How to Protect Dogs and Cats From Household Dangers


Keep your cat or dog away from toxic plants. Toxic plants commonly found around the house include mistletoe, schefflera, philodendron, dumbcane (dieffenbachia) and caladium. Talk to your local nursery about which toxic outdoor plants are common in your area.


Keep objects that are small enough to be swallowed away from your cat or dog. A small ball or loose string is easy to swallow and may cause bowel obstruction.


Store toxic chemicals, as well as dangerously sharp objects and utensils (knives, razors and scissors), in closed containers inside cupboards and cabinets.


Avoid confining your cat or dog in areas where cleaning products and other chemicals are stored.


Clean up any spilled chemicals thoroughly ‘ especially antifreeze ‘ before letting your pet into the area where a spill has occurred (see related eHow ‘Detect Antifreeze Poisoning in Your Pet’).


Keep chocolate in areas where your dog cannot reach it. Chocolate is toxic to dogs.


Secure electrical cords behind appliances, hidden from your pet’s view, and tape them to the wall if necessary. Discourage your pet from chewing on them by spraying the cords with bitter apple spray or other unpleasant flavors (see related eHow ‘Prevent Your Pet From Chewing on Electrical Cords’).


Check and repair any damaged fencing, gates, doors, windows or screens where your cat or dog might escape.


Be cautious ‘ watch for your cat or dog as you drive in and out of your garage to make sure you don’t run over her or get her caught in the garage door.


Keep medications and vitamins out of your pet’s reach, and never give her medication labeled for people unless directed by your veterinarian. For example, acetaminophen is toxic for cats, and ibuprofen can cause kidney failure in dogs.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Animal behaviorists compare cats and dogs to children when it comes to understanding and avoiding hazards. Be vigilant in protecting your pet.

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