Nothing can replace a beloved family pet, but taking a few simple precautions can reduce the risk of several common household dangers and help ensure your home is a safe environment for the entire family.
Food on the counter can cause pets to jump up, accidentally turning on the stove or pulling boiling water or grease onto themselves and nearby children. Animals on the counter itself may bump or nudge flammable objects onto the stove, causing a fire. Take a close look at your environment and make sure pets are never left unattended around fire or heat sources.
Pets are a lot like toddlers - they get into everything. Most people know roughly which foods are OK for their pets and keep toxic foods out of reach or behind closed doors. However, many people overlook the harm that human medication can do to their pets and leave their medications on low, easy-to-access tables or in purses or bags on the floor. Keep all medications where your pets can’t reach them.
We teach our children early not to ingest cleaning products, but the best we can do for our pets is to keep dangerous chemicals out of their reach. One common mistake even well-meaning people make is disregarding chemicals left on the floor or in the mop bucket after cleaning. Pets may accidentally drink cleaning water that’s left around, and pets who come in contact with a recently cleaned wet floor may get harmful chemicals on their paws or in their fur that can poison them when they lick it off. Similarly, certain essential oils that create a harmless and pleasant aroma to humans can be highly toxic to pets, especially cats.
Common garden and house plants are another threat to your pets. Lilies, peace lilies, hibiscus, hydrangeas, amaryllis, chrysanthemums, philodendrons, azaleas, tulips, narcissus, and rhododendron bulbs can cause intestinal, heart, or kidney problems - even death. Check your home and yard for these plants and find a complete list of toxic plants on the ASPCA website.