Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Household Hazards: The Kitchen

Over the course of the next few months we will be posting articles describing potential hazards to your pets that can be found throughout your home. We start this series with an article about the hazards that can be found in a room we use every day to prepare our own meals...the kitchen.

The kitchen may seem like a fairly safe place for our pets to most of us. After all if it’s OK for me to eat why shouldn’t it be OK for Fido as well? In truth we must remember that cats and dogs are very different from people and that many foods that we eat on a daily basis can actually be harmful to our pets. It is important that we pay attention when our pets are in the kitchen with us to make sure that they don’t accidentally get any potentially harmful foods.

Foods to watch out for:
-chewing gum, candy, and breath fresheners containing xylitol
-coffee grounds
-fatty foods
-macadamia nuts
-yeast dough

Being food conscious doesn’t just stop at the dinner table either. We must make sure that our pets can’t get into the trash and eat our food scraps as well. Often times the food they find in here can be moldy or have bacteria growing on it and these can also make our pets sick.

Cleaning supplies are another potential hazard to our pets that can often be found in the kitchen. While many household cleaners are safe to use around dogs and cats it is important to read the labels before we use them. For example, if the label states “keep pets and children away until dry,” follow these directions to prevent possible health risks. Another example would be using bleach. While bleach can often be used safely with no ill effects if it is used in high enough concentrations the vapors can irritate the eyes, throat, and skin and if swallowed may cause stomach upset, drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, or severe burns.

In general to prevent any accidents it is best to store all cleaning supplies in a secure cabinet out of reach of pets and in their original packaging or a clearly labeled and tightly sealed container.

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