You love your pet and would do anything for it — but sometimes even minor missteps can lead to severe illness or worse.
Consider these little-known dangers that might just put your pet in jeopardy, and learn how to keep your furry family members safe.
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10 hidden pet dangers you probably don’t know about
1. Beware of tennis balls
Yes, your dog loves to play fetch, but tennis balls can prove deadly. Dogs’ jaws can compress balls in such a way that they pop into the back of the dogs’ throats and block air passages, notes Vet Street. Small balls can also be swallowed and suffocate your pooch. That’s what happened to Oprah’s beloved Golden Retriever several years ago when it found a ball it was not supposed to use. What to do? Keep games of fetch lively and fun — and never let a dog play unsupervised, recommended Vet Street.
2. Keep plastic Easter eggs out of reach
Yes, they can choke an animal but they can also damage their digestive system if they are ingested, reports Reader’s Digest. And beware of Easter grass, the fake grass often used to fill Easter baskets, too. Ingesting that can cause a pet to choke or severely damage their intestines. Keep plastic Easter eggs well out of reach and consider using paper instead of plastic Easter grass.
3. Forego Easter lilies
Many people love the smell of lilies but don’t realize they are among the most poisonous plants for cats. If you have an Easter lily, watch your pet for vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite and other warning signs of poisoning. If you suspect your animal ate the plant, immediately seek emergency veterinarian care. Your best bet? Keep these blooms out of the house.
4. Protect feet from ice-melting chemicals
Those in cold weather climates may not realize that the granules used to melt ice can cause health concerns for pets, reports petMD. The granules work into pets’ feet, causing irritation. Pets that lick the granules ingest chemicals that can make them ill — or worse. Avoid this hazard by having your pet wear booties outside. Can’t get them to wear booties? Carefully clean your pet’s feet and underside with wet cotton cloths when they come inside.
5. Watch for frostbite symptoms
Many animals love playing in the snow but they’re susceptible to frostbite. That causes tissue damage that can range from tingling and burning to damage requiring amputation, according to petMD. Don’t leave them out too long and check their skin after they’ve has been outdoors. Remember to never use direct heat or hot water: tepid water and blankets are best.
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6. Keep cleaning products out of reach
We know cleaning products are dangerous to kids, of course, but we sometimes forget they are dangerous to pets, too. Keep cleaning products well out of reach out pets. Also, make sure floors, furniture and other surfaces on which you’ve used cleaning products are dry before you allow a pet in the room.
7. Don’t allow random drink stops
Pets get thirsty and will sometimes stop to drink out of puddles, drain spouts and lakes. You don’t know what’s in that water — anything from chemicals to pollutants or worse. Keep fresh water and a bowl ready for your pet at all times.
8. Discard food container bags
Sure, pets often come running when they hear the crinkle of a food container bag opening, but keep them far away, says Pets N More. Dogs have died after becoming trapped inside food bags. Pets have also eaten food bags and been severely ill or died. Keep them away.
9. Keep onions, garlic, shallots and leeks away
Cold weather prompts many of us to cook stews, roasts and other dishes filled with onions, garlic, shallots and leeks. Pets that ingest them can have severe reactions, such as burst red blood cells. Make sure these foods — both raw and cooked — are out of reach.
10. Keep fruits away
Those platters of grapes and raisins can prove fatal to pets, typically dogs. (Cats aren’t fans of sweet foods.) According to Health.com, symptoms range from upset stomach to seizures, paralysis and more. Immediate treatment can save your pet, so if something happens, don’t delay. Of course, the best things you can do is keep the fruits away.
Read more: 7 tips to keep pets safe during winter