Dog or cat, indoors or outdoors, there are a number of common hazards that pose a risk to our pets. As pet owners, being aware of these risks is the first step in prevention. The second is making sure that your home is as free as possible of potential dangers. You may not be able to control all the hazards your pet is exposed to in an outdoor environment, but you can ensure that your house is the as animal-friendly as it can be. Keep an eye out for the risks below and help to avoid these preventable accidents:
- Chewing electrical cords – Hide exposed cords and wires whenever possible, spraying them with a bitter tasting spray if your puppy or kitten shows any interest.
- Toxicities – Prevent the ingestion of potential toxins such as cleaning agents and human medications by placing such hazardous products in cupboards or other enclosed and inaccessible places.
- Broken glass or other sharp objects – Ensure that your pet stays clear, and that their paws are free of foreign debris.
- Small toys – Pets can get pretty excited when playing, and excitement can sometimes lead to accidents. Try and choose toys that are not easily breakable and whose shape and size prohibits accidental ingestion.
- Foreign body indigestion – e.g. tinsel from a Christmas tree, ribbon from presents, and nuts.
- Seeking heat by lying on car engines, which can result in severe or fatal fan belt injuries.
- Hypothermia from falling through ice or frostbite from being left outside too long
- Running into trees, rocks and fences when chasing toys (could happen at any time of year, but icy ground makes it a lot more likely to happen!)