PET-PROOFING Your Home for Fido and Tiger – How Does YOUR HOME Measure Up? Part1

If you’re one of the 107 million households in the United States who shares a home with Fido or Tiger, you may not be surprised to know that pet-parent’s spending in 2018 is estimated to exceed 72 billion dollars. We all work very hard to keep your furry friends happy and healthy!

Anyone who owns a dog or cat understands that a certain amount of awareness comes with pet ownership. Puppies and kittens can get into everything and escape thru the tiniest opening. Some of the more-common known dangers are toxic plants and food. From the kitchen to the great outdoors, and everywhere in between, your home has some expected and unexpected hazards that Fido and Tiger may encounter.

Also remember, while dogs may seem to be more trouble-prone than cats, cats can get in far more, and higher places, in your home! Just like you would baby-proof a home, the same is true for pet-proofing. Storing items safely away after using them is much easier than coaxing it away from a determined pet who may swallow it. BLUE, our 5-year old Silky-Terrier, WAS the worst offender of this as a puppy! We all want to keep those emergency trips to the Vet at a minimum.

Hazards in the Kitchen

  • Many foods we enjoy can be harmful or potentially fatal to dogs and cats. The following items should be kept off your furry friend’s menu: grapes/raisins, chocolate, onions, coffee grounds, tea, macadamia nuts, alcohol, fatty foods, salt, avocado, garlic, chewing gum, candy and breath fresheners. Of course, keep garbage out of a pet’s reach as rotting food contains mold or bacteria that could cause food poisoning.
  • Many household cleaners can be safely used around cats and dogs. However, be sure to read the labels carefully. If the label indicates “keep pets and children away from area until dry”, follow these directions to prevent possible health risks. Products containing bleach can cause stomach upset, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and/or severe burns if swallowed. Also, some detergents can produce a similar reaction and cats can be particularly sensitive to products that contain phenols. As a general rule, store all cleaning products in a secure location, in their original packaging or in a clearly labeled and well-sealed container.
  • As with household cleaners, pesticides need to be monitored just as carefully. Flea and tick products labeled “for use on dogs only” should not be applied to cats or any other species. Always consult your Vet about the safe use of these products for your pet. To add to the dangers, if rat or mouse poison is ingested, serious or even life-threatening problems can result. Therefore, keep all rodenticides completely inaccessible and in a secure location.


Don’t wait! Time is critical for successfully treating accidental poisoning. Call your Vet OR the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Be prepared to state your dog’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.

We hope you found this 1st segment of our PET-PROOFING YOUR HOME Series informative and interesting.

To locate our recommended ANIMAL-RELATED organizations in Spring Hill and Brooksville of Hernando County, Florida, be sure to visit our “Trusted Vendors” on our website @

Until then… it’s all about YOU!

About Gail Spada

Gail Spada’s real estate career began in 1990 and it didn’t take long for Gail to discover her love for the industry. In 2001, she began her real estate sales profession with Century 21 Alliance Realty in Spring Hill, FL. Gail has worked diligently to stay on top of her game. She is a Florida Licensed REALTOR® and has earned the following designations/certifications to include: GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute), ePRO (Internet Savvy Real Estate Specialist), AHWD (At Home With Diversity – One American) and SFR. It is that well-rounded training and experience, coupled with her intimate knowledge of the Hernando County real estate market, that enables Gail to deliver results to her customers.