Pet owners, like parents, have to worry about the effects everyday household items can have on their pets. Everything from chocolate to Easter lilies are dangerous for animals to ingest, but there are some very serious poisons in our household cleaning items. Here is some information to help you get a better sense of what is safe and what is not for your beloved pet.
Types of Poisons
Dogs and cats walk roll and lie on the floors of your home and lick their paws and bodies daily. These activities can lead to small amounts of poison being ingested by the animal if you have recently cleaned your floors with a non-safe cleaner. Most often there will not be enough to do any damage to the cat or dog, but it is best to throw away any floor cleaners with the following common ingredients: bleach, ammonia, formaldehyde and sodium phosphates.
The first step to pet safety is to make sure that your dog or cat is not directly ingesting any household cleaners. Like with children, if your pet has licked or drunk any amount of household cleaner call your vet immediately. If you continue to use cleaners that have the poisons listed above as one or more of their ingredients, it is a good idea to make sure you keep your pet out of the space until it is cleaned and fully dried. This will greatly decrease the chances of poisoning.
Minor Effects of Poisons
Dogs and cats will show signs of poisoning more quickly than humans as they have a higher metabolic rate. If your pet is experiencing lack of appetite, dizziness or vomiting, and you know you have some of these poisons in your home, it is a good idea to call your vet at the first signs of illness. If caught early enough, most cases can be cured and not have a lasting effect on your pet.
Major Physical Effects
If your pet has ingested a poisonous substance directly, the effects could be much stronger than your usual lack of appetite or vomiting. Because their systems process poison so much more quickly, it is a good idea to bring your dog to the vet immediately. If you don't catch your pet in the act, dogs and cats have been known to experience seizures, loss of consciousness and loss of breath because of a poison overdose, and these symptoms are a good sign that poisoning has occurred.
There are emergency services for your pet should they be poisoned by household cleaners. The most important thing is to not give your pet anything that may induce vomiting as their systems may not be able to take it. Do not try to cure the animal yourself; get him/her to a vet as soon as possible.
What you can do
There are obvious steps you can take to protect your pets from being poisoned by everyday household floor cleaners. Many safe and effective household cleaners are available that are environmentally friendly and do not contain any of the poisons listed above. Educate yourself about what chemicals are toxic to pets and eliminate them from your home. There are cleaning liquids created especially for households with dogs and/or cats. Perhaps this is a good time to re-vamp your whole cleaning cabinet and make it safer for not only your pets, but for your entire household and the environment as well.
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