How to Puppy and Kitten Proof Your Home

Kittens and puppies are naturally inquisitive. This characteristic can often lead to serious injury. Here are some tips on how you can make your house safer for the new arrival.

That's Shocking. Young animals love to chew when they are teething. Keep electrical wires out of reach or use a pet-repellent spray.

They would die for some chocolate. Chocolate can be dangerous. It contains Theobromine, a powerful stimulant that is toxic to pets. Sweets, cakes and cookies can also upset a young animal's G.I. tact and lead to diarrhea and vomiting which can be serious.

Treats can be threats. Never give turkey, chicken, pork or rib bones as a treat. They can splinter and cause serious injury or impact in the intestines.

Common household killers. Cleaning agents such as bleach and ammonia, disinfectants, drain cleaner, oven cleaner, paint, gasoline and rat poison are all potentially lethal. Keep them locked up.

Check the antifreeze. Pets are attracted to the odor and sweet taste of antifreeze. Store it high and tightly sealed and wipe up any spills on the garage floor. Window-washing solution also contains antifreeze. And remember, engine warmth promotes cat naps so honk your horn to wake pets that may be under the hood.

Killer house plants. Poisonous plants include lilies, philodendron, dieffenbachia, elephant ears, eucalyptus, spider plants, azalea, ivy, amaryllis, pyracantha, oleander, boxwood, Jerusalem cherry and plant bulbs. Keep these plants out of reach!

Keep off the grass. If you treat your lawn with chemicals keep your pets away. Read and follow label directions carefully.

It fit yesterday. Puppies and kittens grow rapidly. Collars and harnesses can be rapidly outgrown leading to serious wounds.

Take care of personal care items. Cosmetics, shampoos, skin creams, hair “perm” solutions, depilatories, suntan lotions, sleeping pills, caffeine pills, aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen can all be lethal to pets.

It's not a toy. Don't leave plastic bags out. Inquisitive young animals, especially kittens can suffocate.

The heat is on. Watch out for hot irons, coffee pots and space heaters. Kittens and puppies will suddenly be able to jump to new heights.

A dip tip. Keep covers on hot tubs and swimming pools. Kittens and even young puppies can fall in and not be able to get out.

'Tis the season. Keep holly, ribbons, mistletoe and especially Christmas tree tinsel out of reach.

Cozy up. Always use a fireplace screen.

Do you eat with that mouth? Rule of thumb: If any or all of something will fit in a mouth, it'sdangerous. Watch out for super-balls, rubber bands, balloons, sewing needles, thread string, hair ties, ribbons, and yes, even pantyhose. Remember, what goes in must come out, often via surgery.

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