With the 4th of July Holiday soon approaching, this seems like the PURRRFECT TIME to share some thoughts about pet safety to help keep our FURRY FRIENDS happy and safe!
Anyone who owns a dog or cat understands that a certain amount of awareness comes with pet ownership. From the great outdoors to your kitchen, and everywhere in between, there are lots of hazards that Fido and Tiger may encounter.
According to the 2019-2020 American Pet Product’s Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, if you are one of the 84.9 million households in the United States who cohabitates with a “furry friend” – 67% of ALL households do – you may not be surprised to hear that pet-parent’s spending is in excess of $72 billion this year. I am one of those households!
Hazards in the Great Outdoors
- JULY 4th FIREWORKS are my Little Guy’s WORST NIGHTMARE!! I’m sure that we’re not alone as many dogs have extreme fear of them. If your pooch is also distressed by fireworks, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you invest in a THUNDER SHIRT. There are many brands and styles to choose from and they are readily available online OR at your local pet store. I also put it on BLUE, our 6-year old Silky Terrier, when thunderstorms roll through. He happily rolls over every time I put it on him and is clearly calmer with it on and not bothered by it at all!!
- Doors and windows that are open are great for letting in fresh air but not when they tempt your pets out into the scary world of cars and other dangers. Balconies are great but it is very easy for small pets to slip through the railings or get stuck halfway.
- Be sure that if Fido or Tiger do find their way outdoors, they will be heading into a safe place such as a fenced yard.
- Plants and pets aren’t always a perfect combination. A surprising number of plants, including landscape and houseplant favorites, are toxic and even lethal if your FURRY FRIEND decides to take a nibble. Some of the most common plants that should be kept away from your pets include: lily of the valley, oleander, azalea, yew, foxglove, sago palms, hibiscus, hydrangea, aloe, bird of paradise, to name a few.
- Talk to your Vet or follow this link to the ASPCA website for a very comprehensive list of plants that are toxic to cats and dogs.
- Outdoor garden supplies, such as compost, cocoa-based mulches, pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers can all cause problems for pets. Your first line of defense is keeping such things stored away safely and out of reach.
- Traditional snail and slug bait are also toxic. If you need to keep your vegetables and other plants safe from these garden pests, look for other barrier methods or pet friendly bait formulations.
- Chemicals are an obvious source of trouble if pets drink from pools or spas. Even if pets can swim, they can still drown in pools and spas, if they can’t get out by themselves. Long, low steps may help but your best approach is to keep your FURRY FRIENDS away from the water, either with covers or fencing or by keeping them inside, unless accompanied.
- Ponds also pose a problem as they are prone to forming algae which may be toxic.
- Ashes and flames from fire pits and BBQ’s can be another outdoor hazard.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PET IS POISONED?
Don’t wait! Call your Vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Time is critical for successfully treating accidental poisoning. Be prepared to state your dog or cat’s breed, age, weight and any symptoms. Have the product container or plant sample nearby to assist with identification so the appropriate treatment recommendations can be made.
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