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If you live in an apartment, your cat may be vulnerable to "the high-rise syndrome." If the window screens are not securely fastened, a cat may fall from a window and suffer serious injuries. A cat should be in a carrier if it is allowed on an apartment balcony. Dogs are sometimes at risk on a high-rise balcony. A lively dog could squeeze through the bars and fall, leading to injury or even death.

Maintaining a "fresh air policy"" in your home protects your pet as well as family members from being adversely affected by continued exposure to indoor air pollutants. Among common air pollutants are nitrogen dioxide from gas appliances, wood-burning stoves and unvented kerosene heaters.

Other health-threatening pollutants are radon, fumes from household products such as cleaning agents, pesticides, paints and varnishes, microbial and fungal agents found in air conditioners, air ducts, filters and humidifiers. Gas appliances should be properly functioning. Always use great care with kerosene heaters and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Gas stoves, and kerosene heaters or stoves should be vented to the outside of the house.

Smoke alarms, carbon dioxide monitors and regular maintenance of one's furnace are all things we can do to improve the home environment for ourselves and our pets.

Cars should never be left running inside a garage. This can be lethal if the garage is ever used to house a pet.

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