You as a pet owner, have the responsibility to protect your pet around the home. The following information is related to items, commonly found in and around the home, that can be potentially harmful and dangerous to your pet.
Cocoa: Chocolate can add pounds to humans, however it is a very deadly poison to dogs, cats and ferrets. Garden supply stores also sell a cocoa mulch for landscaping. This cocoa mulch has a chocolate scent that is very appetizing to some pets. The ingredients in this mulch can be very deadly if ingested by pets. Cedar and other soft wood shavings, including pine, emit fumes that may be dangerous to small animals such as gerbils and hampsters.
Lawn Chemicals: Fertilizers, plant foods, herbicides and other lawn chemicals can be easily accessible, especially when applied to lawns, flower gardens and around the home. Many of the insecticides, used around the home are also of a special concern due to their danger to animals. Even over-the-counter flea and tick products can contain toxic chemicals, even when used as directed. The best policy is to use flea and tick products from a Veterinarian.
Human Medications: They are just that.................. FOR HUMANS! Especially of concern are pain killers such as Aspirin, Acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, anti depressants, vitamins, and diet pills. All of these can be toxic to animals. Keep medication containers, and tubes of ointments and creams away from animals that could chew through them. If you drop any type of pills, be very diligent about finding and disposing of them to prevent them being eaten by an animal.
Leftover Foods: One type of leftover food that is of particular concern is chicken bones. These can easily shatter and choke a cat and especially a dog. When they shatter, they can also puncture the animal's throat and windpipe. Other human foods to keep away from pets include onions and onion powder, alcoholic beverages, yeast dough, coffee grounds and beans, salt, macadamia nuts, tomato, potato, and rhubarb leaves and stems, avocados (toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle, and dairy goats), and anything with mold growing on it.
Household Plants: Azalea, Geraniums, Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane), Lilies, Mistletoe, and Philodendron, and others are all very poisonous to animals.
Rawhide Doggie Chews: These popular toys may contain dangerous diseases which can prove to be deadly to pets. These chews can become contaminated with the Salmonella Bacteria which can infect both humans and pets with a potentially deadly condition. In addition to the potential health risk, from disease, there is also a substantial risk of choking, caused from small pieces being chewed off and swallowed. Extreme care should be exercised when giving pets these chews.
String, Yarn, Rubber Bands and Dental Floss: These items that are easily swallowed, while seemingly harmless, can cause strangulation intestinal blockages, resulting in expensive surgery or even death to an animal.
Kid's Toys: Especially dangerous are toys that have removable parts (squeaky toys, stuffed animals with plastic eyes, and small items, can be a serious choking hazard to pets. The same cautions should be exercised with pets as you would with a small child.
Tethering: Extreme care should be exercised whenever tethering any animal for the means of confining the animal to its property. If an animal is tethered too close, it can have difficulty reaching necessary food, water and shelter. However, if an animal is incorrectly tethered or tethered with a lead that is too long, it could become tangled and could even be hanged to death accidentally.