BlogPaws had dubbed July “Pet Safety Month”, so what better time than now to kick off our new blog series on how to poison proof your home for pets?
Did you know that most pet poisonings happen right in our own homes? And that more pet poisonings occur in July and August than any other months of the year? It’s true, and half of the poisonings in these months are the result of pets getting into pesticides like flea and tick repellents and herbicides, something that’s easily avoided with a little planning and awareness.
But pesticides make up just a few of the pet poison hazards that are found within our homes, and the truth is that many of us are completely unaware of them. What you don’t know can indeed hurt or even kill your pet, so we want to focus on different areas of the home and ways you can make them safe for your pets. Today we’re starting in the kitchen.
There are so many things in the kitchen that are dangerous, even deadly, to our pets. Let’s start with food. Do you know which foods your pet should never eat? Here is a list of the most common foods that are toxic to pets:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is!)
- Coffee and tea
- Macadamia nuts
- Onions and garlic
- Raisins and grapes
- Trail mix (it often contains raisins)
- Uncooked salmon
- Unbaked bread dough
- Spoiled food of any kind
- Products containing Xylitol (usually found in candy, but not always)
Now I know what you’re going to say. “I’ve been giving my dog _____ (fill in the blank) for years, and he’s fine.” But here’s the thing. Sometimes it’s a matter of how much you give them. A little bit of onion probably won’t have any long-term effects on your pet, but how can you be sure? These foods listed above have proven to be toxic in pets – why take the chance?
By the way, this is obviously not a complete list of foods that are harmful to pets. My suggestion is to do your research. Learn about foods that are good for your pets, as well as those that are harmful, and when in doubt, always contact your veterinarian.
Teach your dog not to counter surf! It’s a dangerous habit and one that’s easily broken with a little loving guidance.
It’s not just food that presents a danger to your pets in the kitchen. Be sure that items like batteries, cellophane, string, and cleaning supplies are out of your pet’s reach.
Use a covered garbage container to keep your pet safe from the stuff you throw away. Dogs, and even some cats, aren’t opposed to going through the trash in search of a treat, but so much of what’s found in our garbage could be deadly to them. Not to mention the danger of suffocation. A covered garbage container provides protection from a lot of things you want to keep your pet out of.
If your pet is extremely resourceful, experts advise installing child-safety latches on cabinet doors to keep pets out. In fact, most experts say that as you work to make your home safe for your pets, the best rule of thumb is to follow the same steps you’d use if you were child-proofing the space. Many of the same precautions that work for children will also keep your pet safe.
It’s so important to know what to do in the event of a poison emergency. The Pet Poison Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and they’re just a phone call away.
As always, if you have questions about how to keep your pet safe at home, contact your veterinarian. Nothing can take the place of a good relationship with a trustworthy vet, and he’ll always be able to advise you on what’s best for your pet.
Do you have any tips for keeping pets safe in the kitchen? I’d love for you to share them in a comment below!