The Golden rule?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure you keep toxic products, indoor and outdoor plants, and any other object that could be dangerous out of your pet's reach.
Here is a summary of possible "hazards" in different areas of the house.
In the house
- To avoid falls, put up window screens.
- Several plants are toxic when ingested.
- Try to cover electric cords because kittens and puppies that are teething just love chewing on them – electrocution can be so easily prevented!
- Don't leave your pet unsupervised around a burning fireplace or a heater that is turned on; it could burn itself.
- Don't let it play with plastic bags because it could choke.
- Pick up all small objects that it could take in its mouth and swallow. A pet is similar to a toddler – you must be extra careful!
In the garage
- Cats just love the taste and odour of antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. Make sure containers are securely closed and out of reach. Clean up messes on the floor as soon as possible.
- Put away paint, gasoline, oil, rat poison and any other chemical product out of reach.
Kitchen, laundry room and bathroom
- Make sure to turn off the stove and unplug the iron when you leave the room.
- Keep cleaning products out of reach since they can be highly toxic (bleach, Mr. Clean, etc.).
- Keep washer and dryer doors closed and before turning them on, make sure your pet is not in them!
- Make sure your pet does not have access to beauty products (shampoo, sunscreen, nail polish remover, etc.) nor medications.
- Don't let your cat play with a string, a ribbon, a rubber band or even dental floss because there could be terrible consequences if swallowed. Surgery is the only option to remove some foreign objects.
In the garden
- As with indoor plants, some outdoor plants can be toxic.
- Close the door of the storage shed securely in order to avoid accidents with tools and gardening products (fertilizers, pesticides, weed killers, etc.).
- If possible, do not allow your pet to come in contact with your lawn or garden if treated with chemicals.
- Christmas decorations are also potentially hazardous if your pet chews on them or swallows them (icicles, angel hair, lights, glass ornaments, etc.).
- Christmas plants (poinsettia, holly, mistletoe) are also toxic to cats; try to keep them out of their reach.