With nice weather and sunshine, people tend to find the urge to spring clean. But more often than not, cleaning leads to finding chemicals, rat poisons, paints, and a variety of other items they didn’t know they had that can be hazardous to pets.
Whether you’re cleaning or not, every home has some form of everyday items and substances that can be harmful and even fatal to pets. Knowing and being aware of what is in your house, shop, garage or any other building on your property is the first step to protecting your pet’s health.
Several foods such as: coffee grounds, fatty foods, tea, chocolate, avocado, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes/raisins, salt, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, and any products containing xylitol (an artificial sweetener) can all be harmful and potentially deadly to pets. It is best not to keep them out in the open or in places where your pets can get into.
Typically, most indoor cleaning products can be used safely around pets, but it is best to always read the label and follow label directions. Cleaning products should also always be kept in their original containers and in a secure cabinet where pets cannot get into.
Just like with cleaning products, insecticides should be used as the label directs. For example, if a flea and tick product says for dogs only, do not use it on cats or other species.
The most common form of poison that people think of is rat poisons. Rodenticides should be only be placed in areas that are absolutely inaccessible to pets. Ingestion of rat poisons and other rodenticides can lead to serious or life-threatening illnesses. Most new types of poisons have no known antidote and can be of danger to animals and people.
Although many prescription drugs are used in both animal and human medicine, that doesn’t mean all of them are safe for your pet. You should never give your pets any human medication, over the counter included, unless directed by your veterinarian. Medications should be tightly secured and stored out of reach of any pet in your house. Some medications of higher risk than others are: NSAIDs(ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen), Tylenol, vitamins/diet pills, cold medicines, antihistamines, prescription drugs, and antidepressants.
Other household items
Other household items that can pose a threat to your pets are probably things you wouldn’t quite think could cause them to be sick. Items such as toothpaste, soaps, sunscreens, and liquid potpourri can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset. Moth balls, tobacco products, and batteries can lead to seizures, liver, kidney, and blood cell damage, digestive tract irritation, and even death.
Garage and Yard
Antifreeze and coolants containing ethylene glycol can be fatal to pets, regardless of how much is ingested. Propylene glycol containing ones can still be quite harmful and should be cleaned up and stored properly. Other chemicals that may be stored in the garage such as fertilizers, ice melting products, gasoline, weed killers, and insecticides, all pose problems to pets and should be stored tightly in a safe place out of access to pets. If you treat your lawn with any kind of chemical treatment, pets should be kept off it according to package directions. Granules or wet chemicals can stick to your pets fur and when licked off may cause a variety of problems.
Polyurethane adhesives, or glue, can pose a larger threat to your pet than you may think. Glues containing diphenylmethane diisocyanate (often abbreviated as MDI), can form gastrointestinal masses of glue within minutes of ingestion.
Paint thinners, mineral spirits, and other solvents can lead to severe burns if ingested or comes in contact with skin, and can also lead to severe irritation. Most common household latex paints will only lead to mild upset stomachs, but artist’s paints may contain heavy metals and can become harmful upon ingestion or inhalation.
Ways to keep your pets safe: