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Pet-Proofing Your House

Updated on February 28, 2014

When you have pets, you need to be aware of the hazards in your home. Just like children, pets can be harmed by many of the things in and around the house. You need to take the time to inspect your home for common household dangers. Many pet owners forget to pet-proof their house and keep dangerous items out of reach. Some pets, especially young puppies and kittens, are more inquisitive and prone to getting into trouble. However, any pet can be harmed by various household items.

We have health insurance for our family, but when it comes to our pets, an injury or illness means paying money to the vet. A good way to reduce the chances of a visit to the vet is to make sure your home is a safe place for your pets. Unlike child-proofing, pet-proofing does not require buying outlet covers or cabinet locks, it just takes using a little common sense.

One of the most dangerous things in your house are our personal medications, both prescription and non-prescription. Items like Aleve,Tylenol and Motrin can be potentially fatal to our pets. If your pet got into a bottle of medicine, they would probably eat many pills at once. Since they are smaller than a human, this could cause very serious damage. Your pet is like a child. Protect them by always keeping your medication closed with a child proof lid and in an area where your pet can't get to. If you drop a pill, pick it up immediately.

Another danger to your pets can be any poisoning you use for rats or other animals or insects. These poisons are extremely dangerous to pets. Insecticides, weed killer and fertilizers can be very harmful to your pet.

Household chemicals like bleach, detergents, disinfectants, and drain cleaners are also dangerous to your pet's health. Antifreeze is another chemical you should use with care. Dogs and cats like the taste of antifreeze and if they find antifreeze they will drink it. Antifreeze is extremely toxic causing kidney failure that is often fatal in just a few days. If you keep these items in your house or garage, make sure they are placed far out of reach of your pets.

Another harmful item in the house are drop-in toilet tank cleaners. They may get rid of the "ring around the rim" but if your dog thinks the toilet is his or her personal water fountain, this chemically treated water can be very dangerous.

Some foods that we humans eat with no problems, such as macadamia nuts, grapes, onions, chocolate, coffee and avocado are toxic for pets. Several household plants, such as lilies, are toxic for cats. Keep all food away from your furry friends. Resist the urge to feed them table scraps.

Pets will get into the trash and can often chew up or swallow extremely dangerous things - razor blades, bones, plastic bags and broken glass that can cause serious damage. Make sure that your trash can has a lid on it. Keep it somewhere your pet can't reach., like in the pantry, under the sink or in the garage, especially when you are not home.

Ribbon, string, dental floss, and twine can all be swallowed by your pet. These items can get stuck in the intestinal tract of your pet and cause serious damage, sometimes even fatal. Be sure to store these things in secure places and vacuum your floors often.

Take the time to walk through your house and make sure all medicines and chemicals are kept in a safe area away from your pets. If you take some extra precautions, you will help keep your pets safe in your home.

If your pet does get into something bad, first wash them off, before they can lick it off. If they get sick, call your vet. Keep the phone number of an after-hours emergency clinic posted where you can easily find it. Pets are part of our family, so protect them as you would your kids, and they will be with you for a long time.


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    • Paulart profile image


      6 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

      Nice information is given on this hub.Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 

      7 years ago

      Useful. I enclosed open spaces where it would be dangerous for my cat to get into or where I know it would be too difficult for me to get her out of. Excellent information.

    • dearabbysmom profile image


      7 years ago from Indiana

      Very valuable information. I also learned from another hub about the dangers of xylitol (in some sugarfree gum) for dogs. Education is a great defense!


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