There are many dangers for pets surrounding the common home. Dr. Jennifer Holm, D.V.M., a staff veterinarian of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine at Angell-Boston, says, “Most of the precautions taken to ensure home safety for small children should also apply to pets. If you have questions about your pets’ possible ingestion of a toxic chemical or medication, you should call the Angell Animal Poison Control Hotline immediately.” It is important to safety-proof a house before bringing an animal into it, but many things often go overlooked. Please review the checklist to help ensure your pet’s safety.
1. Avoid giving your pet unsafe toys and chewables, such as leashes and rope (which cause intestinal obstruction) and cow hooves (which can splinter into sharp pieces).
2. Use gates and screens in high windows and areas where pets may have access. This can help prevent jumping and accidental falls.
3. Do not use toxic chemicals in areas of the home where your pet eats or drinks. And if your dog is a toilet-drinker, do not use toxic chemical cleaners for the toilet.
4. Make sure your pet is kept away from toxic chemicals or automotive products in the garage or driveway, such as antifreeze/radiator fluid, which can be fatal.
5. Take precautions to keep your pets away from certain plants, as some can be toxic to animals, like the Easter Lily.
6. Use non-skidding mats or carpeting in areas of the home where your pets run. Slipping in these areas can cause injury, such as torn ligaments.
7. Remove all household toxins, including toxic plants and environmental insecticides. Ingestion can be fatal.
8. Use dog crates and baby gates to restrict your pet from high areas where accidental falls could occur, such as staircases.
9. Indoor temperatures can become extreme in the warmer months. Clip your long-haired dog to avoid heat exhaustion, which can be fatal. In hot, humid weather, make sure that your pet has access to water at all times and is able to move around into cooler areas. The pet should not be exercised excessively in the heat.
10. Keep a collar and identification tag on your dog at all times, even when indoors. However, always supervise your pet when in a play pen. When left alone, the pet’s collar can get caught and result in injury or death.Visit your local fire department to obtain pet safety stickers in order to help firefighters identify the presence and location of pets in an emergency.Teach your dog not to run outside when the door is open. Such “escapes” can cause injury, especially if the dog runs toward the street.
Call the 24-hour Angell Animal Poison Control Hotline in an emergency: