In addition to the warm weather and burst of green, for many, spring ushers in the annual ritual known as “spring cleaning”. So while you are washing those windows and breaking out the patio furniture, why not check to be certain your home is still safe for your “best friend.” Whether bringing home a new addition, or just living with your current beloved companion, the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) offers the following checklist of reminders to ensure that your home is “pet proof” all year round.

  • Make sure all poisonous household items are securely stored and out of your pet’s reach. Put cleaners, detergents, bleach, disinfectants, insecticides, cleaning fluid, fertilizers, mothballs, antifreeze and similar agents in cabinets or covered shelving. These items can be deadly to your pet and should be placed in a secure area where your animal cannot get access. If you fear your pet has been exposed to a toxin, do not call a human poison control center; they do not have any information on pets. Instead, contact your veterinarian and/or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline (888-426-4435) for accurate information.
  • Many plants in and around your home can be dangerous to your pet. For instance, the pits of apricots and peaches and well as spinach and tomato vines can make your pet sick, and may even be fatal in larger doses. Ask your veterinarian for a complete list of plants that may be dangerous to your cat or dog or visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website.
  • While cleaning, look at your home from your pet’s point of view. Check for dangling electrical cords, loose nails, plastic bags or similar “tempting’ items and remove them immediately.
  • Don’t leave your pet unattended on balconies, upper porches or high decks.
  • Keep your toilet lids down. Pets may be tempted to play in the toilet bowl water and in addition to being a troublesome behavior to correct; toilet cleansers can be harmful if ingested.
  • Keep buttons, string, sewing needles, pins and other similar sharp objects out of your pet’s reach. Swallowing these types of items can damage your pet’s mouth and/or internal organs, requiring emergency surgery.

The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is an association of more than 1000 veterinarians and 4000 support staff who lovingly assist Chicago area pets and their families. Since 1896, the CVMA has been dedicated to the health and well-being of animals; providing its members with nationally recognized continuing education and professional services; and the community at large with public awareness and educational programming regarding the importance of appropriate pet care.