How to Remove Household Hazards from Your Pets

There are various things in our homes that are dangerous to our pets and yet we often don't even give them a thought. It is important to either remove or deal with these potential risks before anything happens to your beloved pets. And taking care of these matters is also helpful if any toddlers are visiting your home.


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    Remove electrical cords. These look like chewing toys to young animals, especially kittens and puppies. The trouble is that a few bites can result in electrocution or severe burns, not to mention loss of the cord in question for your appliance. Always keep cords out of the reach of your pets and if you must have them in the open, get some cord guards from your local hardware or electrical store (even the vet might know where to get some from). And as horrible as this sounds, never touch a dead pet found with an electrical cord in its mouth; the pet may still be live and you will be electrocuted too. Turn the power off at the mains or call the fire brigade or police for assistance.
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    Be careful with plants. Some plants are safe around pets but a lot of them are not. Unfortunately, many of the beautiful flowers in floral arrangements are deadly to our furry friends, such as lilies and hydrangeas. Poisonous plants should be kept out of reach from chewing pets or keep them out of the house altogether.
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    Keep household chemicals under lock and key. Household chemicals are mostly hazardous if swallowed and a curious pet can easily fall prey to some nasty chemical combinations if attracted to the product or chewing the container. One problematic household item in particular is antifreeze. Antifreeze tastes sweet and is therefore attractive to pets. It will attack your pet's kidneys very quickly if swallowed, so never have it at pet level or where a pet can get to it. Lock it and all of your other chemical products up! See Protect Pets from Hazardous Household Products for more information.
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    Keep the candles out of reach. Do not leave a burning candle alone any time for any reason; this is how fires start. It is even more dangerous when pets are about - the flame can attract them to play with it, or they can accidentally brush a candle with a tail as they walk by, knocking it over. When using candles, always be present, have the pets away and preferably have at least one other person keeping an eye on the candle as well.
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    Be careful with toys. Even pet toys can cause problems. Don't buy toys that are too small for your pet - they can be swallowed and the pet can choke. String and yarn should also be put away when you have finished playing with the kitten or puppy because the animal can become entangled in it when you are not present, or swallow it.
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    Keep an eye on heaters and pets. Some modern heaters and fireplaces are very attractive and the ones with glass frontage are a danger to pets who do not realize the glass is present. Pets can push their noses against the glass thinking that they are sniffing at the fire, only to get a nasty burn from the hot glass. Keep a close eye on activity of pets around such a heater and around other heaters as well. Always keep a cover over any fans (hot or cold) in case a pet tries to play with the moving blades.


  • Distract your pet! Whenever a pet becomes obsessed with a household item that is potentially dangerous, use the distraction method to move it away. Play with it, give it some toys or feed it. Many pets will forget what they were obsessing about when distracted. If not, lock your pet in another room for a time until it calms down.

Things You'll Need

  • Time to assess your potential home hazards

Article Info

Categories: Pet Hazards