This guest post is brought to you by Lauren Bailey

When I was 15-years-old, my 6 pound Chihuahua Roxie died of anti-freeze poisoning. She got out one afternoon while I was in school and ended up in our neighbor’s front yard—only inches away from where our neighbor was working on his car. To this day I’m certain that’s where she got a hold of the poison that initially tastes sweet to animals. But honestly, I have no one else to blame but myself.  Even 9 years later I know I should’ve watched her better. An alarming 90,000 pets die each year from anti-freeze poisoning alone—these stats do not including pets that get a hold of other toxins found inside and outside of the house.  It’s an animal’s curious nature to want to smell, taste and even eat oddities that it finds interesting. That said, March 18-24 marks National Pet Poison Prevention Week and what better time to learn how to safe-proof your home and extend the life of your beloved pet than right now. To see a breakdown of each individual room to ensure your pet’s safety, continue reading below.
Living Room/Bedroom
·         Keep Purse Out of Reach: It may seem silly, but pets actually like to dig their noses in ladies purses. So don’t keep it in a low area or hanging off a chair—your pet may get a hold of some highly toxic perfume, makeup, or even some simple headache medication like ibuprofen if you’re not careful.
·         Be Aware of Aerosol Sprays: When trying to keep your house smelling fresh, be aware that too much fragrance and disinfecting aerosol can cause damage to small pets like caged birds and hamsters.
·         Do Not Keep Cigarettes Ash Trays in Low Areas: Cigarette buds and other nicotine products are highly toxic to pets. Do not place them in an area that is easy accessible to your pet.
·         Be Aware of Poisonous Cleaning Products/Pesticides: This is one of the more obvious hazards. If your pet is pretty smart and knows how to open lower-shelf drawers with its nose, don’t hesitate to “baby proof” the drawers. Try to keep your pet from the cleaning product/pesticide storage room (even the laundry room) all together if you can.
·         Keep Medications High Up: Like mentioned before, even a simple pain reliever can be fatal to your pet. Don’t risk your pet getting a hold of your meds by keeping them on a counter or table—store it in an actual top cabinet. You also want to make sure you always keep the medication in their respective bottles—it’s harder for animals to chew through the safety lids.
·         Get Trash Bins with Lids, Keep Behind Closed Doors: Not only should you worry about your pet swallowing thrown out bathroom toiletries and bones that could get stuck in your pet’s throat, but you also don’t want to risk your pet consuming human food that can actually kill it, like coffee grounds, alcohol, and chocolate. 
·         Be Cautious of Deadly Plants: If you have a green thumb, you need to be extremely careful that you yard does not contain plants that are poison to pets, including azaleas, oleander, and Easter lilies (exclusively to cats) just to name a few. 
·         Store Fertilizer Properly: Plants are the only thing that can be toxic to your pet, but the soil and fertilizer to plant them can be poisonous too. Make sure to store away these products in a shed or other area where your pet does not have access and seal bags up tight.
·         Be Extra Careful of Automotive Products: Oil, gasoline, and the number one killer anti-freeze should really be placed in an area that cannot be reached by your pet. If you happen to spill any of these products on your driveway or in your garage, make sure to thoroughly remove the product by pouring generous amounts of water to wash it clean.
Learning from my mistake, you also want to make sure that you keep a watchful eye on your pet and don’t let it run loose—just because your garage and yard is poison-proof, doesn’t mean a neighbor’s property is.

This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99

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