Pet Proofing Your Home

Image of a woman, her toddler daughter, and their dog.

Your home is a haven and a place of safety for you and for your pet. But, inside every house are poisons, dangers, and hazards that can injure your dog or cat. Here are some helpful tips to help keep your pet safe and out of the emergency room!

According to consultants at PetProTech pet safety products, most pet emergencies result from ingestion of toxins, ingestion of non-digestible materials leading to intestinal blockages, and accidents causing fractures or soft tissue trauma. The ASPCA Poison Control Center urges pet owners to search every room of the home and try to look at it from a toddler's perspective. If the toddler can reach it, so can the new puppy or kitten.

Puppies chew to help explore their world as well as relieve stresses. Remember that puppies will often view anything on the floor as fair game. It is important to pick up potential hazards such as batteries, tobacco products, coins, and many household plants. Although new kittens are not prone to chew like puppies, houseplants, especially in the lily family, can be extremely poisonous to cats. To keep your kittens safe, keep dangerous plants out of reach, or, better yet, outside. For both types of pets, it is extremely important to put away all medications, both yours and theirs. A single acetaminophen caplet can kill an adult cat and many dogs will eagerly over consume the beef flavored pain relieving drugs created for them, leading to potential stomach ulcers, bleeding, or kidney damage.

Trash cans and garbage bags are often irresistible to both dogs and cats. The aroma of foods and other apparently "delicious" items is often too much for even a well trained pet. To the pet, getting into the garbage is its own reward when tasty leftovers and treats can be found. Keep food scraps, especially cooked bones, in a secure container, preferably behind a locked or child-proof door. Simply placing the trash can up on a counter will not always assure safety. Besides making a mess, garbage can raiding can lead to stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhea, or even obstructions and perforations of the intestinal tract.

During the holidays, many people become soft-hearted and give "just one treat" to the begging pet. Unfortunately, too many treats, or the wrong types, can cause severe stomach upsets and may lead to an emergency visit to the veterinarian. Bones, fatty foods, onions, and alcoholic beverages should not be on your pet's holiday menu. Thanksgiving can be especially difficult and many emergency rooms report higher than normal number of pancreatitis cases and intestinal blockages during this time. Chocolates, especially dark or baking chocolates, should never be given to pets. Even seemingly harmless treats, such as grapes or raisins, have caused deadly kidney damage to dogs. Ask your guests to honor your holiday wish and restrain from giving holiday food to your pet.

Other holiday dangers can include ingestion of mistletoe, holly, or the water from the live Christmas tree. All of these have the potential to make your pet seriously ill. If your cat is very inquisitive, it may be necessary to keep the tree behind a closed door. The tree's decorations are also a potential for causing an emergency visit due to ingestion or lacerations from broken ornaments.

Read the labels of insecticides well to insure that your pets will not be harmed by their use. Place rat, mouse, or ant traps and poisons in locations unlikely to be found by your pet. Pet safety experts say that granular pesticides are much safer than pellet pesticides because the pet is less likely to eat the granules. Anti-freeze is a well-known poison to pets, but other garage items, such as gasoline, oils, and fertilizers can be dangerous as well. Keep these items out of pet's reach and wipe up all spills as they happen.

The number of items in our homes that can hurt a dog or cat are just as numerous as items that can harm a child. Being proactive and preventing the pet from eating the wrong item or getting into a situation that can harm him or her is the best way to avoid injuries. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic or potentially been injured by a household object, contact us immediately. For more ideas on how to pet proof your home, please contact us.

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Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
    ~R.H
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
    ~E.D.
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
    ~T.C.
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
    ~L.B.
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
    ~G.B.
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
    ~W.C
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
    ~E.D.
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
    ~T.F.
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
    ~P.B.
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
    ~C.W.
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
    ~R.M.
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
    ~A.M.
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
    ~O.B.
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
    ~Budkus
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.