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Pet Safety Tips

Automotive products such as gasoline, oil, and windshield washer fluid should be stored in areas that are inaccessible to your pets.

Ethylene glycol is a dangerous form of antifreeze. As little as one teaspoon of ethylene glycol antifreeze can be deadly to a cat; less than one tablespoon can be lethal to a 20-pound dog.

Be aware of the plants you have in your home and yard. The ingestion of azalea, oleander, castor bean, sago palm, or yew plant material by an animal could be fatal. Certain types of lilies can be deadly to cats.

Store all cleaners, pesticides, and medications in a secured area.

Never allow your pets to have access to the areas in which cleaning agents are being used or stored. Cleaning agents have a variety of properties; some may only cause mild stomach upset, but others can cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth and stomach.

Most pesticide baits contain ingredients that can attract your pets. When using rat, mouse, snail or slug baits, or ant or roach traps, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your companion animals.

Never give your pets medication unless you are directed to do so by a veterinarian. Many medications that are safe for humans can be deadly for animals.

Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of your pets' reach, preferably in closed cabinets. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills are all examples of human medications that can be lethal to animals, even in small doses.

Food items that potentially could be dangerous to animals include onions, onion powder, chocolate (bakers, semi sweet, milk, dark), alcoholic beverages, yeast dough, coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans), tea (caffeine), salt, macadamia nuts (in dogs), hops (used in home beer brewing), tomato leaves and stems (green parts), potato leaves and stems (green parts), rhubarb leaves, avocados (toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle, and dairy goats), cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, moldy or spoiled foods.

Many common household items can be dangerous to animals. Mothballs, potpourri oils, pennies (minted after 1983), homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, automatic dishwashing detergent, and batteries.

Before buying a flea product, consult your veterinary staff for recommendations, especially when treating sick, debilitated or pregnant pets.

Read all of the information on the label before using a flea product on your pet or in your home. Always follow the directions. For example, if a product is for use only on dogs, it should never be used on cats. If you are uncertain about the proper usage of any product, contact the product's manufacturer and/or your veterinary staff for instructions.

Before using fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides on your lawn, contact the manufacturer for information about their safe usage around pets. If you are uncertain about the proper usage of any product, contact the product's manufacturer for instructions.