Keeping Your Pet Safe

When your pet gets outside, or when they get loose, it's dangerous out there for your pet. Making sure that your pet is in a good environment is one of the best ways to keep them safe. Make sure they have the right food, fun toys to play with, safe leashes and collars and making sure their surroundings are well taken care of, and that they are well groomed.

When getting any pet, it is important to know what they can and cannot be around, especially since they will get curious and usually put things they're curious about directly onto their tongue or mouth. Sometimes those things can be deadly.

Ingestible Content

There are many things that won't hurt us, but will hurt our pets. Avocados, alcohol, cigarette smoke and tobacco, caffeine, moldy spoiled foods, bones, chocolate, eggs, onions, mushrooms, raw peanuts, garlic, chives, fruit seeds, raisins, grapes, salty foods, macadamia nuts are all potentially lethal to your furry friends.

Dangerous Plants

There are plenty of plants to keep away from your pets, as they can cause illness or even lead to their death.

Make sure you keep indoor plants away from your pets
Use commercial-grade pet repellents
Use a water bottle or other safe methods to keep your pets away from things they shouldn't be into
Safe cat grass is great for upset stomachs, and will give them something else to focus on.
Here are some plants that are harmful to your pets:
Cherry Trees (with exception of cherries themselves)
  • Rhubarb
  • Morning Glory
  • Eucalyptus
  • Eggplant (with exception of the fruit)
  • English Ivy
  • Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac
  • Yew
  • Foxglove
  • Sweet Pea
  • Bulb Flowers (such as daffodils, iris)
  • Marijuana
  • Crabapple Leaves
  • Rhododendron
  • Mistletoe
  • Mushrooms
  • Holly
  • Oleander
  • Calla Lily leaves
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Azalea
  • Tulip/Narcissus Bulb
  • Amaryllis
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Poinsettia
  • Honeysuckle
  • Juniper
  • Skunk Cabbage
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Elderberry
  • Philodendron
There are some outdoor plants that aren't harmful to your pets, such as bamboo, beech, blueberry, dogwood, grape vine, hibiscus, marigolds, raspberry, pyracantha, rose, and willow. There are also some indoor plants that likewise won't hurt your pets, such as African violet, aloe, Boston fern, Danish ivy, Fig plant, grape vine, and rose.


Specific chemicals will hurt your pets, and definitely harmful to birds. Here are some common household items to make sure you have far from your pets.

  • Felt tip markers
  • Hand & body lotion
  • Hair sprays & hair dyes
  • Insecticides
  • Suntan oil & lotion
  • Nail polish & remover
  • Iodine
  • Deodorants
  • Over-heated non-stick cookware (Teflon®)
  • Scented candles, incense
  • Paint & paint related products
  • Mothballs
  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Cleansers
  • Spray starch
  • Smoke (including cigarette smoke)
  • Perfumes
  • Matches
  • lead
  • Floor/furniture polish
  • Flea bombs
  • Gasoline
  • Propane
  • Glues
  • Aerosols
  • Lighter fluid
  • Antifreeze
  • Detergents
Regretfully there is no way to truly pet-proof your home. You can still do your part to make certain your pets are safe from preventable dangers.

  • Unsupervised swimming pools
  • Chocolate
  • Christmas tree water, ribbons, tinsel, batteries
  • Hot stoves
  • Medications, like vitamins, cold medication, diet pills, painkillers, or even misusing prescribed veterinarian medication
  • Warm weather dangers: heat stroke, swimming pools, treatment supplies, citronella candles, outdoor plants and bulbs, garden products, misuse of flea and tick products, insecticides
  • Fighting with other animals
  • For Birds: Uncurtained windows and mirrors, and fans
  • Cold weather dangers: anti-freeze, products to melt ice, rodent bait, hypothermia
  • Cleaning supplies (disinfectants, polishes, glass cleaners), open washers and dryers, open toilets, hot pans and pots with non-stick coating can give off harmful fumes, candles,
  • filled sinks and bathtubs (particularly ones with hot water), open windows, open doors
  • Frayed electrical wiring


Sometimes it's hard to tell if your pet has encountered a harmful substance. It can take days, or weeks for symptoms to manifest. Be aware of the common signs:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Excessive coughing and sneezing
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Apathy/Depression
  • Bloody feces
  • Skin redness or irritation
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Loss of motor coordination

What should you do?

Always use precaution, and never wait until it's too late. If you think your pet has come into contact with, or has ingested, any dangerous items, contact your veterinarian, or call the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Animal Poison Control Center's 24 hour phoneline at (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee will be charged at the end of the call.

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