You’ll see a lot of pet guides this time of the year focusing on safety around holiday decorations and different types of holiday food. As important as this information is, you need to remember that pet safety should be a year-round priority.
There are a lot of ways a pet can be seriously injured in your home. Here are some tips to ensure your pet stays safe and happy.
Info For Pet Parents: Home Safety For Your Dogs And Cats
If you’re a pet parent, you no doubt want to do everything you can to protect the health of your beloved companion. But your furry friend faces a lot of dangers every day that you might not be aware of.
Just because dogs and cats might be indoor pets, that doesn’t mean they don’t face risks inside your home. Seemingly harmless items can sometimes cause big problems. It’s important to try and identify these dangers and remove them or keep them out of reach whenever possible.
One of the biggest dangers facing dogs and cats is food. If a dog, for example, happens to bite into an onion, that could lead to big health issues. Grapes might be healthy for humans, but they’re toxic to dogs. If your dog consumes a lot of them, that could lead to kidney failure.1
Many house plants can also pose a risk. Cats are very attracted to lilies, for example. If your cat eats one, that could cause kidney problems.2
What can cats eat? They can eat certain human foods. Give them occasional treats to keep their mind and their teeth away from dangerous plants.
Different Areas Of The Home Pose Different Kinds Of Dangers
Each part of your home carries its own particular type of risk for pets. But if you know the dangers, you can take steps to minimize them. Here are just a few examples.
- The garage – If you have a home with an attached garage, you should always make an effort to keep the door closed. A curious cat or dog could easily be injured by a sharp tool, or choke on a loose screw found in the garage. Or your pet could accidentally ingest a harmful chemical.
- The bathroom – If possible, deny your pet access to the bathroom. If your furry friend gets hold of medicine you’re taking, it could be fatal. They may also be able to get into soaps and cleaning chemicals. If you chose to allow your pet in the bathroom, keep dangerous items stored up high or locked away in a cabinet.
- The kitchen – This is arguably the most dangerous part of the home for a pet. There are several types of foods that are toxic to dogs and cats. In addition, the garbage can is often irresistible to a hungry pet. Keep all food out of reach, and keep the garbage can in the closet if you can.
- The laundry room – A small pet could easily get behind – or even inside – your washer or dryer. Never start either appliance without making sure your pet isn’t anywhere around. Close the doors to the washer and dryer when you’re not using them and store soaps out of reach.
- The balcony – There’s probably no need for your dog or cat to be near the balcony – especially when you’re not home. Use a small gate to block access to this part of your home to prevent a possible fall.3
Basic Care For Your Pets: Healthy Food, Fresh Water, And Adequate Sleeping Areas
There are a few simple things every pet parent should know when taking care of animals. Whether you bring home a rescue dog, you have service animals in your home, or you have multiple cats, basic pet care is vital to the health of your furry family members.
Dogs, for example, will usually need about three or four meals a day when they’re puppies. They also need access to clean water. If you’re crate training a puppy, check-in several times a day to make sure they have plenty of food and water. A collar and a microchip will also be needed just in case your pup gets away.4
Cats should be kept indoors at all times if possible. That will help keep them protected from predators or other outside dangers. It will also give you comfort knowing your kitty is safe and sound. You’ll need to give them a lot of toys to keep them occupied indoors and keep their litter boxes clean.
Veterinary care is also vital for both cats and dogs. They need to get their vaccinations on schedule and have regular exams. Your vet will be able to spot minor health issues before they turn into major problems.
Know When To Take Your Pet To A Veterinary Clinic
No matter how conscientious you are about making your home as safe as possible for your pets, accidents can still happen. A dog might eat something they shouldn’t, or a cat can suffer an injury jumping from one place to another. If you have any reason to believe something’s wrong, get to your vet as soon as you can.
Animals will typically try to hide any sort of weakness, such as an illness or an injury. This is instinctual behavior. Their wild ancestors had to do this in order to protect themselves from predators or to keep from being shunned by their pack.5 There are, however, some things to watch for that might indicate a problem.
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive crying or whining
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Abdominal bloating
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
- Strange lumps or bumps
- Excessive scratching, bald patches6
Recognizing the signs of an illness or injury will help you get your pet the care they need to get back to normal as fast as possible.
Keep Your Pets Safe No Matter Where They May Be
Hopefully, you will take the steps needed in order to keep your pet safe in your home. But you should also do what you can to make sure
your cat or dog stays healthy outside as well.
Always be alert when training your dog, or when you take them to one of your local dog parks. Even a tame dog might attack your pet and cause a major injury. If you have to take your cat to the vet, make sure the carrier is completely secure before you leave your home.
Taking these kinds of precautions will give you an increased level of confidence that you’re doing all you can to keep your pets healthy and happy to the best of your ability.