1 ALL CANDY, INCLUDING WRAPPERS
Chocolate is famously bad for pets, but did you know that almost all candy and chewing gum are dangerous? It isn’t the sugar that is the main problem – it’s the wrapper! To animals, candy wrappers look just as delicious as actual candy, and they can tear the esophagus or intestines of your pet.
2 BITE-SIZE TOYS
Your pet doesn’t know that the LEGOs strewn about the floor aren’t for them! They’ll try to play with them or, worse, eat them. Not only will this be traumatic for your kid, but your pet could choke! To prevent this hazard, make sure your kid’s toys are packed away. Tip: If your child is playing with a lot of small pieces, use a baby gate to keep your pet away from the toy buffet.
3 COFFEE AND CAFFEINE
You’re probably not serving your pet coffee in the morning, but animals are sneaky. When you look away while your cup is on the table, anything can happen! Coffee and caffeine are high on the ASPCA’s list of people foods to avoid feeding your pet because when they’re ingested they can cause vomiting, excessive thirst, hyperactivity, seizures and even death. Make sure your hot mugs are out of reach when they’re not in your hand!
4 INSECTICIDES AND FERTILIZER
When the weather is warm, your pet probably loves to be outside as much as you do. However, many of the tools you use to make your yard beautiful smell like a snack to animals. Plant food containing insecticides can cause diarrhea, vomiting, shock and even death. It’s also a good idea to read fertilizer labels carefully and avoid fertilizers that contain cocoa, blood or bone meal. Bone meal is crushed up bone from cattle or fish sources, so it smells like a meal to pets, especially dogs. Ingestion of these fertilizers can cause severe pancreatitis, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea or even organ failure. Before you let your pet loose in the yard, pet-proof it!
5 FABRIC SOFTENER SHEETS
If your cat loves to roll around in clean laundry, skip the fabric softener sheets! Fabric softener contains products known as cationics, which can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation (especially before they’re used). The effects include appetite loss, oral burns and – in extreme cases – ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract. While all animals are susceptible, cats are especially sensitive to cationics. Tip: Instead of fabric softener sheets, use vinegar!
6 CLEANING PRODUCTS
While most cleaning products are considered safe for pets if used properly, large amounts can be very dangerous. If you follow the instructions you’ll generally be okay, but just remember that you don’t want your dog or cat to be licking surfaces covered in things like bleach or Windex. If ingested in a high concentration, household cleaners can cause upset stomach, drooling, vomiting or diarrhea. If you’d rather avoid store-bought cleaners altogether, try one of these safer, eco-friendly options!
7 SELF-CLEANING CYCLES
Self-cleaning ovens are really convenient and easy to use, but if you have a pet bird, you need to be careful! Birds can be very sensitive to the fumes emitted during the cycle. Before starting the cycle, be sure to move your bird to a well-ventilated room away from the oven.