Pet Tails: Take care to keep pets safe from household items

Just as it is important to child-proof your home to keep anything potentially harmful out of reach, it is equally important to pet-proof your home for the same reason.

Animals are curious and one way they learn is through taste. As a result, pets often get into things that aren’t good for them, so it’s up to us to protect them.

A lot of things we keep around the house should be locked away from our pets.

You probably know that you should keep any prescription drugs away from your pets.

But even common pain relievers, such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin and drugs containing acetaminophen, such as cold medications and Tylenol, are harmful to pets and can result in severe gastric ulceration and acute kidney failure when ingested. This includes pain-relieving creams.

Many things that we use in our garden are potentially harmful to our animals.

Insecticides and pesticides, especially those that contain disulfoton, often used in rose-care products, can be life-threatening even ingested in small amounts. Certain organic fertilizer products that contain blood meal, bone meal, feather meal and iron can be especially tasty but dangerous to animals.

If you’re having a problem with pests, follow the instructions for bug and rodent traps carefully and consider that pets, and even wildlife, can be poisoned by eating rodents killed by rodenticides.

Be careful around the car, too.

Antifreeze smells sweet and can be a dangerous attraction for cats and dogs. Products like de-icers wind up on paws and can lead to poisoning when licked. Many companies are now making pet-safe salt for spreading on ice in the winter to avoid poisoning or chemical burns.

Remember, also, that just because a product is “natural” that doesn’t mean it’s safe to ingest. Keep all cleaning products, even the natural ones, away from your pets.

Even items meant for our animals can sometimes cause problems.

For example, rawhide can host bacteria like salmonella if not stored and used properly. Toys with small parts can be torn apart and swallowed, often requiring expensive surgery.

Finally, just because a food is safe for people doesn’t mean it’s safe for our pets. Raisins, nuts, onions and chocolate are just some of the foods that can cause anything from mild irritation to death.

The ASPCA has a comprehensive list of items which are poisonous to pets.

You can find the list

They also have a 24-hour poison control hotline at 888- 426-4435 if you think your pet has ingested something and you don’t know what to do.

Lost pet?

Call us 812-988-7362 to report, and read our tips online at

S.P.O.T. special

In June and July only, spay Mama and we’ll fix her babies for free. Call S.P.O.T. at 812-703-0797

Pets of the Week

photo photoPatrick and Toliver both have feline leukemia (FeLV), so they don’t get to play with the other cats.

That’s OK though because they’ve become best buddies.

Toliver is the sassy one who enjoys bopping people on the head with his paw. Patrick is the sweet one who loves to wind his way through your legs and beg for pets.

Together they make a perfectly balanced pair. You’ll never be lonely with these two in your life.

Author photo
Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.