Pet-proof your house

We’ve all heard about the benefits of childproofing your home but you might want to pet proof your home too. The ASPCA says pet poisonings have occurred more often in recent years — more than 180 thousand cases in 2016 alone. Consumer Reports explains why and offers some tips to help keep your canine and feline friends safe.

If you have a dog you probably know giving it chocolate is a big no-no. But many household items can be toxic to your pet, too.

Topping the list? Commonly prescribed medicines for ADHD, heart conditions and antidepressants can cause rapid heart rate, diarrhea and even seizures if ingested by your pet. And over-the-counter pain relievers containing acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can cause liver and kidney failure. Just like you would with small children in the house, use common sense with your pets too.

Chances are your pet will eat off the kitchen floor – anything you’ve dropped from a pill to an onion or grape- all toxic items. So take medications over a sink, store them where pets can’t reach them and make sure to clean kitchen floors and countertops. But be aware that floor and household cleaners can be poisonous too. So wait until they evaporate before exposing pets and store them securely.

Miscellaneous things like batteries or even sugarless gum or candies that contain xylitol are toxic to pets. So make sure that you keep them out of reach. Keep pets away from insecticides and plants too – even a lick of pollen from many types of lily can cause kidney failure in your cat. If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items, Consumer Reports says take the toxin away from them immediately, and call your veterinarian.

The ASPCA is a great resource for detailed lists of poisonous items, and they even have a 24- hotline you can call if you think your pet has eaten something questionable: 888-426- 4435. Just note they might charge you a $65 consultation fee.