Our pets are our best friends, so we want to keep them safe. Home is a sanctuary for both us and our pet companions. It is important that we do what we can to maintain a safe environment. While you know to keep certain animals in cages and the door closed, there are other dangers you should be aware of.
Properly maintaining your home and the surrounding area can do wonders to keep your furry friends safe and secure. It won’t take long to create an animal-friendly home, and the rewards are more than worth it. Heed these tips for a happy and healthy pet:
Be Cautious With Pesticides
Your yard is your pet’s haven, so you want to ensure that your lawn care does not endanger their health. If you use pesticides in your yard or garden, you will want to make sure that they are safe for pets. Further, your pesticides should include ingredients that help to keep fleas and ticks at bay.
Fleas and ticks waste no time jumping onto your pet’s fur. Once they do, they are easily tracked into the home, where they can further harm you and your pets. Female fleas lay up to 2,000 eggs each, and an invasion like that can be dangerous. Flea bites can lead to serious diseases such as typhus or cat-scratch fever. Ticks can cause Lyme disease and transmit other diseases like babesiosis.
This is why it’s essential to use pesticides with flea and tick control. Pesticides that will keep your lawn free of these include Bifen IT or any pesticide that includes Permethrin-10. These pesticides will kill fleas and ticks and are safe for your pets.
On the other side of the coin, there are many pesticides that you want to avoid like the plague if you have a pet. Some of these harmful pesticides include Nudrin, Spectracide, and Phosdrin, which are intended for more industrial needs and are dangerous when inhaled. It is essential that you properly store any chemicals, so they are out of reach of your pet. If you ever notice a spill or leak, quickly get it cleaned up before your pet finds it.
Pressure-Wash Your Home
If you have not invested in a good pressure washer, then now would be the time. There are many benefits to pressure-washing your home, deck, and patio. Keeping the outside of your house stain-free bolsters your curb appeal, increases your home’s value, and prevents possible maintenance problems down the road.
When it comes to the safety of you and your pets, pressures washing your property could also eliminate dangerous bacteria. Pressure washers remove contaminants that that can pile up on your exterior walls, including dirt and harmful mold.
Pets that are exposed to mold can face severe adverse effects including respiratory and digestive issues, allergic reactions, and can even tremors and seizures. These dangers can lurk in your backyard and within your home as well. Indoors, mold is often found in areas where heating and air conditioning vents may be blocked, as well as in humid places like your bathroom or laundry room.
To alleviate this issue inside your home, clean moldy areas with vinegar or baking soda and ensure that all ventilation systems are working properly. If you are unsure if your home is harboring mold, it may be worth paying for a mold inspection so you can take action as soon as possible.
Safety With Guests
Although your pets may absolutely adore you, they might get skittish when new people come around. If you are throwing a party with many new strangers in attendance, you will want to take extra precautions to ensure that your pets remain safe. If you know that they are frightful of new people, consider keeping them in a separate room during your party — especially during particularly exuberant celebrations, like Halloween. Even if your pets are OK with strangers, you will still want to take precautions.
Many of the most common party foods can be dangerous for pets. Grapes, alcohol, chocolate, avocados, and many varieties of nuts to name a few. Keep these and any foods with large bones away from pets and have some pet treats on hand in case they get hungry during the festivities. Be proactive by letting every guest know that you have a pet and let them know that they should not feed them.
While playing fun music may be great at parties, you might also be mindful of how loud your music gets, as big bangs and sudden sounds may spook your pet. If you put your pet in a separate room, keeping the television on in that room may help distract them. It also wouldn’t hurt to appoint a family member who is less involved in the event as a guardian to keep an eye on the pet during the festivities.
Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away
The odds are that when you leave for work, your pet stays home. While you are away, you will want to take precautions to ensure that they remain safe. First is creating a comfortable environment. Set the thermostat to a hospitable temperature, especially during frigid winter nights and sweltering summer days. Also, make sure that the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are installed and working properly so you or a neighbor can be alerted during an emergency.
You also want to make sure that your home is secure and that your pet cannot get into any mischief. Some animals may try to chew through electrical cords, hurting themselves and your electronics in the process. To make the cords more chew-proof, wrap them in a plastic conduit, which can be found at a local hardware store.
Use technology to your advantage by setting up interactive pet cameras around the home. While you are away, you can keep an eye on your pets with an app on your phone. You might also consider a GPS collar that can notify you if your pet leaves the premises and even allow you to track them so you or a neighbor can bring them back home.
Dangers of Pill Bottles
If you use medication on a regular basis, then you need to take extra steps to ensure that it is out of the way of your pets. All pets have medication specific to their species, and just about any human medicines, especially when consumed in large quantities, could be deadly. Some of the most dangerous human medications are also some of the most common, including ibuprofen, Adderall, Clonazepam, and Tylenol, among others.
Pets are often attracted to these medications because many of them have a sweet outer coating many animals find appealing. When digested, these pills can cause a multitude of issues including ulcers, disorientation, tremors, fatigue, and collapse. Tylenol, for example, can damage your animal’s red blood cell count, which limits their oxygen intake. All of these issues can be made worse if you are not home to assist.
Always keep pill bottles secured and closed in areas where your pets cannot reach. Be extra diligent in ridding the home of old and expired pill bottles. Throwing these bottles out may not be enough — pets can often retrieve them from the garbage can. One way to truly eliminate the threat is to shred your old bottles. Doing so will reduce this danger and, in the process, destroy the labels which could be full of personal information.
Avoid Other Chewable Hazards
In addition to prescription pills, there are a lot of other everyday items that you might not realize can be dangerous to a dog. For one, make sure to keep your garbage can covered. Old food, potentially dangerous chemicals, and indigestible trash like tin foil and plastic bags could harm your pet, so keep the trash covered.
Here are some other important considerations to keep in mind:
- Be aware that certain house plants can also be dangerous for dogs and cats including lilies, tulips, chrysanthemum, and azaleas. The toxins within them can cause harm, including kidney failure.
- Keep your laundry and shoes in closed drawers, as pets can chew on them and choke on the buttons and zippers. If you have any sewing equipment, keep that secure as well because some pets can choke on the string or cut themselves with the needles.
- Just because you’ve placed dangerous items away in the cupboard doesn’t necessarily mean they are out of reach. You can secure cabinets and drawers that house potentially dangerous materials with childproof latches that animals cannot manipulate.
- Always keep your toilet seats down. While you may see it happen in the movies, smaller animals could drown while trying to reach into the toilet and drinking the water can expose them to harmful chemicals.
A good way to keep your pets from chewing on the wrong things is to supply them with healthy chew toys. Giving your pet some chewable distractions can keep them (and your furniture) safe from harm.
As pet owners, we all want the best for our pets, so be proactive. Hide dangerous chemicals, keep them comfortable during parties, and make the proper precautions while you are away. Your furry friend will be forever grateful.