Most of us know chocolate is bad for pets, but fine for humans…right? That’s just one of many household things that can harm your pet.
A lot of pet parents aren’t aware there’s a multitude of everyday items in our homes and yards which could be dangerous to pets if you leave them lying around.
So, from plants and food to your favourite bedside lamp, here’s what to keep an eye on if you’re looking out for your pet’s safety in the home.
Household items that are bad for pets
Your home probably doesn’t have any hazards that jump out to you as being bad for pets. But like parents of human children, you soon realise those furbabies can get themselves into all sorts of trouble when given the opportunity.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for.
Deodorant cans can be bad news for pets
Deodorant cans might do more than leave your cat smelling fresh. Because they’re pressurised, you should be careful not to leave these around your pets. If a can is nearby any kind of heat or fire source when a pet chews through them, they could explode.
One greyhound puppy burnt down the house in a particularly scary case.
Lamps and candles
If they go to town on your salt lamp they can suffer from salt toxicity, which can be serious or even fatal. One well-documented case was that of Ruby, a cat from across the pond in New Zealand. Luckily, Ruby was able to be saved. Keep those Himalayan salt lamps locked away from your pets.
Some candles can be bad for pets, too. Aside from being a potential fire hazard, they can also pose a health risk.
This is because candles can often contain harmful ingredients like lead, paraffin, formaldehyde, and benzene. In fact, most candles made from paraffin wax also contain carcinogens.
But we totally understand the need for the occasional candlelit dinner or relaxing bath. So, be particularly aware of scented candles. Because they smell so delicious, your dogs and cats might be tempted to nibble on them.
The good news is that unscented candles made out of beeswax, coconut wax, or vegetable-based wax are safe to use. They’re better for the environment too. If going green is a priority for you, read our article on eco friendly dog food.
Other household items that can be bad for pets
To help you create the safest environment possible, here are a few other common items that can be bad for pets. If you have any of these, either get rid of them or make an effort to keep them out of reach of pets:
- Diffusers. While the diffusers themselves are usually safe, many essential oils are toxic to pets. These include tea tree, ylang ylang, cinnamon, and pine, amongst others.
- Essential oils. As above, these are dangerous in all forms. If your pet gets essential oils on their paws, skin, or fur wash it off immediately and watch for any signs of toxicity, no matter how minor
- Medications. Many human medications are highly poisonous to pets. A lot of them taste bitter and dogs won’t eat them, but syrups and sugar-coated pills pose a particularly strong risk. If you suspect your pet has eaten your medication, go straight to a vet.
- Washing detergents. These can cause ulcers and gastric problems, and can be very serious for your pet if ingested.
Of course, there are other items that have the potential to cause problems for your pet if swallowed or chewed. We’ve listed some of the most common ones, with some of the worst consequences. In many cases, pets will be around these items for years without any scary situations arising.
But better safe than sorry, we always say.
Food and plants that are bad for pets
Lilies are just one of many plants that are toxic to pets. But they’re one of the most serious ones, and many pet owners don’t know they shouldn’t leave lilies within reach of pets. Lily poisoning can be particularly serious (and sometimes fatal) for cats, but they are toxic to dogs too.
Read about more things that can poison your pet, including toxic foods and plants. Yep, chocolate is high on the list. Chocolate toxicity in dogs and cats can be serious, though it’s not usually fatal. Still, best to keep the yummy treats out of the way.
But did you know it’s not the only food you should avoid giving your pets? Here are a few more common food items you should keep away from cats and dogs:
- Xylitol (this is highly toxic)
- Cooked bones
If you’re not sure about a food item, do a quick search to find out if it’s pet-friendly. Even so, the best thing is to keep fridges and pantry doors closed and food safely out of reach of curious paws.
Pet proofed your home? Get pet insurance too
These are just some of the things that might cause problems for your pet. And the unfortunate reality is no matter how much you’ve pet proofed your home, an accident could still happen.
That’s where pet insurance can help. If your dog or cat does get hold of something poisonous or simply has an accident, you can visit the vet without thinking of your purse first. And you might be surprised at how affordable the cost of peace of mind can be. Get a quote to find out.
Common things that are bad for pets – over to you
Do you know of any other common items that might cause problems for pets? Let us – and other cautious pet parents – know by leaving a comment.