Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Household Hazards

Household Hazards

Learn how to keep your pet safe from dangerous, yet common household items.

Safety First

Whether you let her roam about freely or she happens to escape, your home can be a dangerous place for your pet. Like small children, pets are curious and will put almost anything in their mouths. This is precisely why you must prepare your home prior to any new pet’s arrival. For the most part, anything that’s poisonous to humans should be out of reach to a pet. However, there are also some very hazardous, if not deadly, common household items of which every Pet Parent should be aware.

Food, drinks & ingestibles

Although most are harmless to us, these items can be lethal to your pet:

·         Alcoholic beverages
·         Avocado (skin & pit)
·         Caffeine (coffee, tea, soda)
·         Chocolate
·         Cigarette smoke & tobacco products
·         Moldy foods
·         Mushrooms
·         Raw meat – this would depend on certain breeds of dogs and cats
·         Raw onion
·         Raw peanuts in shell
·         Fruit seeds
·         Salty foods

Chemical & toxins

Fumes from these products are harmful to all pets, but especially toxic to birds. While the following list is by no means complete, here are a few of the most common chemicals to keep away from your pets:

·         Aerosol sprays
·         Ammonia
·         Antifreeze
·         Auto products
·         Bleach
·         Chlorine & Cleansers (floor, drain, oven, etc)
·         Deodrants
·         Detergents
·         Felt tip markers
·         Flea bombs
·         Floor/furniture polish
·         Gasoline
·         Glues
·         Hair sprays & hair dyes
·         Hand & body lotion
·         Insecticides
·         Iodine
·         Lead
·         Lighter fluid
·         Kerosene
·         Nail polish & remover
·         Matches
·         Mothballs
·         Oven cleaners
·         Over-heated non-stick cookware (Teflon)
·         Paint & paint related products (thinner, varnish, etc)
·         Perfumes
·         Pesticides
·         Propane
·         Scented candles, incense
·         Smoke (including cigarette smoke)
·         Spray starch
·         Suntan oil & lotion
·         Wax

Please read and follow label instructions carefully before using any household products around your pet.

Toxic plants

Both indoor and outdoor plants can be harmful to pets when ingested. Be sure you can identify and keep your pets away from these plants:

·         Amaryllis
·         Azalea
·         Bird of paradise
·         Blue bonnet
·         Bulb flowers (iris, daffodil, etc) Calia lily (leaves)
·         Castor Bean
·         Cherry tree (all parts but fruit)
·         Crabapple (leaves only)
·         Eggplant (all parts but fruit)
·         Elderberry
·         English Ivy
·         Eucalyptus
·         Holly
·         Honeysuckle
·         Juniper
·         Lilies
·         Lily of the valley
·         Morning glory
·         Mistletoe
·         Mushrooms
·         Oak
·         Oleander
·         Philodendron
·         Poison ivy/oak/sumac
·         Rhododendron
·         Rhubarb
·         Sago Palm
·         Skunk cabbage
·         Sweet pea
·         Yew

Safe plants

Not all plants are dangerous. The following plants are safe around pets or in their habitat:

Outdoor                                             Indoor

Bamboo                                              Fig plant (ficus species)
Beech (American & European)            Grape ivy
Blueberry                                           Herbs
Dogwood                                           Pothos
Grape vine                                         Swedish ivy
Hibiscus                                             Spider plant

Signs of trouble

It’s not always easy to tell if a pet has been exposed to or ingested a toxic material. In some cases the effects are instantaneous, but others can take days or even weeks. Here are some common signs to look for:

·         Bloody feces
·         Collapsing
·         Depression
·         Diarrhea
·         Excess salivating
·         Excessive coughing & sneezing
·         Hyperventilation
·         Impaired motor coordination
·         Lesions in mouth
·         Rapid, shallow respiration
·         Seizures
·         Skin irritations
·         Vomiting
·         Weakness

What to do

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you think your pet has ingested or been in contact with any toxic item, contact your veterinarian immediately as this would save his or her life.
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