By Sloan McKinney

Once again we welcome our guest blogger Sloan McKinney, a journalist based in Southern California. After writing about pop culture for a number of years, she has recently begun writing for a new audience. Inspired by DeAnthony, her cat, as well as her dog Max, Sloan now hopes to help other people guarantee their animal companions happy and healthy lives.

 As pet owners, we treat animals very much in the same way we do our own children when it comes to keeping them out of harm’s way. Exposure to everyday toxins and poisons commonly found in and around our households presents the same types of threats and dangers as they do for toddlers and young children when it comes to our four-legged friends.

What are some of the unusual ways that cats and dogs are in danger of harming themselves in and around our households where they reside with us? Here are some less than ordinary ways you can protect our pets from potential poisoning inside and outside our homes:

#1 – The Takeaway

Both dogs and cats alike enjoy protecting their masters from the perils of the outside world when it comes to potential threats like rodents and other animals. But what our four-legged friends don’t understand is that even the most docile or threatening of these creatures, especially skunks, present more problems than just the presentation of a long-lasting stench.

Besides the obvious possibility of rabies, skunks, rodents and other types of these nuisance animals are often targeted by homeowners using professional pest control services as a potential solution to this problem. Often poisons are used as a way of removing them and if our pets come into contact with these animals or ingest them, they could die from these types of toxins. As a responsible pet owner, when our pets present themselves with their prey, the best thing to do is take it away from them and dispose of it responsibly.

#2 – The Cooler

Most animal lovers are already aware of the hazardous nature of antifreeze and the immediate danger this poses to our pets after ingestion. But we should look outside our immediate surroundings like our own home and garage for potential threats to our canines and cats.

Be on the lookout for a green or filmy substance in your neighborhood waterways often found pooled in driveways, puddles or in drains, gutters and ditches. Keep your pets clear of these dangerous areas or better yet, see if you can wash away the offending liquid with a hose or bucket of soapy water.

#3 – The Barbeque

Keeping a pet away from a hot grill is just one way of protecting them from possible harm during a backyard barbeque. But some of the seemingly innocent foods we serve during these family-friendly events can be poisonous to our pets:

  • Fruit salads can contain grapes or raisins that can cause kidney problems
  • Desserts laced with chocolate, fatty nuts like macadamias and walnuts can be toxic for animals can be particularly problematic
  • Seeds and pits from discarded fruits and vegetables can be very dangerous
  • Garlic, onions and excessive salt can also cause distress or death
  • Beverages containing alcohol or caffeine for obvious reasons.

Children’s hands, unattended plates and the garbage can are three common arenas where pets can ingest these potential threats, often without our knowledge. Either be extremely vigilant around children, about leftovers lying around, keeping tight lids on all refuse receptacles or better yet, keep your pets indoors during these outdoor experiences.

#4 – The Lockout

If you are storing dangerous chemicals, cleaning supplies, insecticides and other possible toxins in a place where pets can reach them, like underneath the kitchen sink for example, be sure to install a special latch, lock or child-proof device to keep pets from entering these areas.

Just like children, sometimes we can’t be there every single second of every day to watch over them and protect them from possible harm. Often some simple preventative measures can go a long way when it comes to keeping our pets safe from poisons and toxins.

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