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Household Hazards

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Hey there folks. We were a little bored this week, so we decided to scare up a bit of a scare! What better than to tell you a whole bunch of stuff you should worry about, while us scaremongers get to look clever for telling it?! So, let's poke around your home - just a little.

By far the most common cause of poisoning in dogs and cats is human medication, which they eat because the stuff has not been safely stored away. Cats LOVE chasing pill bottles and will often gobble up tablets that spill out on the floor. Well, take note:  paracetamol is highly toxic to cats and ibuprofen can cause kidney damage to both cats and dogs if eaten at high enough doses. It probably goes without saying, but ALWAYS call your vet if you suspect your pet has ingested any of your medications.

And then there's your malevolent houseplants! Some can be downright dangerous to cats, and members of the lily family can cause fatal renal failure if not treated quickly; if you own a cat, remember to never have lilies around because even the pollen is poisonous! Azaleas, rhododendrons, sago palms, kalanchoes and schefflera plants are also all toxic to cats! And yes, cats do like eating plants, so instead of these dangerous seductresses, take out the barley grass or catnip to chew on. Yum!

Bleaches, disinfectants and detergents - keep them all safely packed away because they can cause serious chemical burns and other problems for your pets. Antifreeze and rat poison are highly toxic to both cats and dogs (duh!). Oh, and cats are very sensitive to any product containing permethrins (insecticides, etc.) - these can be found in dog products for fleas and ticks, so NEVER use a product on your cat which is meant for dogs only! But it doesn't stop there! No sirrrreeee! You see, if your cat likes to sleep with your dog (shameful!), don't use products containing permethrin on your dog either because it could affect your cat! (Do note that Frontline is in fact safe for both species.)

And here's a few more tidbits:

  • Smoke, even from burning cooking, can be harmful to birds. They have delicate respiratory tracts and can be affected even by incense and fragrant candles. Teflon coated pots, irons and stoves can also release fumes harmful to them.
  • Macadamia nuts can cause muscle tremors if ingested in large quantities by dogs. Chocolate, grapes, raisins and products containing xylitol (found in gum) are also harmful if eaten in large enough amounts.
  • Toilet water treated with cleansing cakes is toxic if ingested by your cat - keep the lid down!

And you thought you only had to baby-proof your home... now you have to PET-PROOF it too! Have fun!

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