Americans all across the country are providing loving homes to almost ninety million dogs, and over the years, these dogs have become increasingly like family. And although ‘Be Kind to Animals Week’ has come and gone, the health of furry family members should not be forgotten. Although most pet owners are constantly trying to do what’s best, but unfortunately, despite the thirty million dollars Americans spend on vet bills, pets are not being insured like part of the family, and without adequate health attention, typical household items may be quietly causing harm to your fur baby.
Most pet owners are aware of certain food items that can be harmful to their dogs, such as chocolate and grapes, but the list of items that could pose a risk to your pet is much longer. Xylitol is a sweetener used in sugar free candy and gum, that causes liver failure and fatal hypoglycemia when ingested by a dog. Common houseplants, including sago palms can cause a whole host of issues if a dog ingests any part of them, from vomiting, to uncontrolled hemorrhaging to death. In addition to foods and various plants, scented items, such as candles can also cause problems for dogs, as well as being harmful to humans. Scented paraffin candles release several harmful or even cancer causing pollutants when burned, and the artificial scents they contain are no better. Unfortunately, candles may pose an even greater risk to your dog than to yourself, as dogs can be drawn to the strong scent.
How to ‘Dog Proof’ Your Home
Being conscious about the items you choose to keep in your home could make the difference between pet life and death. For example, buying soy candles will allow you to enjoy the ambiance a candle creates without causing harm to your dog. Choosing house plants that won’t hurt your pet if ingested, such as a Bamboo Palm or Boston Fern will keep your pet safe and healthy. Keep cleaning chemicals in an inaccessible cabinet, and if your pup is particularly nosy, invest in a cabinet lock. Although making sure your dog cannot reach toxic chemicals is a good start, also consider switching to products with natural ingredients altogether. They won’t release fumes, which is better for both you and your pet.
Most pet owners are unaware of the harm that many household items could be causing their pets, but it does not take much to eliminate harm and save on vet bills.
Cassidy Oliver is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for animals. With several pets of her own, she spends all her time enjoying her animals when not at work