Making our World Safe for Furry Family Members

by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

Our homes, gardens and yards contain items that can be potentially hazardous to our furry family members and, being they are part of our family, it’s our responsibility to keep them safe.

Little things lying around like coins, batteries, jewelry, paper clips, rubber bands, buttons and string seem harmless to us, but they could become a choking hazard to your pets.

The garbage can is another potential danger, as it may contain something that smells good to your pet but isn’t good for them at all. There are several foods that can make your pet sick, which should be avoided. They include, but are not limited to, grapes, mushrooms, raw meat, salt, meat bones, chewing gum, candy, fat trimmings, avocados, artificial sweeteners, garlic, onion, leeks, chives, yeast dough, alcohol and coffee.

Most of these foods result in upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea, which might mean a trip to your vet, and, sadly, some of these foods could lead to death soon after being eaten.

When it comes to plants, dogs and cats don’t know what’s safe to munch on. Many common plants we have in our homes, yards or communities could potentially kill your pet within hours.

Some fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and certain mulches contain ingredients that can make your pet very sick or worse, so be sure to check the labels to make sure the product is pet friendly.

Among the many flowers and plants that are potentially deadly is foxglove. While very beautiful with its trumpet-like blossoms, it’s very poisonous to dogs, cats and even humans! Cherry, plum and peach trees carry an extremely high level of toxicity in their leaves, pits and basically all areas of the tree, causing respiratory problems, anxiety, staggering, collapsing and even sudden death. All parts of azaleas are poisonous, and ingesting as little as 0.2% of an animal’s body weight can result in poisoning.

Check out, a fantastic website that contains information on everything regarding your pets, their safety and health.

Animals give us so much, including their unconditional love. In exchange, it’s our job to take care of them and make sure no harm comes to them. The investment and time you take to make sure your home and yard are safe is easily worth the benefits you’ll receive from your pet.