dogwood, grape vine, hibiscus, marigold, raspberry, pyracantha, rose, willow.
Signs of Trouble
It is not always easy to tell if a pet has been exposed to or has ingested toxic material. In some cases it is instantaneous, but in other cases, it can take days or even weeks. The following symptoms are signs to look for: drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, apathy or depression, loss of consciousness, bloody feces, excessive coughing and sneezing, impaired motor coordination, rapid, shallow breathing, skin irritations, weakness.
What To Do
It is always better to be safe than sorry. If you think your pet has ingested or been in contact with any toxic items, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Cleanliness and Safety
All pets must be kept in a clean environment to avoid the spread of dirt and contaminants to yourself and others. After cleaning their home, preparing a raw food diet (including dog or cat food, snake feeder items, etc.) or cleaning food dishes, be sure to wash and disinfect your hands thoroughly. Any surface areas and utensils that have been used also must be disinfected.
Some animals are prone to carrying the Salmonella bacteria (such as hedgehogs and reptiles). Always wash your hands before and after handling your pet to prevent spreading illnesses between yourself and your animal companion.
Remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit diseases to humans. Young children, infants, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with pets or their pets' homes.