Pets, especially puppies and kittens, are naturally inquisitive. While your pet’s curious antics may be endearing, they can also land them in the hospital. Our Animal Clinic of Council Bluffs team is here to help if your pet tangles with a pet hazard, but we would prefer they stay healthy and happy. Listen in as Brutus the wise hound counsels his family’s new puppy, Chance, on the dangers that lurk in their home, and use his advice to pet-proof your home.

Brutus: “Listen up, young pup. You may be cute, but puppies have a habit of sticking their noses into trouble. I have been around the block a few times, and learned how to stay safe in the dangerous human world. Follow me through the house, and I’ll show you what to steer clear of if you want to make it past your first birthday.”

Kitchen hazards and pets

Brutus: “This here is the kitchen, and our food bowls are over in the corner. We eat dog food, but our human family eats a variety of foods that will smell delicious. Listen up, because this is important—never eat any food from the table, counter, or trash can. Human foods can make us very sick! Sadie next door once ate a chocolate bar and had to go to the hospital, where they gave her medicine that made her throw up.” 

Chance: “I’ve only been here a week, but I already know this will be a difficult rule to follow. The food smells so good!”

Animal Clinic of Council Bluffs team: As you can see, Chance will have a hard time controlling his appetite, and will need his owner’s help. Avoid a food fiasco by preventing your pet from eating dangerous foods, including:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Garlic, onions, shallots, and chives
  • Xylitol, a sugar substitute
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Fatty foods, which can cause pancreatitis

If you have a pet who inhales any food that hits the ground, consider keeping them busy in another room, or putting them in their crate with a long-lasting treat while you cook and eat meals.  

Brutus: “One more thing before we move on—don’t chew on any plants or flowers in the center of the table. I’m not sure why you would want to eat plants, but the cat down the street licked lily pollen from her paw last year, and had to spend a week in the hospital. It was touch and go for a while, but she pulled through.”

Bathroom hazards and pets

Brutus: “As a general rule, stay out of the bathroom, unless you like getting a bath. This is a small room, but it is packed full with dangerous things. Cleaning chemicals that can make us sick are stored under the sink. The door should be latched, but sometimes one of the kids leaves it open. The top cabinet is out of reach, thankfully, because the real dangers are hidden there, including rows of pill bottles, and many of the medications can land you in the hospital. Never eat pills that are dropped on the floor, no matter how much they look like candy.”

Chance: “Look, a big raised water bowl! Why did they put a water bowl in a room we are supposed to stay out of?”

Brutus: “No, Chance—that’s not a water bowl for us! That is a toilet full of bacteria, and sometimes cleaning chemicals our mom adds that turn the water blue. Never drink this water, no matter how thirsty you are.”

Animal Clinic of Council Bluffs team: Brutus is right—your bathroom is full of potential pet dangers. Keep all medications and chemicals stored safely out of your pet’s reach, and if your pet finds toilet water irresistible, refrain from adding chemicals to the water, and keep the lid down. 

Bedroom hazards and pets

Brutus: “The bedrooms are pretty safe, but watch out for candy the kids stash in their backpacks. Stay away from chewing gum, because most of it contains xylitol, which can make you extremely sick, or buy you an early ticket to doggy heaven. 

“You’ll want to chew on all kinds of things while you are teething, but stick to the toys in your basket. Don’t swallow any toys the kids leave lying around, because one can get stuck in your intestines, and you will need surgery to remove it.”

Chance: “OK, OK. I noticed that you nap on Tommy’s lower bed while the family is gone all day. When I’m old enough to spend the day out of my crate, I’m going to sprawl out on the big bed!”

Animal Clinic of Council Bluffs team: Although bedrooms are generally safe, remind your kids not to keep candy and gum in their backpacks where pets can get to them. To be extra safe, don’t buy sugar-free gum or candy containing xylitol. Also, ensure your kids pick up their toys, and restrict pets from their bedrooms and the toy room when small toys, such as LEGO bricks and doll accessories, are scattered over the floor.

Garage hazards and pets

Chance: “Oh, the garage! This looks like fun. What’s in all these bottles on the shelves?” 

Brutus: “Those bottles may look like fun, but most contain chemicals you must stay away from. Antifreeze, rodent bait, garden fertilizer, slug bait, paint, glue—the list goes on and on, but you must stay away from all these containers to be safe.”

Chance: “What about home projects? I want to help our dad make things at his tool bench!”

Brutus: “Unfortunately, your ‘help’ may be more of a hindrance if you get underfoot and make our dad drop heavy tools. You might also step on a sharp nail and cut your paw.”

Animal Clinic of Council Bluffs team: Your garage is likely full of potential pet toxins. Keep all chemicals, especially those Brutus mentioned, out of paws’ reach, and keep your pet out of the garage while you work on home improvement projects.

Brutus’ advice is not only helpful to Chance—it can also help you stay one step ahead of your mischievous pet. But, if your pet lands themselves in trouble despite your precautions, call our Animal Clinic of Council Bluffs team—we are here to help.