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Make Your House Pet Friendly

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Eliminate or Secure Items Harmful to Pets

"We recommend that pet owners be aware of which items around their homes can be harmful to their pets," advises Carol McConnell, DVM.  Pet owners must not "assume that their pets will ignore that bottle of bleach in the laundry room.  Our data shows this just isn't so."

You can make your house pet friendly by eliminating or securing harmful items, including medications, insect poisons, chocolate, and certain nuts.  Other toxic or harmful items:

  • Razor blades
  • Scissors
  • Knives
  • Toothpicks
  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Sewing needles
  • Straight pins
  • String
  • Some household plants
  • De-icers

Talk with your veterinarian during each visit about ways they can help you create a safe, non-toxic environment for your pets.

Keeping your house pet friendly is critical to the health and wellness of your pets.  Just what does pet friendly mean?  A pet friendly house is a sheltered location for an animal to live, play and relax that is clean, safe, free from hazards and toxic materials.  Most pets share house space with their owner.  Household items used in a house by an owner are available to the pets.  Many of these materials used by owners can be unsafe or deadly to pets.

"Properly storing and locking up hazardous items is the first step to preventing accidental poisonings," advises Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM in Common Household Poisons.  If you haven't made your house pet friendly, do it now.  It will be easiest to move from one room to another checking closets, cabinets, boxes, shelves, and drawers.  Yes, drawers - adept, curious pets can easily get into them!
 
"Not only can a poisoning incident be life-threatening for the pet, it's traumatic for the pet owner," said Carol McConnell, DVM, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Veterinary Pet Insurance.  "We recommend that pet owners be aware of which items around their homes can be harmful to their pets-medications, insect poisons, chocolate and certain nuts-and keep these items safely out of reach.  They shouldn't assume that their pets will ignore that bottle of bleach in the laundry room or the Philodendron plant by the window.  Our data shows this just isn't so."

It could be a good idea to isolate your pet for a few minutes while you remove and secure substances that can be harmful.  Pets may enjoy chewing through storage containers you consider safe.  Remember that child-proof does not mean pet proof!

Common Household Poisons by veterinarian Janet Tobiassen Crosby suggests properly storing and securing items that can harm your pet.  Ensure that they are stored up high and out of reach of all pets (and children) in your home.  Your pet doesn't know ingesting these items can harm or kill them.

Household Cleaners and Chemicals
These items are used to maintain your home, the furnishings, and items in it.  They may be located in your laundry room, kitchen, bathrooms, or garage.  Secure abrasives, soaps, waxes, disinfectants, powders, aerosol and pump sprays, paints, lubricants, bleach, fabric softeners, and water softener supplies.

Flea and Tick Treatments
In addition to storing where pets cannot reach or gain access to these items, use only the recommended doses.  Always follow the dosing schedule.

Antifreeze (Ethylene glycol)
Pets can be attracted to this sweet tasting, brightly colored liquid.  "One swallow may be lethal for small animals," Crosby advises.
 
Pest Control Baits and Poisons
These are baits you're using to attract pests and they can also attract your pet!  Beware.

Medications
"One of the most common household poisons are medications - either discovered by the pet or purposely administered by the owner," Crosby says.  Your veterinarian must guide you with giving any medications to your pets.  Over-the-counter and prescription drugs require authorization from your veterinarian.  "Accidental poisonings, especially from NSAIDs are very common," she says.

Foods and Food Additives
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that can be toxic to animals.  It is often found in foods labeled as "sugar free."  Chocolate, caffeine, raisins, and grapes are known toxins for pets.

Trash Cans
"The sheer mix of items in a trash can (may) make a pet owner forget the combined potential hazard," alerts Crosby.  Cleanser containers, food scraps, broken and sharp objects could severely harm a pet who wouldn't usually bother a trash can.  "Make sure your trash is secure."

Sources:

Crosby, Janet Tobiassen, DVM. Common household poisons.

Crosby, Janet Tobiassen, DVM. Top 10 pet poison prevention tips.

Veterinary Pet Insurance.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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