by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society
Our homes, gardens and yards are full of items that can be potentially hazardous to our four-legged family members, and as part of our family it makes it our responsibility to keep them safe. As we prepare for the warmer summer months ahead it’s a good time to look around our homes and do a little “safety check.”
Little things laying around like coins, batteries, jewelry, paper clips, rubber bands, buttons, string and more seem very harmless to us, but they could become a choking hazard to your pets. Plastic grocery bags can easily become a suffocation hazard to those curious cats who love to climb in them and play.
Medications, cleaning supplies, plant food and other things found in cabinets could potentially be fatal. The garbage can is another danger, as it could contain something that smells good to your pet but in reality isn’t good for them at all, especially if it is moldy or spoiled food.
Electrical cords should be kept where pets can’t get to them, perhaps behind furniture or taped to the walls, as too many times we’ve heard of pets biting through and ending up with an electrical jolt or worse.
There are also a number of foods that can make your pet sick. They include, but are not limited to, grapes, mushrooms, raw meat, salt, meat bones, chewing gum or candy, fat trimmings, avocados, artificial sweeteners, garlic, onion, leeks, chives, yeast dough, alcohol and coffee. Most of these foods result in upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea, which will probably mean a trip to your vet. Some of these foods could lead to death soon after being ingested. You can find a complete list of foods that can make your pets sick at www.pets.webmd.com and other pet care websites.
Your yard and garden also contains items that can be potentially deadly. Synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and certain mulches all contain ingredients that can make your pet very sick or worse. There are also a variety of plants and flowers toxic for your pets. A few of them include lilies, lily of the valley, oleander, foxglove, sago palms, azaleas, rhododendrons, tulips, English ivy, hibiscus and hydrangea. A complete list can be found online at www.pets.webmd.com.
Animals give us so much, including their unconditional love. In exchange, it’s our job to take care of them and make sure no harm comes to them. The investment and time you take to make sure your home and yard are safe is easily worth the benefits you’ll receive from your pet.