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Image by Mark Bonica – https://www.flickr.com/photos/23119666@N03/ – Used under Creative Commons

You may think your house is safe for your pet. Unfortunately, pets are injured every day across Australia due to hidden household hazards. Today, we’re identifying some of the most common house hazards – and how to prevent them from harming your pet.
Electrical Cords
Electrical cords can be extremely dangerous for pets. Obviously, most of your home’s wiring is going to be hidden behind your walls. However, dogs and cats are naturally inquisitive: if they see a loose wire, they could chew on it, or get tangled up.
Unless you’re doing a renovation or construction project, you probably don’t have a problem with loose electrical wires in the home. However, many people have loose wires in accessible locations around the house – say, behind your TV.
Do you have loose wires in accessible places? Even if the wires are behind your TV, they can pose a significant hazard to pets. Pets can end up tangled in the wiring, or chew through them.
The best way to avoid this is to tape down any loose cords. Or, place them higher up, away from the floor and other pet-accessible areas. Alternatively, you can buy cable management systems that wrap all your cables into tight bundles. It tidies up your house and makes it more pet-friendly at the same time.
Innocent House Plants
Many pet owners don’t realize how dangerous certain plants are to their cats and dogs. Some homeowners grow thorn bushes around their property, for example, as a natural fence. Others keep decorative plants inside – say, a poinsettia during the holidays.
Unfortunately for pets, many of these plants are highly-toxic. Thorn bushes, for example, are almost always toxic. They can cause an infection – or at the very least, cut your pet.
Watch for the following plants around the house, and consider moving them to areas your pets cannot access:

  • Holly
  • Poinsettias
  • Bougainvillea
  • Roses
  • Easter Lilies

The thorns and leaves of all of the above plants can cause problems for your pets. Easter lilies, for example, can cause life-threatening kidney failure to cats within 36 to 72 hours of ingestion. If you’re unsure of a certain plant on your property, take a moment to Google the above plants to see if they match.
Your Favorite Foods
Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. However, there are a surprising number of foods that are equally dangerous for your pets. If you accidentally leave these foods on a table, or drop them on the floor, they can cause serious injuries to your dog or cat. Some of the worst culprits for cats and dogs include:

  • All types of candy (especially candy with wrappers, which can tear up your dog’s esophagus and intestines)
  • Chewing gum
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fatty foods

In most cases, these foods just give your pet bad indigestion or gas. However, in serious cases, your pet may need to visit the emergency room to be treated for poisoning.
Small Kids Toys
If you have small kids at home, then you may leave toys lying around. Unfortunately, small, brightly-colored toys aren’t just attractive to kids: they’re attractive to pets as well.
Even if the toys are too large to be swallowed, dogs or cats could break off a piece, causing a choking hazard. Make sure you put all small kids’ toys away when not in use, and keep them in a sealed container or another inaccessible location for your pet.
Other Small Household Objects
Ultimately, there are thousands of common household items that can be hazardous for your pet. Here are some additional things you need to keep out of reach of your pet:

  • Small Batteries
  • Buttons
  • Twist Ties and Rubber Bands
  • Hair Pins
  • Cotton Swabs (Q-Tips)
  • Dental Floss
  • Fertilizer
  • Antifreeze and Cleaning Supplies
  • Confetti and Balloons (especially deflated balloons)
  • Certain drinks (coffee, tea, and alcohol are all very bad for cats and dogs, even in small amounts)

By following the tips listed above, you can help your dog or cat avoid a serious injury around the house!