Hidden Dangers for Pets at Home | Reader's Digest

Hidden Dangers for Pets at Home

Keep your pets safe year-round with these tips inspired by the experts at Petside.com and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

By Reader's Digest Editors
  • Loading

    1. Flowers and Plants

    Easter Lilies.
    While they may be pretty, lilies are one of the most poisonous plants for cats. Petside suggests keeping them out of the house (or better yet, purchase artificial flowers). Be aware of symptoms of lily poisoning which include vomiting, lethargy and loss of appetite. Call your vet as soon as possible if you think your pet has ingested lily. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says that without immediate care, cats who eat lily may develop life-threatening kidney failure within 36 to 72 hours of ingestion. Poinsettias.
    Holiday poinsettias are also dangerous for pets, though not as worrisome as the lily. This doesn’t mean your pet should eat this pretty red Christmas decoration, since doing so will likely lead to stomach pain and discomfort, including vomiting. The ASPCA’s compiled a searchable plant database of dangerous plants (listing over 400 items). Check it out if you are considering bringing a new plant home.

    2. Dangerous Foods

    Chocolate.
    Chocolate is a harmful food for pets. Petside says most adults know this, but that it’s adults’ responsibility to make sure children know, too. Keep little ones from giving chocolate to pets and do your best to supervise.

    All kinds of candy, including candy wrappers.

    Too much sugar can give your pet a bellyache, but worse, if wrappers are swallowed, your pet risks tearing of the esophagus or intestines. Clean up as best and frequently as you can when candy is being unwrapped.

    10 more harmful foods:

    Chewing gum
    Grapes
    Raisins
    Macadamia nuts
    Avocados
    Onions
    Garlic
    Salt
    Raw yeast dough
    Fatty foods

    Source: "101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet," compiled by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.

    3. Holiday Hazards

    Easter and Christmas Décor.
    Plastic eggs, if ingested, can rip tears in the digestive system. Likewise, spoiled hard boiled eggs, if ingested, can make pets ill. Likewise, Easter grass and tinsel are attractive, but deadly. Pets who attempt to eat these garlands and garnishes can choke, or lethally damage their intestines. At Easter, try real grass or crumpled paper instead. At Christmas, cat-proof your tree by avoiding tinsel.
    More holiday safety tips

    Valentine’s Day: Keep their paws off the chocolates and far from the flowers.
    4th of July: Be mindful of fireworks and related paraphernalia.
    Halloween: Use flameless candles, and keep candy out of harm’s way.
    New Year’s: Forego confetti and keep an eye on balloons. If they deflate, they become a choking hazard.
    Thanksgiving:
    Throw turkey bones in the trash.
    Christmas:
    Keep pets out of tree water, and be attentive when they show interest in ornaments, decoration hooks, ribbon and Styrofoam.

    4. Treacherous Toys

    Small, brightly colored toys hold the same appeal for pets as they do children. The problem is that they are choking hazards. Petside’s advice is to keep small toys in a place safely hidden from pets.

    5. Dangerous Drinks

    Coffee, tea and alcohol
    Coffee and tea leaves are on the ASPCA’s list of People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet, as is alcohol. Alcoholic beverages can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, and breathing difficulty, among other things.

    6. Hazardous Objects

    Many small items can lead to choking – even things you would never expect your pet would attempt eating. Be mindful of buttons, small batteries, twist ties, and rubber bands. In the bathroom, keep hair pins, cotton swabs and dental floss out of reach from your pet.

    7. In the Garage

    If your pet is your shadow and frequently follows you around the house, remember that garage and storage areas need special attention, too. Keep cleaning supplies, antifreeze, fertilizer, de-icing materials and pesticides in a place pets can’t easily access.

    Visit petside.com for more pet safety advice and check out the ASPCA site for tips on poison-proofing your home. Sources: petside.com, ASPCA.org, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

    POPULAR RIGHT NOW

    Your Comments

    • Vincent

      i would like to say that Avocado should be rechecked or removed from the list.
      i like in Kenya and We have several avocado tress and our cats and Dogs love this very much they literally race to the sound of a falling avocado.
      ” In my village we used to call them Dog fatteners “

    • Jodie and Boots

      Thanks for tips for pet safety.   My cat and I appreciated the information.

    • http://www.silkplantsdirect.com/artificial-trees/bamboo-trees/view-all-products.html silk bamboo trees

      This is a really good read for me. My cat have allergies of plants . I found a great product by Allersearch
      Laboratories . that has really helped with my cat
      coat and skin. Thanks for posting this useful information.

    • http://twitter.com/CalogeroMiraEng Calogero Mira

      May flowers and plants be dangerous for our animals at home? Thanks.