Many of the hazards and risks from which we protect exploring young children also threaten our pets’ health. Like kids put anything in their mouths, young pets may try things they come across for taste. As a pet owner, it is up to you to identify and remove anything that could pose dangers to your pets.
Some plants pose dangers
Your pet may get an upset stomach after eating most plant materials. However, some pose life-threatening dangers. Chrysanthemums, rhododendrons, daffodil and tulip bulbs, holly, mistletoe and lilies are the most dangerous plants. Your cat could suffer kidney failure after eating small amounts of some lily variants.
All tobacco products pose dangers
Pets should not eat any nicotine-containing items. Nicotine patches and cigarettes can cause your pet’s heart rate to spike, severe vomiting, sudden blood pressure drops and even life-threatening seizures.
Dangers posed by rock salt
Did you know that melted ice on your driveway or sidewalk could cause real harm to your pet’s health? That is if you treated those areas with salt. If your cat, dog or another pet licks its paws or fur after walking in such places, spasms, vomiting and even kidney damage could follow. Therefore, you’d be wise to wipe your pet’s belly, legs and feet after a walk on rock-salt treated areas.
Don’t expose your pets to the dangers of breath fresheners
If your pet has a bad breath problem, don’t feed it your breath fresheners. Instead, ask your vet for a safe treatment. Sugar-free gums and mints contain xylitol, a sweetener that could cause a dangerous drop in your pet’s blood sugar. If that happens, your pet could lose coordination and suffer seizures. Most importantly, life-threatening liver damage could result.
Your medications pose dangers to pets
Medication, vitamins and other health supplements and over-the-counter medicines are made for humans. It is never okay to give your dog any of your painkillers or other medications. That includes decongestants, aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and stomach medicines. Similarly, if your dog discovers your diet pills, birth control or even vitamins, internal bleeding could follow. If your pet ingests any of your medications, call poison control or your vet immediately.
Mind the dangers of essential oils to cats
You might love the scent of essential oils in your home, a love your cat will not share. Inhalation can cause breathing problems for cats, and skin problems can follow contact with essential oils. Ingesting it could cause liver or stomach problems and even seizures. The most dangerous essential oils are tea tree essence, wintergreen, pennyroyal, birch, wormwood, citrus oil and sage.
Keep sunscreen, pesticide and bug spray away from pets
Eating or licking sunscreen can cause diarrhea and vomiting in pets. When it comes to insect repellents, most contain DEET. This chemical can cause life-threatening seizures, tremors. Your vet can tell you what to use to keep mosquitoes away from your pets. Do not fight fleas and ticks on your pets with insecticides or pesticides. Equally important, do not use flea medication on your cats if it is marked for dogs only. It could be toxic for cats.
Chemicals in and around your home pose serious dangers
Even small amounts of chemicals can be deadly to your pets. Essentially, antifreeze, solvents, paint thinners or metal-containing paints could lead to burned digestive tracks that can be severe. This is another instance to call your vet or poison control as soon as possible.
Store bathroom cleaning supplies safely
Tile and tub cleaner, grout sealer and drain cleaner are toxic and could kill your pet. Most dangerous are those containing alkaline. If your pet drools, vomits or develops sores in its mouth, bathroom chemicals might be to blame. However, laundry supplies like bleach, fabric softeners and laundry detergents pose the same risks. Dryer sheets can damage tissue in your cat’s mouth, and fabric softener is also more dangerous for cats.
Soaps of all kinds pose dangers to pets
Soap in all forms, liquid, bars, facial washes and even toothpaste contain detergents that could cause serious harm to a pet’s health. Importantly, any soaps containing essential oils are most dangerous. Upset stomachs, loose stools, vomiting and diarrhea could follow, and eating a bar of soap will cause intestinal blockages.
Garden supplies and maintenance products
Check the labels on weed killer, fertilizer and other garden supply products to see how long you must keep pets away from the treated garden areas. In like manner, household maintenance products like wood glues and polyurethane adhesives can cause blockages in your pet’s esophagus or stomach. This is another incidence that needs emergency care by poison control or your vet.
To conclude, I will underscore the importance of keeping your house, garage, laundry and yard safe for young children and pets. Believe me, it is traumatic to lose a beloved pet. We are still trying to get over the trauma after we recently lost our beloved 14-year-old Jack Russel. Dangerous chemicals did not cause her death. Instead, she suffered from Canine Cognitive Disorder, which is Alzheimer’s or dementia in humans. I will tell you about her rapid decline and death once I have overcome the sadness of the loss.