If you have pets in your home, then you also have a responsibility to protect your pets from household dangers. What many pet owners, unfortunately, don't realize is that common household items ranging from plants to foods can be toxic and poisonous to some pets. By having a better understanding of which seemingly innocent items can be dangerous to your pet and knowing the signs of poisoning to watch out for, you can protect your pet from these dangers.
Common Household Toxins and Poisons
There are a lot of items around your home and property that could be dangerous if your pet comes into contact with them. Foods are among the most dangerous, as pets can be sneaky and will often go out of their way to get into "human foods" when you're not looking. Chocolate is a prime example of food your pet should never consume; even small amounts can cause severe organ damage and failure in both dogs and cats.
Some houseplants can also be toxic to certain pets. The lily and the tulip are two common examples of plants that are toxic to cats; even a small amount of airborne pollen from one of these plants can be enough to fatally poison a cat, so it's best to keep these out of the house.
Furthermore, household cleaners and other chemicals (like antifreeze) are often ingested by pets with serious health consequences. Antifreeze is an especially dangerous chemical because it has a sweet smell that can be appealing to pets.
Tips for Protecting Your Pet
The best way to protect your pet from accidental toxin exposure or poisoning is to simply be aware of the potentially dangerous items in your home and to keep them out of your pets' reach. Always do a little research before bringing a new plant into the home and be sure to clean up any spills (such as antifreeze spills) in your garage or elsewhere on your property. When you take your pet for a walk, thoroughly wipe his or her paws off when you get home to remove any traces of chemicals or other toxins that your pet may have stepped on.
If your pet shows any signs of poisoning or toxin exposure, such as difficulty breathing or sudden lethargy, be sure to seek veterinary care from a local animal hospital as soon as possible. Every second counts, so find a 24-hour emergency clinic if needed!