November 26, 2015 | Erin | 10 Comments What is safe for your pet at home goes far beyond a fence to keep your dog from running into the street. Many things you may not be aware of can pose a danger to your pet. As a responsible pet owner making your home as safe as possible not only helps ensure the well being of your pet, it also gives you peace of mind. Viewing your home and all it’s contents can reveal things that you know could obviously harm your pet, but unfortunately, not all things that pose a threat to your pet are obvious. Let take a look at what it takes to pet-proof your home. Bad Foods While most pet owners are aware of foods that should never be given to a pet, the following list is worth repeating. Knowing these foods can be dangerous is extremely important, but please be aware that they may be contained in other foods that may inadvertently be fed to your pet. Chocolate Onions Grapes and Raisins Avocado Garlic Alcohol Coffee and Tea Milk and other Dairy Products Macadamia nuts Candy and gum that contains Xylitol Peaches and Plums Raw Eggs, Meat or Fish Salt Foods and Drinks containing Sugar Yeast Dough Walnuts Cherry and Apricot Pits Apple Seeds The ASPCA, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, provides detailed information regarding these and other unsafe foods for your pet at “People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets” page. Bad Houseplants Common houseplants, many of which are given as gifts for the holidays, can harm your pet. If your dog or cat has nibbled on a plant and you are unsure of it’s safety, you should contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Hotline at 1-800-213-6680. The following all have the ability to harm your pet: Aloe Vera – can cause stomach upset and diarrhea Amaryllis – very popular for the holidays and both cats and dogs can be attracted to it. Can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting and tremors Azalea, Rhododendron – Another popular gift plant, if ingested, can cause cardiovascular collapse which can be fatal Caladium – can cause stomach upset, tremors, seizures, asphyxiation and death Calla Lilly – Popular at Easter, can cause symptoms similar to that of Caladium Chrysanthemum – These flowers are toxic and can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination and dermatitis Cyclamen – If ingested can cause intense vomiting that can be fatal English Ivy – Popular in Christmas wreaths – if consumed can cause vomiting, pain and diarrhea Lilies, all types – All parts of a Lily are toxic to cats. If consumed, they cause kidney failure within 24 to 72 hours of ingestion Mistletoe – Consumption of even 1 or 2 berries can be fatal Philodendron – Can cause a swollen mouth, painful tongue and sore lips Poinsettias – Can cause vomiting, anorexia and depression Pothos – Causes vomiting, diarrhea and swelling of the mouth Schefflera – causes vomiting, kidney problems, heart and respiratory problems Tulip – can cause serious stomach problems, irregular heartbeat, weakness and hyperactivity Other Bad Stuff Common sense goes a long way in identifying what is and what is not safe for your pet in your home. You want to make sure that no toxic substances, such as chemicals or cleaners, are located where your pet may have access to them. Also consider if any of your medication or rodent traps or bait are stored where a curious pet may get to them. Keep your toilet lid down to prevent a thirsty pup from taking a drink of water and keep your garbage receptacle securely covered. It is extremely important to keep electrical chords away from your pet to avoid electrocution, especially young puppies that are constantly chewing. The use of baby gates to keep your pet away from an unsafe area and using child safety locks on cupboards is a smart way to protect a crafty pet. Lastly, please know that dangling cords from mini-blinds and window treatments have caused the deaths of many pets and should never be in your home.