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Household Hazards | Keeping Cats & Dogs Safe in Your Home

Household Hazards | Keeping Cats & Dogs Safe in Your Home


As pet owners, we know how inquisitive dogs and cats can be. Just like “baby proofing” a home, understanding that there are dangerous hazards around the house that could harm your pet is imperative. We have talked about the dangers of antifreeze in the winter time, but we would like to go over a few other household hazards that could pose a threat to your animal. Remember, VEC is your trusted emergency veterinarian in Western New York for any potential pet emergency.

Dangerous materials such as cleaning supplies and chemicals are the first thought when it comes to hazards. We understand that keeping these sort of things out of the reach of pets is essential, but there are a few other things we may not think of.

Dumpster Divers

Garbage is one of the biggest threats to your pet’s well-being, believe it or not. Especially with dogs, the smell of food scraps can lead to dumpster diving. Dogs aren’t picky; any trash that smells good gets eaten. Cats have also been known to get into garbage cans if they smell something desirable enough. This is dangerous because of the other items in the trash. Things like used paper towels with cleaning product on them, batteries, sharp objects, etc. can cause serious harm if ingested.

  • Keep trashcans covered & secure
  • Do not put unused medication in the garbage
  • When disposing of broken glass or other sharp objects, use another container to put them in

Home Renovation

If you are having any construction done on your home, inside or out, be sure to be extra careful. Construction dust, insulation, asbestos, and mold are all very dangerous for animals. Tools and other sharp edged objects must be properly stored to avoid pet accidents. Small objects like screws and washers must also be in a safe place to avoid swallowing. Best practice is to keep your pets out of the home for the duration of the renovation.

  • Keep any animal out of the room(s) where renovation is being done
  • Do not leave any hazardous items on the floor, counters, tables, etc.
  • Have a friend or kennel watch your pet when painting, sanding, tiling, wallpapering, etc.

Fumes & Airborne Hazards

You wouldn’t expose a child to harmful fumes like bleach or gasoline, so remember your animal when working with chemicals and other products. Inhaling toxic fumes is very dangerous to the short and long term health of your pet. Secondhand smoke is also harmful to dogs and cats. Because of their natural curiosity, dogs and cats are constantly exploring their surroundings based on their sense of smell. This can be risky, so be sure to keep your pet in a safe location from toxic fumes.

  • Don’t smoke around your pet
  • Keep them out of areas with toxic fumes
  • Keep home properly ventilated

We know that pets are inquisitive by nature, so understand that they will get into anything they can. It is your responsibility as a pet owner to keep close watch over your animal when doing any renovation or working with chemicals. Always make sure any garbage around the home is secured and out of reach. In the event that your animal does have some sort of emergency, please don’t hesitate to call Veterinary Emergency Clinic. We can talk to you personally, assess the situation, and provide feedback on what the next best action is for your pet.

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