It has been proven that most accidents in our country happen to people in their leisure time and especially in their privacy of one`s home. With our estimated pets it behaves similarly. At home, there are a variety of possible sources of danger for our dogs and cats. You can read in this article what these are and what you should pay attention to.
What can become a danger?
If you love your pet, you want to protect it from accidents and diseases. Unfortunately, many underestimate the dangers in their own household. The most common sources of danger are:
Food and plants: Not everything that is good for us humans is also good for our animals. Always make sure never to leave food lying around. Also some house plants represent a large risk for the health of our darlings. You can get a detailed list under the following link: Toxic food and plants.
Detergents/drugs: Drugs and cleaning products should always be kept safe, as with children. Taking them from animals can have life-threatening consequences. Also make sure to use cleaning agents in the household that are generally not too harsh (chlorine for the floor). It is better to use natural and biodegradable products.
Tilted and open windows: A tilted window can quickly become a cat trap. When trying to climb out, our kittens can get stuck. The blood supply in certain parts of the body can be cut off (“tilted window syndrome”), which unfortunately often ends deadly. So always keep windows closed or prepare them with special window grids. Even open windows without grids can tempt some animals to lean out. Not seldom they fall down thereby.
Balcony: Balconies and terraces that are situated higher up should always be secured with a cat grid/net or similar. You can find out how to do this here.
Open doors: Open doors invite your pet to explore the world on his own paws. If your apartment is located on a street, it can quickly become dangerous. Doors should also always be secured with a doorstop, as a air draft can cause your pet to fall shut and cause serious injury.
Open fire/stove: As romantic as a candlelight dinner or a glass of wine in front of an open fireplace is, open fire is always dangerous for our pets. Keep your pet away from it or secure it with a grate. Even the stove can become a great danger. Just used stove plates should always be covered ( with a pot of cold water), the risk of burning is simply too high.
Certain scents/flavors: Dogs and cats can demonstrably smell many times better than we humans. Too strong odours can irritate and damage their sensitive olfactory nerves. Certain scents, such as tea tree oil, are also toxic to cats and should be kept away from them.
Electronic appliances: These include the refrigerator, washing machine, dryer or dishwasher. If these are left unattended, some pets are magically attracted to them and want to hide inside. This can end tragically if the machine is not checked before use. Unsecured sockets and electric cables, a left iron or flat iron can also endanger our pets.
Wet areas: It is not uncommon for cats to drown in full bathtubs or similar. The toilet lid should also be closed so that your pet does not get stuck upside down and drown. A pool is also a drowning trap for our animals. Therefore, you should never leave your pet unattended when water is involved.
Plastic bag: Most cat owners will probably agree with the following statement: Cats love boxes and plastic bags. Such a bag is easily used as a hiding place, but the risk of getting tangled up and injured is quite high, and cats rarely suffocate in it.
Small parts: Lying around small parts but also various threads and strings are sometimes very popular especially with cats. The danger lies in swallowing or strangulation. If parts are swallowed, this can lead to an intestinal obstruction. Some dogs also have a preference for non-edible things like socks, which usually have to be removed surgically.
Passive smoke: Not surprisingly, passive smoke also counts as an imminent disaster. Lung damage, cancer, etc. can also be proven to be caused by cigarette smoke in animals.
Broken/damaged furniture: Caution is also advised with loosely mounted shelves/cupboards or older and discarded furniture. These can fall over, break in or splinter into individual parts. Our animals can cut themselves on the broken pieces or get caught on protruding nails and injure themselves.
Collars: For outdoor cats, collars can quickly become dangerous. You can find more information here.
Furnishings: Higher standing things, such as decorations, should not stand on the edge. If your pet bumps into the cabinet, the things falling down can cause injuries. Even an unstable scratching post can tip over when playing wildly and injure your velvet paw. So make sure that everything is stable and that nothing can fall down so quickly. Also the trash can should not be left open, but stored in a cupboard.
When should I visit the vet?
If you pay attention to the things listed above, the risk of injury in your own household is already minimized. However, if an accident should occur, in some cases a visit to a vet cannot be avoided.
Especially with (severe) burns, cuts that do not stop bleeding, signs of poisoning, obvious pain, changes in movement and behaviour should be acted upon immediately.
In case of doubt, however, it is better to seek professional help than the other way around!
In our own household, not only the risk of accidents is quite high for us humans. Also for our beloved dogs and cats there are many dangers in the household. But if you always keep an eye on your beloved pet and if you secure some things or plan ahead, the probability of an accident decreases significantly.