Category Archives: pet safety tips

Valentine’s Day Safety Tips for Pet Owners

valentine safetyBy Laurie Darroch

Valentine gifts and tokens of love may be wonderful for the humans in your life, but many of the traditional presents we give each other may be dangerous for your dogs and cats. Those seemingly innocuous gifts can injure or even kill your pet if they ingest them.

Chocolates and Other Foods

A heart-shaped box full of delectable chocolates may be just the ticket to please your Valentine, but those sweet treats can make your pets very sick. Chocolate contains theobromine which is similar to caffeine. The darker and richer the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs and cats.

Many dogs and cats do like the smell and taste of chocolate. If they happen to grab one small piece of milk chocolate, part of a chocolate chip cookie or a dropped M & M, it is not likely to make them extremely ill. Leaving an unattended box of chocolates sitting where your pets can reach them, however, is a siren call many can’t resist.
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Christmas Tree Dangers for Pets

christmas tree anneBy Linda Cole

A Christmas tree and all of the trimmings can be dangerous to an inquisitive pet, regardless of whether it’s a live or artificial tree. Dogs and cats are naturally curious about anything new in their environment, and a Christmas tree will certainly grab their interest. Shiny ornaments, tinsel, lights, intriguing smells and presents are all hard to resist. The natural thing to do – from a pet’s perspective – is to give the tree a thorough inspection. It’s hard not to smile when your cat pokes her head through decorated branches, but feline curiosity can get her into trouble. Here are some things to be mindful of as you decorate your home for the holiday season.

Pine Needles

Depending on the size of a pet and the amount consumed, pine needles can be mildly toxic for pets. The real danger is that pine needles aren’t digestible and can puncture or obstruct the gastrointestinal tract. Oils from the needles can also irritate your pet’s mouth and stomach, causing excessive drooling and vomiting. Regularly sweep or vacuum up any pine needles that fall off your Christmas tree, and never let your pet chew on the needles.
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Home Remodeling Hazards for Pets

remodel jenniferBy Linda Cole

Many homeowners like to spruce up their house with fresh paint, needed repairs or a complete makeover for an outdated room. However, homes with pets need to be especially vigilant when the power tools and paint brushes come out. Regardless of whether you do it yourself or hire someone, there are home remodeling hazards for pets that you need to be aware of.

Lead Paint

It’s common to find lead paint in homes built before 1978, and many homeowners aren’t aware of it. Lead can be found in linoleum, old putty around windows, or old paint covered over with non-leaded paint, wallpaper or paneling. When lead paint is scraped off or sanded, it turns into dust and contaminates the air. This dust can put pets at risk of lead poisoning when they ingest the dust while grooming. Pets can be exposed to lead by chewing on woodwork or ingesting flakes or chips of paint that have fallen off.

If you aren’t sure whether the existing paint is lead based, testing kits can be found at many home repair stores; it’s recommended to test before beginning any scraping or sanding. If you find lead paint in your home, it’s best to talk to a professional who is knowledgeable about lead-based paints before continuing.

Paints, Stains and Varnishes

Most products for inside use are water based and not as toxic to pets, but they can cause diarrhea and vomiting. If your dog or cat gets a water based product on them, it can be washed off with warm water and dish soap. If you’re dealing with an oil-based product, keep your pet from licking it off and wait for it to dry. When it’s dry, use scissors or clippers to cut it from their coat. Paint thinner, turpentine or mineral spirits should never be used to remove paint, stains or varnishes from your pet’s coat, because they can cause painful chemical burns. Keep pets away from opened cans of these products.

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Pet-Safe Ways to Rid Your Home of Rodents

By Linda Cole

Mice are experts at finding ways into our homes. Cracks, holes and crevices in foundations provide easy access, and if you see one mouse there’s likely more lurking about in the walls, duct work, attics and basements. Some people use rodent poison to get rid of mice and rats, but it poses a grave danger to cats and dogs and shouldn’t be used in a home with pets. There are ways to rid your home of rodents that are safer for your pets and more humane for the mice.

Even though I have cats and dogs, I still get mice inside my house when the weather turns colder. They are usually caught by one of my pets, which is a natural way of controlling vermin. However, I’m a true blue animal lover, which includes mice. So my challenge is finding ways to deal with the mice that won’t harm them.

Live Mouse Traps can be very effective, as long as you check them several times a day to remove caught rodents, freshen the bait (peanut butter on crackers or dry cat food works well), and make sure you purchase a quality trap. You can find traps to catch multiple mice at a time or smaller ones that hold just one or two. The air supply in some traps is limited and if you don’t remove a mouse soon after it’s caught, it can die from asphyxiation. Trapped mice can then be released outside. Mice can find their way back home, so you’ll need to release it at least ½ mile or so away. The best place is in a wooded or bushy area where they can find shelter and isn’t near other homes.

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Holiday Pet Poison Prevention Tips

holiday safety jimBy Julia Williams

The holiday season is one of joyous celebrations, but along with the merry gatherings and cheery decorations comes increased risk for our beloved pets. As responsible pet owners, we need to be extra vigilant during the holidays to prevent our dogs and cats from being accidentally poisoned or injured. No one wants to spend Christmas at the vet, least of all your pet. Here are some potentially poisonous things to look out for as you decorate your homes and plan your parties.

Imported Snow Globes

What prompted me to write this article was a heartbreaking blog post I read recently, about a family whose cat had broken a snow globe. Some of the liquid got onto the cat’s fur and despite receiving timely medical attention, the kitty didn’t make it. I was surprised to learn that imported snow globes contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol) which is highly toxic to pets – ingesting just a teaspoon can be fatal for a cat, and a tablespoon or two for a dog (depending on their size).

Snow globes are the #1 bestseller in Christmas décor on Amazon. With so many people displaying them in their homes, I wanted to get the word out about how dangerous snow globes are to pets. They are pretty, but certainly not worth the risk of poisoning a beloved pet. If you have snow globes in your home, please put them where you are 100% certain your pet cannot get to them.

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Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe on Halloween

halloween safety donelleBy Laurie Darroch

Although Halloween festivities are fun for people of all ages, they are sometimes stressful and dangerous for a dog. Taking some precautions will help keep your dog safe during trick or treating and Halloween gatherings.

Candy and Goodies

No matter how well trained or well behaved your dog is, sometimes temptation can be overpowering for a dog. Given the opportunity, they might give in to the siren call of delicious smelling goodies sitting in easy reach. Eating items like chocolate or wrappings can be particularly dangerous for a dog. They won’t stop at one piece of candy either, if they get into an easily accessible bowl of sweets. A dog may try to eat as much as they can get away with before they get caught.

Keep the treats out of your dog’s reach, and don’t give them little bites of even the harmless treats. That is an open invitation for them to try and get more. Instead, make sure they’ve had a full meal of their own healthy CANIDAE dog food before the festivities begin. Your dog will be less likely to be tempted if their hunger is already sated. Keep a bag of CANIDAE dog treats handy as well, so if they are tempted by the sweets you can substitute something more appropriate for them.
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