Dogs and cats are curious creatures and often have a little too much fun with unknown objects — just take the Great Dane who ate 43 ½ socks last month as an example. The worst part is that pet parents rarely know that the pet has eaten an object until it requires surgery for an ingested object, which typically costs about $3,500.
That’s why pet parents need to pet proof their home before bringing a dog or cat into it as they would child proof before bringing a newborn home from the hospital. Of course chemicals and small objects must be out of reach, but here are some everyday objects that you may not consider:
1. Cans in the garbage. Cats and dogs love the tasty leftovers on plates or in cans and containers. When they lick the inside of a can, though, they can cut their tongue on the sharp edge or even get their small heads stuck inside the can. Quick fix: squeeze the open end of the can shut before throwing away in a garbage bin that’s out of reach.
2. Household plants. While the azalea or lilies may bring a room together, they are also among the more than 700 plants that produce substances toxic to pets. Here’s a full list of potentially poisonous plants.
3. Antifreeze. Pet parents are likely to keep the actual antifreeze out of reach of pets, but turns out that dogs like to lick the residue after the freeze dries on pipes or the ground. Anti-freeze poisoning is one of the most common types of poisoning among small animals and seriously impacts the functioning of the brain and liver.
4. Electrical cords. Just as yarn and shoelaces look like fun for cats, computer or phone chargers can bring the same playful spirit. When they start biting the cord and get down to the wires, there’s the risk of electrocution.
5. Gorilla Glue. Dogs seem to like eating this super sticky substance made of polyurethane, but when Gorilla Glue reaches the dog’s stomach, it expands and hardens, requiring surgery to remove it.
6. Glow sticks. These neon toys and jewelry make their rounds during festivals and the holidays, and the bright color and toy-like shape entices cats to play with them. When ingested or spread on the cat’s skin, the chemical dibutyl phthalate can cause gagging and a burning sensation to the skin and eyes, according to the Pet Poison Helpline.
The list doesn't stop here! If something seems dangerous to your pets, keep it out of reach and contact your local veterinary hospital for more information.
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