dog chewing on purple toy

5 Things That Could Endanger Your Pet At Home

People love their pets. Many people think of their pets as members of their families, and they would be absolutely devastated if anything happened to them. Though you can’t make your animal companions immortal, you can take steps to make sure your home is as safe as possible for them. As part of being a responsible pet owner, you need to educate yourself to the dangers that can exist in your home for animals. That will allow you to pet-proof your home to keep your beloved animal companions safe. To help you get started, here is a look at five things that could endanger your pet at home.

young lady kissing cat on the floor at the kitchen at home

1. Plants

One of the saddest things that can happen to an animals lover is to have their pets get sick from eating a plant that they brought into their homes. Just because a plant looks beautiful does not mean it belongs in your home. You need to know the common toxic plants that pet owners need to avoid introducing into their homes.

For example, lilies and tulips may look beautiful, but animals that eat these flowers could get sick and even die. Poinsettias are very popular at Christmas time, but they also can make dogs and cats quite ill. If you live somewhere where sago palms grow, you need to know that they are toxic to dogs and cats. Azalea and mistletoe are two more common houseplants that are poisonous to pets.

dog smelling pink lilly

2. Chocolate

If you are a chocolate lover, you always need to be very careful with your chocolate. Most people know that dogs are not supposed to eat chocolate, but it is also toxic to cats and ferrets as well. You need to always store your chocolate somewhere that your pets cannot reach. When you are eating your favorite cocoa treat, make sure not to leave any uneaten portions laying around where a pet could snatch it.

For parents, it is important to educate children about the dangers of chocolate for pets. When younger children are given candy to eat, they should be supervised. The last thing you want is for your child to share a candy bar with the family dog when your back is turned. Monitor little ones carefully whenever chocolate is being served.

little blond girl with her pet dog outdoors in park

3. Toys

Pets love to play, and that is why their owners rush to give them toys. In your delight at getting toys for your furry friend, it’s important that you get your pet toys that wouldn’t put his health at risk. Making safe choices for toys is important to avoid things like choking and toxins. Keep in mind that kid toys and pet toys are not interchangeable. Your animal companion may chew up and hurt himself with a toy that your child would be safe playing with.

To be on the safe side, you should always get your pets toys that are safe to chew. You should also monitor your animals when they get new toys to make sure that they are playing with them safely.

Also, do not let your dog chew up plastic bottles as a toy. Although they may love to do this, it is not safe. Some plastic bottles have toxins in them that can harm your dog. In addition, the plastic bottles can get shredded into little pieces that can be a choking hazard to your pets.

dog chewing on purple toy

4. Food

Chocolate is not the only food that humans love that is not good for animals. Before you make the choice to feed your pet table scraps, you need to make sure what you are feeding him is not something bad for him. Things like avocados, macadamia nuts, raisins, garlic, onions, milk and mushrooms are tasty, healthy choices for people, but they can make your pet sick. To be on the safe side, always check a list of dangerous foods to make sure the food you choose to provide you pet is completely safe. Just remember that your guests may not be as knowledgeable as you about dangerous foods. Make sure they do not feed your animals anything toxic.

cat looking at the table with food in the kitchen

5. Chemicals

Part of making your home pet-friendly is making sure they cannot get into dangerous chemicals. Keep all the cleaning products and other dangerous chemicals in your house locked in a cabinet that your furry friends cannot get into. It is also important to make sure all the chemicals in the garage are out of reach of pets. Dogs in particular seem to love the taste of antifreeze, and they will lap it up if it is spilled in the garage or leaks from a vehicle’s radiator. Keep in mind that as little as five tablespoons of antifreeze can kill a medium-sized dog and just a tablespoon can kill a cat. You need to be extra careful with antifreeze when you own animals.

cute, soft puppy in a pile of toilet paper

The world is full of hazards for your pets, and you can’t always protect them from everything. However, you can make sure your home is as safe as possible for them. Start by going through your home and pet-proofing it so that they cannot access any hazardous materials like the five dangers on this list. When you create a safe environment in your home for animals, your family will have a lifetime of love with your beloved pets.

About the Author:

Deborah Hurst works as a veterinarian in New Orleans. She has recently co-founded ToyPetReviews – a website that shows pet owners how to improve their companion’s lifestyle. Deborah graduated from Pre-Veterinary Medicine, University of New Orleans.

1 reply
  1. Lori Hilliard
    Lori Hilliard says:

    This is an excellent overview of the many seemingly safe items in your home that can harm them. With items like chocolate, NEVER leave them anywhere that isn’t securely closed and out of reach. I once left a bag of chocolate kisses on the counter, assuming my small dog couldn’t reach it. Unfortunately, while I was away, he somehow he got it down and ate it. He had to have his stomach pumped at the emergency veterinarian’s clinic. It was terrible for both of us, and I’ll never make that mistake again.


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