Home Safe Home

A friend has a delightful needlepoint that observes, "A house is not a home without a pet." As we enjoy the companionship of our pets, we should ask ourselves if our home is a safe haven for them.

Even pets who spend most of their time indoors may be exposed to a number of potential hazards. Cleaning solutions such as disinfectants, drain cleaners, and detergents are among the many household chemicals which may prove toxic to a pet. They should be stored in tightly closed containers and secured cabinets where pets cannot reach them. Medicines should also be stored out of the reach of pets.

Sharp objects such as knives and forks, paper clips, carpet tacks, pins should be kept out of a pet's reach. Children's toys and small objects may attract a playful pet and become lodged in its mouth or swallowed. Although kittens are sometimes pictured with a ball of yarn, a playful kitten and yarn may add up to danger. If ingested, yarn as well as thread and twine could cause serious damage to the intestinal tract.

According to the National Safety Council, as many as 5,000 house fires a year can be attributed to pets as a result of their chewing electric cords. To help prevent this hazard, do your best to keep electric wiring out of the pet's sight and reach. Exposed lamp cords and other wires should be kept as short as possible. If extension cords are used, tack them against a baseboard or run them under a carpet so they cannot be played with or chewed.

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