PETS that spend time indoors can be put at risk. Your home is a hazardous place – we all know of the many accidents people have at home each year, so why should it be any different for your pet?
• Be aware that some plants are very toxic to animals, especially young puppies and kittens, who are fond of chewing! Aloe vera, apple seeds, daffodils, foxglove, lily of the valley, tiger lily, weeping fig, rhododendron, amaryllis, clematis and azalea are just a few of the more common plants that can be dangerous for your pets.
• Check the cleaning agents you use. Some may only cause mild symptoms but others can be fatal. Some powder carpet fresheners that you vacuum up can also cause severe skin irritations.
• Pest bait, such as rodent, slug or roach traps, can be very toxic. The poison is hidden in sweet bait, such as chocolate or jam, so make sure your dog cannot get access to the traps.
• Never give your dog human medication. Some medicines can be fatal, even in small amounts to our dogs. Always seek veterinary advice if your dog has ingested any human medication. Keep all prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines out of reach of your dog.
• Never give your dog human chocolate. Even in small amounts, it may cause pancreatic problems. Approximately half an ounce, or less, of baking chocolate per pound of your dog’s bodyweight can cause problems and, if enough is eaten, can be fatal, especially dark chocolate.
• Many common items in your home, like moth balls (containing naphthalene or paradichlorobenzine – one or two balls can be life-threatening for most species). Also potpourri oils, fabric softener sheets, anything containing corrosives or acids like bleach, alcohol, cigarettes and even homemade playdough, which contains very high levels of salt.
• Car products, like petrol, diesel and antifreeze, must be stored correctly. As little as one teaspoon of ethylene glycol can be deadly to your pet.
• Flea treatments must be used with care. Read instructions and take vet advice on their use. Some dog treatments can be deadly if used on cats.
• Take care when using garden fertilisers or pesticides. Read the instructions and dispose of containers properly after use.
• Sharp objects in the home, such as paper clips, tacks, sewing needles or brightly coloured children’s toys, can become a choking hazard to your dog. String or rubber bands are a real attraction to puppies but they can become entangled in them. Electric cables or fairy lights can be chewed and cause an electrocution. The Christmas tree is a fun place to climb if you’re a puppy but, if unstable, can fall, causing all sorts of havoc.
• Do your dogs have access to a balcony in your home? Make sure the bars are close enough together to prevent your puppy squeezing through and falling, or jumping, over the top.
• Make sure that fumes from cleaning and other products, such as paint and air fresheners, are not harmful to your dog. Unvented gas heaters, stoves and wood-burners can cause us harm as well, from nitrogen dioxide poisoning. Lead paint is also life-threatening. Microbial and fungal agents found in air conditioners, air ducts, filters and dehumidifiers are also hazardous.
So, keep the floor area clear of anything you think might be a hazard to your puppy, and keep them safe.