Poison Proof Your Home
By Oak Park Animal Hospital
August 19, 2014
Category: Pet Care
Tags: Poison   Pet Safety  

Our pets are curious and unpredictable, which makes poison proofing your home an essential part of owning a pet.  Taking simple steps such as making sure the plants in your home are non-toxic or storing your medications in secure areas will significantly reduce the chance that your pet will come in contact with a toxic substance.  

Your home may not seem like an accident waiting to happen, but to a curious dog or cat, dangers can be lurking around every corner.  When owning a pet, it is important to be alert to common household dangers, and how to avoid them.  Protect your pet this season by poison proofing your home—room by room. Your veterinarian in Oak Park is available to help you poison proof your home. 

The First Stop: Living/Family Room

If you keep plants in your home, especially your living room, learn about them.  Some common household plants may be toxic to pets, and not people.  For example, lilies are especially poisonous to cats, so it is important to quickly eliminate them from any bouquets.  The ingestion of just one or two petals can be fatal to a cat.  
Be sure to keep home fragrance products, such as simmering pots of liquid potpourri, well out of reach of your pets.  These products may cause chemical burns if ingested.  Additionally, don’t spray aerosols, or any heavily fragranced products around caged birds, as they are especially sensitive to airborne products.  Keep ashtrays and smoking cessation products such as nicotine chewing gum or patches out of reach as well.  Even cigarette butts contain enough nicotine to cause poisoning in pets.  

Next: Check the Kitchen

It is also important to beware of what human foods are poisonous to pets.  Watch out for raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, unbaked yeast bread dough, fatty foods, coffee and chocolate. The artificial sweetener, xylitol is also toxic.  More information about human foods that are toxic to pets can be found by contacting your Oak Park veterinarian.  
Keep garbage cans behind closed doors.  Trash and compost bins can contain many pet toxins such as cigarette butts, coffee grounds, moldy foods, and chicken or turkey bones.  In addition, keep alcoholic beverages out of reach.  Alcohol can cause low blood sugar in many pets.  

Don’t Forget the Bathroom

When in the bathroom, make sure you keep medications safely locked up in secure cabinets.  Do not leave them on countertops or tables or store them in plastic zippered bags, which are easily chewed through.  Never medicate your pets with human products without first contacting your veterinarian in Oak Park.  Some common human medications are extremely poisonous to pets.  
Always check the container before giving medication to your pet to make sure it is the correct medication, and correct dose.  Also, it is best to store your own medications in a separate cabinet than your pet’s medicine.  Keep your pet away from cleaning products and shut them out of the room while spraying bathroom cleaners or other products.  
Talk to your veterinarian in Oak Park for more information on how to poison proof your home inside and outside.  It is always important to take extra precautions when protecting your pet this season.