While many people do their best to make sure their pets are happy and healthy by providing things such as love, affection, regular vet visits and preventative medicines, often times most people overlook everyday items around the home that can seriously harm their pets. In addition to keeping our pets safe from hazards in the outside world, we need to be aware of items right under our noses that are dangerous.
POTPOURRI: LIQUID POTPOURRI CAN BE VERY APPEALING AND EVEN TASTY TO SOME PETS, PARTICULARLY CATS. INGESTING LIQUID POTPOURRI CAN CAUSE SEVERE MOUTH AND ESOPHAGEAL BURNS THAT CAN BE FATAL IF LEFT UNTREATED.
ELECTRICAL WIRES: IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP ALL ELECTRICAL WIRES SECURED AND OUT OF REACH OF PETS. PETS, ESPECIALLY PUPPIES IN THEIR CHEWING PHASE, MAY BE TEMPTED TO CHEW ON WIRES. INJURIES CAN INCLUDE BURNS TO THE MOUTH, LIPS OR TONGUE. MORE SERIOUS INJURIES CAN CAUSE SEIZURES, DIFFICULTY BREATHING OR CARDIAC ARREST.
PAPER SHREDDERS: CATS LIKE TO CLIMB AND WALK ON ANY SURFACE, INCLUDING PAPER SHREDDERS, AND CAN GET THEIR FEET OR HAIR CAUGHT IN THE FOLDS. A RECENTLY USED SHREDDER PROVIDES A WARM SPOT TO LIE THAT IS ATTRACTIVE TO CATS. KEEP THE SHREDDER TURNED OFF WHEN NOT IN USE, AND DO NOT LEAVE THE AUTO-FEED FUNCTION TURNED ON. IT IS A GOOD HABIT TO ALWAYS UNPLUG SHREDDERS WHEN NOT IN USE, ESPECIALLY IF THEY DO NOT HAVE AN ON/OFF BUTTON.
ANTIFREEZE: THIS COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEM IS VERY DANGEROUS TO PETS. THIS LETHAL SUBSTANCE IS SWEET, AND THEREFORE, APPEALING TO PETS. AS LITTLE AS ONE TEASPOON CAN KILL A SMALL PET. KEEP ALL CHEMICALS SECURE, AND STORE THEM AWAY FROM AREAS WHERE PETS HAVE ACCESS.
RECLINERS: ANIMALS LIKE TO HIDE AND NAP UNDER FURNITURE. IF A RECLINER IS IN THE HOME, ALWAYS CHECK THAT IS IT CLEAR OF PETS BEFORE SITTING OR ROCKING, AS PETS CAN BE CRUSHED.
HUMAN MEDICINES: MEDICATIONS THAT ARE SAFE FOR PEOPLE ARE NOT NECESSARILY SAFE FOR PETS. IT IS A COMMON OCCURRENCE FOR PETS TO HAVE AN EMERGENCY TRIP TO THE VET DUE TO CONSUMPTION OF HUMAN MEDICATIONS THAT WERE ADMINISTERED BY THEIR OWNERS. IF A PET HAS A HEALTH PROBLEM, DISCUSS APPROPRIATE MEDICATIONS WITH A VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING ANYTHING TO THE PET. ESPECIALLY TOXIC ARE COMMON PAIN AND ALLERGY MEDICATIONS SUCH AS CLARITIN, TYLENOL AND ASPIRIN.
CLOTHING: DOGS ARE NOTORIOUS FOR STEALING CLOTHES OUT OF THE DIRTY LAUNDRY BASKET. UNDERWEAR AND SOCKS ARE VERY POPULAR WITH DOGS, AND SWALLOWING THESE ITEMS CAN CAUSE A LIFE-THREATENING OBSTRUCTION THAT MAY REQUIRE SURGERY. KEEP LAUNDRY BASKETS SECURE AND OUT OF REACH OF PETS.
Fundraiser: The Charming Charlie store at Elmwood Shopping Center, 1126 S. Clearview Parkway, New Orleans, will donate 10 percent of each customer’s purchase to the Louisiana SPCA from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16, when they mention the Louisiana SPCA during checkout. Volunteers will be on hand with shelter info and adoptable dogs, weather permitting. For information, call (504) 733-1018.
Adoption event: An adoption event for Animal Rescue New Orleans will be part of an outdoor ice cream social from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 18, at Longue Vue House and Gardens, 7 Bamboo Road, New Orleans. The event is free for members and $8 for each nonmember. Children under 2 are free. For information, visit longuevue.com.
Critter cinema: A Critter Cinema event for children ages 5 to 10 will be held from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18, at the Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., New Orleans. Animal-loving, pizza-eating, movie-watching kids will play with puppies and kittens and enjoy a G-rated critter movie, crafts, games and more. Participants are invited to bring a sleeping bag, pillow and pajamas.
Pet supplies: Dot’s Diner is collecting pet food and supplies at its six locations during July to benefit the Humane Society of Louisiana, which operates the Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary in Mt. Hermon. Customers who donate bags or cans of pet food or supplies such as litter, bowls or leashes will receive 20 percent off their meal ticket.
Lost or found pets: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to email@example.com.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.animalrescueneworleans.org or call its recorded information line at (504) 571-1900.