It's almost Easter weekend, and that may mean baskets of goodies around the house. But beyond the risks of sweeteners and chocolates, there are plenty of threats looming in any sweet-looking Easter basket. Even though paper "grass" is not as dangerous, the shiny, pastel bits seen here can lure in a curious cat (or pup), but pose the same problem as tinsel — strands can't be digested, get stuck in their intestines, and totally mess up the digestive system.What other hazards lurk inside? Dig deeper and read more
Beyond the risks of sweeteners and chocolates, there are plenty of risks in that sweet looking Easter basket. First up, those hardboiled eggs may taste fine to a pet now (dyed shells and all – yuck!) but, if he decides to bury it in the backyard and dig it up later, he can get very sick from eating those rotten eggs. What other threats lurk inside? Find out when you read more
If you have a furry little troublemaker on your hands – always trying to sink his teeth into something dangerous – then an electrical cord protector is a must have. Keeping a safeguard around your TV, cable, or stereo cords is a good idea so that your pet doesn't get the shock of his life when he feels the need to chew.
Thankfully, you can get a protector on the cheap at Ikea or by shopping online. This cord protector is only six bucks ($6) but can save you a ton of worry and hassle, and it's clear so you don't have too much of a distraction running along your floorboards. Best yet, if your pet doesn't know better than to take curious chews on cords, it's infused with a citrus scent to deter any naughty nibbles. When I lived with rabbits, however, we had something a little tougher, and a lot bigger, because they were quite the super chewers!
While North doesn't show much interest in the closed window (unless we're feeding the birds), whenever I have it cracked just the teensiest bit, he loves to put his paws up and sniff that fresh air coming in. Now my window ledges weren't in the greatest shape when we moved in but, if I owned my home, I would consider getting one of these Sill Shields to match any window I'd have open.
Made from heavy duty, outdoor grade PVC, these attachable shields protect the surface beneath them, while still hiding the scratches better than painted wood. With three sizes of depths and three for widths, they're designed to fit most windows – and, starting at $12.95, totally affordable too. To see another piccy of my lil guy trying to get a good view from our top floor apt when you read more
You may (or may not know) that some plants can be toxic to pets if they get the urge to munch the flowers and plants you keep around the house and garden. Even some of the most common flowers like Baby's Breath, which come in many arrangements, can be unassuming but totally harmful to your pets if ingested. Thankfully, the ASPCA has a complete list of plants that are a-ok and safe for plant-snacking pets, even if it wears down your patience! This Spring, when you are planting your garden, make sure that you double check the list for any plants that would look great in your yard . . . but can do major damage on your cat or dog's tummy. Some of my favorite flowers are great looking and safe for pets too, like these Honeysuckle Fuchsias. To see what else I would pick for my yard, just read more
Q: I love having fresh flowers and plants in my house, but my two cats always try to eat them! I know some are poisonous, and I never put those types out. I just would like to have a house plant in my home without them eating it! Any suggestions on breaking their habit?
A: I'm so glad you've checked out which plants are poisonous for your pets! Unfortunately, many kitties are drawn to plants as a snack – offer up some safe kitty plants to lure them away from yours. Many cats don't like the feel or sound of aluminum foil under their paws, so try to place that under your plants. If that still doesn't work, try using these home remedies on the mulch or plant:
- Lemon juice and water spray
- Pepper and water spray
- Tea leaves
- Halves of oranges or lemons
- Grapefruit, orange, or lemon-peel shavings
Share your remedies for pet deterrents in the comments below!
The final stop in my pet-proofing series is the laundry room. The greatest potential danger in a laundry room is the clothes dryer. Kitties may be tempted to jump and nap on warm, fresh clothes either near or in the dryer. Some cats will even choose the empty dryer for a sleeping spot. This can quite obviously result in serious injuries if you turn the dryer on. To protect your cat's health and well-being, don't leave the dryer door open.
To hear more laundry room dangers, read more
Next up in my pet-proofing series: the kitchen. Food presents a huge temptation to pets, especially when it's within reach of their paws or whiffs of their noses. It's natural for them to want to smell and nibble new foods so it's up to you to make sure they can only access safe yums. To learn how to safeguard your kitchen, read more
Next up in my pet-proofing series: the bathroom. This is a door that many pet owners (myself included!) choose to keep closed. Bathrooms can present a slightly different, additional risk for pet owners... the risk of embarrassment. I remember eating dinner at a friend's apartment in New York when, all of a sudden, I looked over, and her dog had brought us a lovely present he fished out of the bathroom trash can. Charming. She was understandably mortified about this gift and, the next time I visited, I noticed her mini, flip-lid trash can.
To learn about the common bathroom risks for your pet, read more
Next up in the pet-proofing series: pets and technology, a particularly sensitive subject for yours truly. Back before Mac laptops came with easy-off magnetic power cords, North made a flying leap off my bed and, with his back paw, my laptop also took flight before slamming shut on the hardwood floor!
Recovery and repair were out of my price range so, several hundred dollars later, I replaced the hard drive altogether… bringing my old one home in a sealed bag. To save you the same heartache from home-office accidents, I’ve got a couple of tips that I’ve learned the hard way. To start pet-proofing, it makes sense to get down on your pet's level. You may feel silly, but you can get a necessary perspective of what he could likely find to “investigate.”
To see the rest of my pet-proofing advice, read more