Many common household items are harmful to pets, but might pass under the radar because they seem so innocuous. We’ve all seen the Oreos ad and know that chocolate isn’t good for dogs (and cats too). But what about the other household dangers lurking…
Anyone reading this who’s a parent – to a human or a pet – is probably nodding right now. You’ll know how a gorgeous, scented candle can suddenly transform into a potential hazard. Or how power points that used to be so convenient suddenly just seem like raw electricity lying around waiting to be touched.
Harmful to pets? A little rearranging is in order
While not every pretty ornament will automatically become the boogieman, a few tactful rearrangements can make life so much easier. You might find that goodies and gadgets which can be toxic or pose other kinds of dangers to pets also look better covered up or packed away!
Let’s unpack three of these seemingly innocent household items that can harm your pets. So you can start your reorganising.
Deodorant cans can harm pets
We already know deodorant cans are bad for mother nature but have you thought about the situation on the ground too? Even when they’re empty, pressurised cans still contain pressure and traces of deodorant that can be toxic to pets.
The contents of a deodorant can are flammable, which in and of itself might make you paws for thought. But more serious is if your furkid manages to pierce the can. Especially around a fire or other source of heat… can you say ‘potential explosion’.
This may seem so unlikely that you’re willing to target the body odour and overlook the hazards but be aware. One six-month-old puppy named Zeus chewed through a deodorant can in just a few unsupervised minutes. Although he miraculously escaped unharmed, the deodorant and the heat from a nearby lamp blew up the house.
Methinks we’re heading to the roll-on aisle… and packing deodorant in locked cupboards.
Salt lamps are toxic for pets
Another seemingly unobtrusive danger is salt lamps. The pink crystal lamps look lovely, but they’re attractive to pets too and can cause salt poisoning. As it turns out, too much isn’t just dangerous to people, it can wreak havoc for a pet too.
Salt poisoning can make the brain swell, which affects coordination. It makes basic neurological functions like walking and hearing difficult.
One Kiwi pet parent had to take her cat to an emergency vet visit when this exact thing happened in 2019. Lucy the cat had licked the Himalayan salt lamp and by the afternoon she couldn’t walk, hear or see properly. She couldn’t use her tongue normally either, affecting her ability to eat and drink.
It’s important not to keep salt lamps around pets, because even if they’re high up a cat can still reach them, and if bits of crystal break and fall a dog might eat one without you knowing.
Here’s what can happen if pets get sodium poisoning:
- Loss of coordination
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Extreme thirst
Candles can be harmful to pets
Candles are a definite yes at romantic dinners and relaxing bath sides, but did you know they can be toxic to pets. That’s not to say you should stop having those candlelit nights, but here’s what you should know…
Candles are often made from chemicals like lead, formaldehyde, benzene, paraffin and other carcinogens. Scented candles can pose the biggest danger to pets because they smell more enticing so meowser or woofer are more likely to take a bite.
And let’s face it, when did any dog just take one bite. Chances are, Rover is going to eat the whole candle or even the whole pack of candles – a big fat no-no.
Luckily, not all candles are made equal. There’s room for a workaround.
Although it might be a bit pricier, look for unscented candles made from pure beeswax, vegetable-based wax or coconut wax. These are safe for pets and good for the environment too! Speaking of good for the environment, read about sustainable dog food.
And lest we forget, always put those candles out once you’re leaving the room. A little paw or swish of the tail and a burning candle is a fire hazard. Let’s avoid that at all costs.
Pet proof like a pro!
Now that you know about these three unlikely things that are harmful to pets, we’ve put together a few more resources to help you pet proof like a pro:
- Poisonous plants for dogs and cats
- Things that can poison your pet
- Chocolate toxic to dogs and cats
- Puppy proof your house
- Pet proofing your home
With this list, you’re sorted on a range of what you need to get and what you need to pack away. Maybe it’s the start of a little home décor project, who knows!
Pet insurance to keep pets safe from harm
Another nice to have and easy on the pocket is pet insurance. With as little as $1 a day, you can get affordable insurance for your cat or dog that reduces your payments on hospitalisation, vet visits, medication and more. Plus, it’s hassle-free and you can pay month to month with no lock-in contract if you prefer.
Common things that are harmful to pets – over to you
Have you got something to add to the harmful-to-pets list? Tell us your story in the comments and remember to share a pic of your furry friend on our Facebook page too.