Pet home safety—are you prepared?

Learn what common foods you should avoid giving your dog or cat and how to pet proof your house!

The American Veterinary Medical Association has launched a new site designed for pet owners who want to learn more about pet care, health and management. One article that will stand out to pet owners is, 7 foods you should avoid feeding your dog or cat. The article offers a list of common household foods that you may have never thought about as being potentially harmful to your pets such as:

  1. Xylitol-containing products (xylitol is an artificial sweetener often found in sugar-free candy and gum)
  2. Chocolate (although some types of chocolate are not as toxic as others, it's safer to keep your pet away from all types of chocolate)
  3. Onions
  4. Grapes and raisins
  5. Fatty and fried foods
  6. Macadamia nuts
  7. Avocados 

We all want to make sure that our pets are safe in our homes. Michigan State University Extension recommends “Pet proofing” as the best way to go through and evaluate your home and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your pets and your belongings are safe. Some helpful hints to pet proof your home and keep pets away from potentially harmful contents of your house are:

  1. Use childproof latches to keep dogs and cats from prying open cabinets.
  2. Keep medications, cleaners, chemicals and laundry supplies on high shelves.
  3. Cover trash cans or place them inside a latched cabinet.
  4. Keep all foods out of reach. Sometimes the food isn't harmful, but the wrapper could be.
  5. Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent pets from drinking of harmful cleaning chemicals.
  6. Keep dangling wires from lamps, DVD players, televisions, stereos and telephones out of reach of animals.
  7. Place common house plants that may be poisonous out of reach.

Even if you have had pets for years, it is never a bad idea to take a quick inventory and see how you can make your home environment a little safer for your pets!

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