March 13, 2019

Dangers Lurking in Every Room of Your Home: An In-Depth Look

You probably know by now that a lot of everyday food items, household items and personal items can be dangerous to your four-legged friends. But do you know where these items may be hiding? The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants you to have a thorough breakdown of each room in your home so you can help keep your pets safe, happy and healthy. Below you’ll find our easy, quick-view guide and an in-depth look into everything you need to know! 

Attic

While the attic is not necessarily a common place for our pets to go, it’s a place that’s often overlooked when it comes to pet dangers. Mothballs, rodenticides and insecticides may be used in attics to ward off pests, but can be problematic for your furry friends. Make sure your pet steers clear of the attic and doesn’t follow you up.

Bathroom

A surprising number of bathroom items could prove to be toxic or harmful to your pets. Many people store common household cleaners in their bathrooms, which could be extremely dangerous if ingested, inhaled or come into contact with your pet’s skin. Other dangers include soaps and oral hygiene products such as toothpaste or mouthwash, which can contain the dangerous sugar substitute, xylitol. Items such as dental floss, cotton balls and other inedible products can also cause obstructions if consumed by your pets. You should always keep personal products and items in a medicine cabinet or up high enough so that your pet cannot reach them. 

Bedrooms

Bedrooms are a great place to spend quality time snuggling with our best fur-friends. While less problematic than other rooms in the house, medications are a big concern in this room. Due to either the low nature or easy accessibility of many tables or nightstands in bedrooms, these are not safe places to store medications. And if you have kids (the human kind), help them to remember to pick up bags in their rooms that may contain gum, food or candy that your pets can easily sniff out.

Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the main rooms in the house where pets get themselves into trouble. Like us, our furry friends associate the kitchen with pleasant scents and tastes, so they often are on the lookout for yummy things to eat. Besides food, medications, cleaning products and trash bins are other sources of danger in the kitchen. Keeping food in the fridge and cabinets and keeping lids on trash bins, putting medications out of reach and keeping your pets out of the room when using cleaning products can help keep them safe.

Living Room

While less tempting than the kitchen, dangers in the living room are a great example of the fact that something doesn’t have to taste good for our pets ingest it. Batteries, plants and fragrance products are the primary dangers found in this room. If your furry friend thinks everything is a chew toy, make sure to watch out for these common dangers and keep them up and out of paws’ reach.

Laundry Room

Laundry rooms are where our pets tend to exhibit their sillier sides. Knocking down detergent bottles or grabbing old dryer sheets and running away are two common scenarios seen. But it’s not all fun and games: laundry detergent pods are a quick gulp away from some nasty vomiting and possible aspiration. Keeping laundry products in a cabinet and picking up any dropped dryer sheets or pods is always a good idea.

Garage 

Unfortunately garages can be a very dangerous room for our furry friends. Many people store a variety of chemicals in their garage which can be serious concerns for pets. Common use of rodenticides in the garage poses an added danger. Make sure to keep your pet out of your garage while using any chemicals, and when done, securely close any chemicals and put them up and out of reach. 

Yard

As warmer weather approaches, APCC sees an increase in calls about dangers in the yard. Keeping an eye out for dangerous plants and mushrooms is always advised. While it’s nice to have company while working in the yard, be aware of what your pet is doing. They may be following you around, eating that fertilizer you are placing, or find that it’s a good time to dig up an ants’ nest. When using any chemicals on your yard, it’s best to keep your four-legged friends away until it is dry or watered in.  Also, remember if you do a lot of grilling, lighter fluid and charcoal briquettes are two common outdoor dangers.  

If you believe your pet has ingested something potentially toxic, contact your local veterinarian or APCC at (888) 426-4435 immediately.