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How to Pet Proof Your House

2021-12-31Updated: 2016-12-31 Nolan River Animal Hospital

Pets are naturally inquisitive, which can often lead to serious injury. Here are some tips on how you can make your house safer.

That's shocking -Many animals love to chew. Keep electrical wires out of reach, or use a pet-repellent spray.

They'd die for some chocolate - Chocolate can be dangerous. It contains theobromine, a powerful stimulant that is toxic to pets. Sweets, cakes and cookies can also upset an animal's G.I. tract and lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

Common household killers -Cleaning agents, bleach, ammonia, disinfectants, drain cleaner, oven cleaner, paint, gasoline, rat poison. Keep them locked up.

Check the antifreeze - Pets are attracted to the odor and sweet taste of antifreeze. Store it high and tightly sealed, wiping up any spills on the garage floor. Window-washing solution also contains antifreeze. Remember, engine warmth promotes catnaps, so honk your horn to wake pets under the hood.

Killer house plants - Poisonous plants include lilies, philodendron, dieffenbachia, elephant ear, eucalyptus, spider plants, azalea, ivy, amaryllis, pyracantha, oleander, boxwood, Jerusalem Cherry and plant bulbs.

Keep off the grass - If you treat your lawn with chemicals, keep pets away. Read and follow label directions carefully.

It fit yesterday - Collars and harnesses can be rapidly outgrown, leading to serious wounds.

Take care of personal care items and medications - Cosmetics, shampoos, skin creams, hair "perm" solutions, depilatories, suntan lotions, sleeping pills, antihistamines, aspirin and acetaminophen can all be lethal to pets.

It's not a toy - Don't leave plastic bags out. Inquisitive animals can suffocate.

The heat is on - Watch out for hot irons, coffee pots and space heaters.

A dip tip - Keep covers on hot tubs and swimming pools. Pets can fall in and not be able to get out.

'Tis the season - Keep holly, mistletoe and especially Christmas tree tinsel out of reach.

Cozy up - Always use a fireplace screen.

Do you eat with that mouth? - Rule of thumb: If any or all of something will fit in a mouth, it's dangerous. Watch out for cigarette butts, rubber bands, balloons, sewing needles, thread, string, ribbons and, yes, even pantyhose. Because what goes in must come out, often via surgery.