With pet ownership on the rise in the UK, many of us have decided in recent years to bring home a new four-legged friend.
Oftentimes, new pet owners are unaware that there can be hidden dangers in the home — including some common household items.
Here, pet expert Bob Martin’s Chris Socratous walks us through some key things to look out for.
He explained: “It can be overwhelming to understand which household items might pose a problem for your pet, but hopefully these points provide a starting point to ensure you can create a safe home for your cat or dog. There are options in everything, from.” houseplants to cleaning materials, and your pet will surely be happier about it.
“In addition to choosing household items that are safe for pets, it’s helpful to know what to do if your four-legged friend comes across something that irritates him. In mild cases such as nose or eye irritation, the most important thing is to remove the offending substance and make sure the room is well ventilated.
“If you notice digestive problems, more severe skin irritation, or vomiting, it’s important that you call your veterinarian as soon as possible as this could be a sign your pet has ingested something toxic.”
You may already know that many common houseplants and garden flowers have the potential to harm pets. When it comes to indoor plants, you should especially avoid lilies and tulips, as these can be poisonous to both cats and dogs. If you’re ordering flowers or looking for something dainty, opt for African violets or friendship plants, both of which are non-toxic and offer pretty flowers to brighten up your space without endangering your pet.
Some common garden plants can also pose a problem, such as ivy and poinsettia, which are poisonous to dogs, while elephant ear, chrysanthemum, and azalea plants are poisonous to cats. While it’s very difficult to ensure your garden is completely safe, it helps to avoid these key plants and instead grow things like catnip, valerian or cat grass for cats, and snapdragons, asters, and camellias if you have a dog.
Many of the cleaning products we use regularly can also be harmful to our pets. For example, bleach has such a strong odor that it can irritate their sensitive noses, which is definitely something to avoid. In addition, disinfectants containing benzalkonium chloride should be replaced with gentler ones, as these can also cause irritation to the pet’s nose, paws and eyes.
Instead, you should use cleaning products that are labeled non-toxic and safe for pets. There are now many options in this space, so it pays to take the time to read the labels of the products you buy – as a bonus, using fewer chemicals in your cleaning schedule will be better for the environment too. This may be more surprising than the dangers posed by plants and cleaning products, but many air fresheners can also become a problem for our four-legged friends. Phthalates are a family of chemicals commonly found in home air fresheners and fragrances, and they can be dangerous if your pet inhales them.
There are also many different foods that are dangerous to both dogs and cats that you should keep away from places where your pet might be sniffing around. For example, put things that shouldn’t be near your four-legged friend in a designated cupboard, preferably high up, so he can’t find them. It’s also wise to keep these items in cans, tupperware, or other sealed containers that your pup or cat can’t open, as this creates another barrier that will keep them safe. It will also prevent them from smelling them too much, hopefully reducing their curiosity.
The main foods to watch out for are chocolate, garlic, onions, xylitol (a sweetener found in many foods like peanut butter and grains), raw or undercooked meat, raw yeast dough, grapes and raisins, and macadamia nuts.
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Craft or decoration materials
The next time you have an arts and crafts class, you’ll want to make sure everything is safely stowed away afterwards and that your pet is kept out of the room if you have art supplies around. Many people assume that cats or dogs don’t poke their noses into inedible substances like paint or superglue, but curious animals always sneak in where you least expect them.
So plan for this and make sure you don’t leave anything dangerous out for them to find. Likewise, keep your furry companion out of the way when decorating the household. Materials such as glue, paint, wallpaper paste, and other decorating materials should all be saved. While there aren’t many non-toxic alternatives for these items yet, you should make sure your pet isn’t occupied where it’s being used and open the window to air out the room before letting them back inside.
insecticides and rodenticides
Some products that we use to kill insects or rodents can also be harmful to pets. Means for killing rodents are particularly dangerous for our four-legged friends, as both dogs and cats are often tempted by the tasty pellets and granules. If ingested, they can cause serious problems such as: B. internal bleeding, brain swelling or high calcium levels. You should avoid using these products or keeping them indoors. If you have a rodent problem, it’s best to schedule a pest control appointment instead and make sure your pet is kept away from the area and completely cleaned up afterwards.
Things you normally use to kill insects both in your home and in the garden can also be harmful. Bug spray, ant baits, and others can all be dangerous, so always read the label before buying insecticide. There are a number of pet-safe insecticidal home sprays, many of which are specifically designed to repel insects such as fleas that can infest your pet and home. When it comes to garden sprays in particular, there are many options that are organic and non-toxic to cats and dogs. So use these and avoid potential harm to your pet.