Who can resist puppy dog eyes or happy kitten purrs? Having an animal in your life means having a fuzzy, happy little family member to bring happiness to your life every day.The hardest part as a pet owner is to see your fur-children get hurt in any way. For pets who are hurt or in pain the issue can go from bad to worse very quickly since they aren't able to tell us outright when things hurt and why. For this reason it's extremely important to understand the most common hazards to your pet and take the proper precautions to keep your pet safe.
ChemicalsAnimals are very curious creatures and tend to find themselves in trouble for their nosey tendencies. There are many household chemicals that have the potential to severely harm your animal. Cats and dogs use their mouths as one of their main forms of testing their surroundings. This can cause major issues for chemicals left around your pet. Some chemicals only take a few laps to cause serious harm. For smaller animals especially, small amounts are cause for concern. From household cleaners to pool chemicals these substances must be carefully watched and kept away from your pet. For dogs that enjoy a dip in the family pool, be sure to take the steps necessary to minimize your pet's exposure to swimming pool chemicals or keep them away from the pool altogether. Remember to keep your pet out of the garage, keep cleaners locked and in a high cupboard, and always supervise your pet. Some other common chemicals to keep locked and kept away from your pet are:
- Any cleaning chemical
- De-icing salts
- Rat poison
PlantsPlants are a commonly overlooked hazard in the home. After all, many plants are fine for animals to be around. They tend to spend a ton of time outside without issue, so why would a plant be of concern? The truth is that some common plants are hazardous to your pet. There are more than 700 plants that have been identified as producing physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals. These dangerous plants cause a variety of reactions in animals from mild nausea to death. Aloe, Azaleas, and Lilies are all common plants that need to stay far away from your animal. If you suspect your animal has ingested any of these plants, contact your veterinarian right away.
TravellingWe all know a dog (probably not as many cats) that loves hearing the magic words, "Who wants to go for a ride?!" Whether it's the idea of going somewhere new or perhaps putting their head out of the window and smelling all the new smells, something makes dogs go crazy at the idea of getting in the car. Despite the enthusiasm, there are many aspects of travelling with your pet that can be hazardous. Even the act of putting their head out of the window can harm their ears or eyes and adds to the possibility of them falling out of the window. Putting your dog in the bed of your truck or leaving them in a hot car are dangerous habits that you and your pet should stay away from. Practice safe travelling tips with your pet like keeping them microchipped and tagged in case they run away while you are travelling with them, keep them in a crate, and train them to never ever jump out of the car without your permission.
InjuryAnother common hazard to your pet is the threat of an injury. This is a pretty broad term, but the injuries are pretty generalized. Lacerations, bite wounds, torn nails, bug bites, abrasions, and punctures are all common injuries that can affect your pet. Truthfully, it's a pretty common occurrence for small injuries to happen. The solution to these injuries is just to be prepared on how to treat your animal when it is injured in a small way that doesn't require veterinary care. If you are ever unsure or worried about an injury you should always seek out your veterinarian, but in the mean time you can set up an emergency safety net for when your pet is hurt. Learn how to give your animal CPR, keep a first-aid kit containing basic necessities, and keep your vet on speed dial.
ChewingChewing is a term usually said in reference to puppy behavior. Dogs love to chew and it is especially satisfying for teething puppies. But is also a need ingrained in many dogs, so it can be a difficult habit to break for many dogs. Usually the chewing issue has more of a negative effect on the chewed and not the chewer, but many objects that your pet chews on can cause serious injury. Things like remotes, leather, socks, sticks, bones, rawhide bones, and many others are common items causing serious problems for pets. Cats are not exempt from this issue, either. Yarn and string are common objects that cats can choke on and cause intestinal blockage. Be sure to stop the chewing habit by offering a safe alternative for them to chew on and play with and keep commonly chewed items away from their reach. For our furry family members it is best to be aware of the common hazards that could plague your pet and know how to prevent and treat them. Luckily, keeping our fur-children safe is a top priority for many pet owners. Although there are many accidents we can't avoid, it's best to be aware of the things that we can avoid in order to keep their tails wagging and faces smiling.
Chelsy Ranard Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in beautiful Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She is passionate about animal rights, bad television, and white wine. She is a volunteer at Simply Cats in Boise.