As medical resources are in short supply around the country, we are doing our small part to educate pet owners on hidden dangers in their home, to help prevent common emergencies during a quarantine situation. With the entire family isolating themselves at home, it’s easy to believe pets would be more closely watched, and less likely to get into mischief. But, the opposite is certainly possible, as many people are understandably preoccupied with the health and well-being of their friends and family, while juggling working remotely, and teaching their children. Take the following steps to pet-proof your home, and help prevent common emergencies during a quarantine situation.

#1: Keep your pet out of the children’s playroom unless small toys are picked up

Although this task may seem impossible, pets are prone to pouncing and chewing on small toys, which can cause choking, or an intestinal obstruction. Since your children are home from school and unable to play in their favorite places, they likely will drag out every single toy in their room. If they are too young to understand that their curious dog may chow down Lego pieces, Play Doh, board games, or kinetic sand, keep her out of the playroom until the toys are picked up. 

#2: Supervise your children’s snack time when your pet is present

With the kids home from school, and limited grocery supplies, you’re amazed at how much they can eat. Snack time can become challenging, but, as you search your pantry and cupboards, be aware that some foods can pose a threat to your pet. If you’re heading up a home economics lesson, and teaching your children how to make their own bread or pizza crust from homemade dough, keep a close eye on your dog, as unbaked yeast can create multiple health issues. Younger children may drop snacks as they wander aimlessly around the house, searching for fun activities, and your pet may gobble up dropped raisins, grapes, or chocolate, which are toxic to dogs. Give your pet her own snack, such as a stuffed Kong or food puzzle, to occupy her mind and her taste buds, while your children learn to bake or create a trail mix.

#3: Skip arts and crafts time with your pet

Allowing pets to come near a child creating a craft masterpiece is a recipe for disaster. Children are not always neat when playing with glitter, glue, and paint, and adding an inquisitive pet to the mix likely will create a mess. Plus, many craft supplies, such as glue and paint, are toxic to pets, while others can easily be swallowed, and create an obstruction. 

#4: Refuse your pet’s help with lawn and garden projects

As the weather becomes sunnier and warmer, you and your family are likely itching to get outdoors, especially after being cooped up during quarantine. Take proper precautions when completing lawn and garden projects with your pet nearby, as many chemicals and plants are toxic to cats and dogs. Before planning your garden and flowerbeds, check the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants, to ensure your choices are safe.

Once you’ve chosen plants safe for pets, be wary of your mulch, fertilizer, and herbicide choices, as many can harm pets. Cocoa mulch is a big attractant to dogs, but contains the same toxic ingredients as chocolate, while many fertilizers and herbicides are chock-full of hazardous chemicals. Before spraying the spring weeds, or fertilizing your freshly planted garden, read the instructions carefully, to ensure you use the product properly around your pet. After creating a beautiful outdoor oasis, monitor your pet outdoors, so she doesn’t dig up or chew on everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

During these troubling times, Urgent Pet Care Omaha is remaining open during normal business hours, to care for your pet during emergencies and urgent situations. However, our operating protocols have changed, to reduce the risk of potential disease transmission, and to keep our team, your pet, and our community safe. For the most current COVID-19 protocols, check out our Facebook page. For information regarding common pet emergencies, search our website for in-depth facts. If your pet needs medical assistance, call us.