How to Pet Proof Your House

By Dr. Karen Farnan, Veterinarian

Before bringing a new puppy, kitten or other new addition into your home, you want to make sure that it is safe for the new furry family member.

Here are some things to watch out for:

  1. Cleaning products can cause skin or stomach irritation or worse. Please store them out of reach and read labels carefully. Laundry and dishwasher pods are especially toxic!
  2. Medications, whether for the pet or for the humans of the house should be stored out of reach. If your pet takes a whole bottle of their medication because they like the taste, serious toxicity may occur. Human drugs, whether prescription or recreational can be very toxic as well.
  3. Expanding Polyurethane glues such as Kwik Foam and Gorilla Glue cause severe GI obstruction and irritation if ingested; they expand to fill the whole stomach and dry hard as rock!
  4. Many plants can be toxic. Before getting any house plant, check the ASPCA Animal Poison Control website which lists safe and toxic ones.
  5. Strings of any type, from sewing thread to anything larger are quite appealing to cats and can get stuck in the stomach and intestines and cut through to cause life threatening peritonitis! So always keep these stored in a very secure place, as cats love to eat them. Elastic hair ties are another common type of foreign body requiring surgery.
  6. Other things dogs like to eat may cause intestinal obstruction are many: socks, blankets, other fabric items, dog toys, kids toys, etc., etc. So, choose dog toys carefully and keep other items put away when not in use. Batteries, pennies, and moth balls are toxic as well.
  7. Chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, antifreeze, paints, paint removers/solvents etc. are poisonous. Be sure to store them out of reach and read labels carefully.
  8. Electric cords will cause electrocution if chewed; make sure to supervise your pets and hide, unplug, or put bitter apple on the cords if your pet is interested in them.

So, whether it’s a new pet or a longtime loyal friend, keep them safe and healthy. If you have any problems, the team at Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital is always here to help you.

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