garage gripes & laundry lessons

Your pets may not typically spend a ton of time in your garage or laundry room, but pets tend to act like little shadows – and that means you might not even know they’ve followed you! The problem is that there are many toxic chemicals in household products. These might be the most obvious dangers in the house, as most of them involve chemicals that are likewise dangerous to two-footed family members. That’s why extra care should be taken not to leave them within paw’s reach!

items to keep off your pet’s plate:

  • anti-freeze: The key ingredient in antifreeze is ethylene glycol, which unfortunately has a uniquely sweet taste that appeals to pets. If a cat or dog licks up just a small amount, it can cause crystals to form in the kidney, leading to serious damage. Antifreeze poisoning in dogs is both dangerous and costly to treat, with Petplan 2013 reimbursement averaging $929 per claim.
  • chemical de-icer: When paths are slippery with snow and ice, salt and chemical de-icer stop you taking a trip. But don't head for a fall when it comes to your furry companion's paws. Walking on de-icer can cause caustic burns to paw pads and skin or tongue ulcerations If she licks her paws clean. Stick with rock salt to keep pets from sliding into ill health.
  • in-home insecticides (ant, spider & roach-killer): Most insecticides contain organophosphates, which can cause fever, muscle tremors, diarrhea and vomiting in pets.
  • Under…wear? No laundry basket is safe if you’ve got a gobbling Golden Retriever or a sock-stealing Schnauzer. If your dog has less than discriminating taste in underwear, be on alert for potential foreign bodies and guard your laundry like it’s chocolate!
  • detergents and cleaners: Many at-home cleaners and detergents contain bleach, which can be extremely caustic to a pet’s mouth, throat and stomach. Even just soap can lead to mild tummy upset. Because of the corrosive nature of cleaners, they can cause severe illness and death if ingested.

terrifying tail: laundry nightmare

When Copper was a puppy, he had a sock fetish. So when he began vomiting non-stop one Saturday morning, his pet parents had a good idea of what might be wrong. At the emergency vet, an X-ray revealed a blockage that wasn’t moving – Copper needed surgery, fast! The vet successfully removed a child's sock that had become stuck between the stomach and intestines. After surgery, Cooper stayed the day at his normal vet for fluids and recovery, but made a full recovery.

set-up for success

  • Many antifreeze formulas now include propylene glycol, a bitter additive which makes it less sweet to pets. But just to be safe, mop up spills immediately and keep pets well away to avoid any danger.
  • Keep close watch on pets who might follow you into the garage – if they’re accidentally closed in, they might grab the nearest bottle and chow down!
  • Make sure all potential hazards are stored inside secure, chew-proof containers and kept well out of reach. With pets, always consider the worst case scenario. If your cat jumps on a high shelf and knocks a box of ant traps off, would your dog be able to get to them, or are they stowed securely?