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Pet Safety Tips and Alerts

Household hazards, toxins, poisonous foods, hot and cold weather safety tips


Keeping our pets safe is a year-round job, with emphasis on holidays and special occasions. Pets chew up and eat things humans never would think of consuming. Sometimes we unknowingly give our pets human foods or medications that are deadly poison.

We love taking our pets with us - across town or on a vacation - but caution is advised: temperature (and humidity) extremes may be dangerous or deadly to our pets.

This page is the safety tip archive covering several sub-categories of pet safety topics and tips. Got a pet safety tip? Read what others have to say and share your own pet safety tips!

1. Veterinary Q & A: Poisonings in Pets

You Talkin to Me? American Eskimo dog by KellyWoolen on Flickr
by KellyWoolen on Flickr
Poisons can be eaten, absorbed through the skin, and inhaled. Poisonings can mimic many things. Some poisons act immediately, some take days to appear, potentially making diagnosis difficult. Familiarize yourself with potential signs of poisoning here. As always, if your pet is sick or "not quite normal" please call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

2. Icky (and Poisonous) Things Pets Eat

To eat or not to eat by Jsome1 on Flickr
by Jsome1 on Flickr
This range of this topic is almost endless, as pets have (and will) eat almost anything. Sometimes it is the food we unknowingly give them - either recalled pet food, human foods that are toxic to pets, or medications intended for humans. Other times, they find rat bait, stray strings and socks or other household items that leave us scratching our heads and asking why.

Learn about foods to avoid, toxins, inedible item ingestion, and other potential pet food safety hazards here.

3. 8 Common Household Poisons

Belle: Portrait of a Dog - B Rosen on Flickr
B Rosen on Flickr
The average home contains many possible poisons for pets and children. Properly storing and locking up hazardous items is the first step to preventing accidental poisonings. An additional thing to remember for pet owners is the ability of many pets to chew through child locking caps and "safe" containers. Here is a list, in no particular order, of some common toxins to be aware of to protect accidental ingestion by your pet (or children).

4. 10 Pet Poison Prevention Tips

Hamish the Persian Cat by AmbHaims on Flickr
© AmbHaims on Flickr
Keep your pet safe by being aware of these common poisons and toxic foods around your house and yard. Pets are unpredictable - prevention is the key to a safe environment for pets (and children).

5. What should I do if I suspect a poisoning in my pet?

Paula the Calico Cat by GenGlo on Flickr
by GenGlo on Flickr
Poisons can be eaten, absorbed through the skin, and inhaled. Poisonings can mimic many things. Some poisons act immediately, some take days to appear, which can make diagnosis difficult. If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, time is of the essence! Please call your veterinarian immediately to avoid further injury/damage to your pet.

6. Reflective collars and coats for pets

Sophie wearing her reflective collar by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
Be seen and stay safe. This pet safety tip is good for Halloween and all year-round, especially the dark days of winter.

7. Case Report: Joey the going-bald-dog

Joey the Dog by Richard Young DVM, ABVP
Richard Young DVM, ABVP
Guest author Richard Young DVM, ABVP shares this interesting case report of Joey, a deaf terrier mix who was losing his hair. It was a very symmetrical pattern of baldness (alopecia) in an otherwise very healthy dog. This is a very interesting case of 'toxicity' resulting in hair loss.

8. Cats and Clothes Dryers - a common household danger

Barnie and the dryer - by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM

Cats are known for wanting to seek out warm and cozy places to curl up in. Unknown to many people, the clothes dryer is one of those places, often ending up in injury or death. I have seen this firsthand in practice, and it is heartbreaking. It is always an unknown mistake by busy people doing laundry. The shock, grief and guilt are horrible.

I warn people whenever I can about this very real danger. Despite my best efforts, this happened in my house.

9. Skunks and Pets - First Aid for Skunked Pets

Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) by cliff1066 on Flickr
by cliff1066 on Flickr
Skunks normally mind their own business, but sometimes they are provoked to spray by an unsuspecting curious pet. What do they spray, why do they spray, and how do you get rid of the odor are common questions answered here. Also, is the spray toxic? Find out what you need to do for post-skunk first aid for your pets to be safe.

10. Summer Pet Safety Tips

Keep me cool © wheany on Flickr
© wheany on Flickr
Summertime and the living is easy. A nice thought and often true, but not usually without some foresight and planning where pets are concerned. Humans can change into cooler clothes, get inside for the air conditioned coolness and pack a water bottle to stay hydrated. Pets have a harder time of it when the temperatures soar. Learn about the dangers of summer heat, thunderstorm and fireworks phobias, water safety and more in this summertime safety tip archive.
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