Household hazards: 7 things in your home that could be fatal for your pet

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A leading veterinary charity has named seven things in the home that could be fatal when within paws’ reach.

PDSA vets, together with PDSA Pet Insurance, are reminding pet owners of the surprising household items and features that can create a harmful environment. From knowing the dangers of an open bin or window, to not storing items away, the leading vet charity has identified seven things around our homes which can see pet owners unintentionally putting their furry friends at risk.

PDSA Vet Gemma Renwick said, “With spring in the air, many pet owners are sprucing up their homes as they prepare for their annual spring clean. This is the perfect opportunity to reassess how and where things around our homes are stored or left. Pets are curious creatures, and unfortunately this can sometimes lead them into trouble. To ensure your home is as safe as it is clean this spring, here are seven common hazards that may be putting your pet in danger.”

Cleaning products

Pets are inquisitive by nature and love to explore anything unusual they may find lying around. Make sure you put any cleaning products away carefully, storing them well out of reach, just as you would for young children.

There are plenty of pet-safe cleaning products available to buy including carpet shampoo, stain removers, and laundry detergent, just remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as many cleaning products will need to be diluted with water first. As pet owners, this is a particularly important step to take to the risk to your pet. After you’ve used a cleaning product, always wipe down the area with clean water to remove any excess product that may otherwise linger.

Alcohol

We may not always pay much attention to where items that include alcohol are stored – but what can be safe for pet owners can be a serious danger to our furry friends. It’s not just alcoholic beverages that should be kept out of paws’ reach too – take care with any items that contain traces of alcohol, including mouthwash, perfume, aftershave, and glue.

Batteries

Batteries are found across the home, from TV remotes to car keys, so there’s ample opportunity for pets to get into trouble! Although they’re necessary for household items to work, batteries can be very dangerous when ingested or chewed by pets as they contain strong acids. When a battery is punctured or swallowed, the acidic material can leak out and cause burns to a pet’s mouth, throat, and stomach, as well as causing difficulty breathing and swallowing.

Dustbins

We all know pets love the smell of food – especially dogs – which can make our dustbins enticing places to explore. Even if our furry friends enjoy a proper portion size, many still enjoy digging through the trash for an extra portion. Mouldy food, discarded foil, skewers, and other waste items can cause obstructions and damage the gut – as well as being potentially toxic to our pets. To avoid any temptation, always make sure bins are sealed, emptied regularly, and can’t be easily knocked over.

Vapes and E-Cigarettes

We are all aware of the risks of passive smoking to people, but it can be equally as damaging to our pets’ health too. Second-hand smoke contains over 5,000 different chemicals , which are highly toxic to pets, even in small amounts. This is also true for vapes and e-cigarettes, which have grown in popularity. Just like in cigarettes, most vaping liquids contain nicotine – sometimes even more so than cigarettes.

As nicotine is very toxic to our pets, it’s important to keep them well away from it. These are also more likely to be left lying around – leaving pets at risk of cuts from chewing the glass vials.  Always ensure these are kept out of reach and avoid smoking cigarettes of any kind around your furry friend.

Open windows

As the weather gets warmer, be careful not to leave windows open that your four-legged friend could jump or fall out of. Open windows can be enticing to cats, dogs and other small pets, which may lead to danger – particularly if the window isn’t on the ground floor. Make sure your pet can’t access a room with an open window or consider installing safety screens so that your furry family member can enjoy the fresh air without potentially injuring themselves by jumping outside. 

Pet treatments

Remember that just like pet owners, all animals are different, so make sure that if your pet is unwell, you’re using the right treatment and dosage for your furry friend’s species and weight. Always read and the follow the instructions supplied with a treatment – and never use medication that isn’t prescribed by your vet. The same is also true for any medication you or a family member may be taking – never attempt to treat your pets with anything made for a human, unless prescribed by your vet, and ensure these too are stored safely away.

This is a guest post by PDSA. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

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