Keep Your Pets Safe: A Guide For Poison Proofing Your Home

Keep Your Pets Safe: A Guide For Poison Proofing Your Home

We humans may like to indulge with the occasional chocolate bar or relax with a glass of wine, but did you know that these tasty treats are big no-no’s for the furrier members of our families?

Sunday kicked off the 55th anniversary of National Animal Poison Prevention Week, a week dedicated to promoting home and community safety by raising awareness about the dangers of poisoning and providing poison prevention education.

Accidental pet poisoning is more common than you might think: Last year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center responded to over 180,639 cases where pets were exposed to possibly harmful substances easily found in the home!

Here at PawBoost, we know that home safety doesn’t end with planning for our human family members. So make sure you’re prepared for the unthinkable by learning what substances may be poisonous to your pets and best practices for keeping these dangerous toxins out of their reach.

Knowledge Is Power

Know the Top Pet Toxins Found in the Home and How to Keep Them Out of Reach

As we prepare for Spring, there is no better time to do a deep clean of the house and either remove or safely store away substances that could be harmful to your pets.

Below we’ve assembled a list of common substances that top veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline recommend keeping away from pets, broken out by where you might find them in your home.

Do you have any of these lying around? Check out the tips below each list to discover how you can best protect your furry loved ones by poison proofing your home.

Let’s start in the kitchen.

Kitchen

Which substances are potentially dangerous to pets?

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (sugar-free chewing gum)
  • Grapes/raisins/currants
  • Caffeine (coffee, tea)
  • Raw/undercooked meat, eggs and bones and fatty scraps
  • Onions/garlic/chives
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Unbaked yeast bread dough
  • Alcohol
  • Table salt

How do I poison proof my kitchen?

1.     Keep all food substances that may be harmful to pets safely stowed in cabinets well out of their reach.

2.     If you only have cabinets or pantries that are easily accessible to your pets for storage, be sure to place the food in airtight/locked containers and/or use locks or other fasteners to securely close your pantry and cabinet doors.

3.     Promptly dispose of any scraps or leftover food particles that may be harmful if ingested by your pet in a securely locked garbage bin either in your kitchen or outside of the home. 

4.     Put all roach and bug traps out of the reach of prying noses and paws and place any rodent bait in a tamper-resistant station, if possible.

Bathroom

Which substances are potentially dangerous to pets?

  • Prescription medications for humans, including: heart medications, antidepressants, inhalers, ADD/ADHA medications, etc.
  • Over-the-counter medications for humans, including: acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol), ibuprofen, vitamins, caffeine pills, cough/cold/nasal decongestant medications, Kaopectate, and Pepto Bismol
  • Cleaning agents, including: drain and toilet cleaners, ammonia, bleach, lime, and rust removers
  • Some cosmetics/personal care products, including: colognes, deodorants, talcum powder, moisturizers and topical creams, lipsticks, and mascara
    • Note: For the most part, cosmetics and other personal care items will not cause extreme harm to your furry family members if ingested, but some of the plastics and shapes of the product tubing can cause body obstruction if swallowed and are unable to pass through the gastrointestinal tract.

How do I poison proof my bathroom?

1.     The Pet Poison Hotline recommends keeping all medications, such as over-the-counter and prescription pills; inhalers; and dietary supplements, safely locked up in secure cupboards that cannot be easily opened by pets. Do not leave any medications on countertops or tables and do not keep them in plastic zippered bags, as pets can easily chew through these.

2.     Never medicate your pets with products intended for human consumption without first consulting your veterinarian, as some common human medication are extremely poisonous to pets if ingested.

3.     If your pet requires prescription medications, always double check the label and confirm you are giving your pet the correct medicine as well as the proper dosage. Also be sure to store any of your prescription medications separate from your pet’s medications so you can best ensure that you will not unintentionally give your pet any human medications.

4.     Close toilet lids after each use to keep pets from drinking the water, especially if the water contains automatic chemical tank or bowl treatments.

5.     Keep pets out of the way/room while you are cleaning and make sure you do not leave any open cleaning products on the floor after you are done.

Laundry

Which substances are potentially dangerous to pets?

  • Fabric Softener
  • Bleach
  • Detergent (liquid or pacs)
  • Dryer sheets
  • Carpet and fabric cleaners and fresheners
  • Grout sealers

How do I poison proof my laundry room?

1.     Ensure that the lids on all detergents and cleaning products are securely closed and then store all products in containers that are tightly fastened and/or out of the reach of your pets.

2.     Safely dispose of all used fabric softener sheets and detergent pacs in a secured garbage bin immediately after use.

Living Room

Which substances are potentially dangerous to pets?

  • Some household plants, including: kalanchoe, diffenbachia, lilies, cycad/sago palm, among others
  • Liquid potpourri
  • Batteries, cords and devices such as remote controls and cell phones
  • Cigarettes and nicotine patches

How do I poison proof my living room?

1.     Know the types of household plants that may cause sickness or severe harm to your pet if ingested and keep them off floor locations where your pets may consider them a savory snack. Learn more about which plants may be unsafe to keep in your home by consulting Pet Poison Hotline’s Top 10 Poisonous Plants list.

2.     Either find a place out of your pet’s reach/access or use a lockable container to store your remote control and other devices with lithium batteries as your furry family members may find these types of products fun to chew.

3.     If you’re a smoker: Before, during, and after any smoking sessions inside the home – be sure to keep all ashtrays out of reach of any curious noses or paws. Even ingesting a little nicotine can be dangerous to your pet!

Garage

Which substances are potentially dangerous to pets?

  • Ice melt products
  • Antifreeze
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Gasoline and kerosene
  • Grub and snail bait
  • Rodenticides
  • Firecrackers
  • Mothballs
  • Paint
  • Glue

How do I poison proof my garage?

1.     Ensure that all bags for fertilizers, rodenticides, ice melt products, grub and snail bait, etc. are properly resealed after each use and then stored in a plastic bin with a lid that can be securely and tightly fastened.

2.     Antifreezes can taste sweet to your pets, so be sure to clean up any spills immediately and keep all fluids stored well out of reach of your four-legged friends.

3.     According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mothballs should be stored in containers and hung well out of the reach/accessibility of pets.

For more information on how to protect your fur babies from ingesting potentially poisonous substances, how to identity symptoms of pet poisoning, and how to treat your pet if these substances are ingested, please visit:

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center:  http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

Pet Poison Hotline: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/

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