6 Hidden Dangers Around Your Home for Pets

Animals can be great companions, but they require an extensive amount of care to keep them safe from household dangers. The best way to maintain their well-being is through constant attention. This list demonstrates six lurking threats that need to be kept away from dogs, cats and other friendly critters.

1. Toxic Plants

Unbeknownst to many pet owners, certain plants are deadly if ingested by pets. Poisonous interactions are determined by the precise genus of the plant. To avoid this problem, all indoor plants should be checked for animal safety. Similarly, outdoor foliage should be confirmed edible before allowing a pet to be near it. Since many pets will eat just about anything, it's important to make sure your household plants aren't toxic to animal.

2. Hidden Pests

Rodents are an annoying nuisance in general, and they are guaranteed to attract the attention of our pets. Cats are especially prone to hunting these infected intruders. Unfortunately, these invading mammals are often plagued with incurable diseases and afflictions. The bacteria will quickly make pets sick, and they can even transfer the illness to humans. What's even more dangerous is they are often evasive and aren't seen much, with little signs they are around the home. Have your home inspected by professionals and treated if a problem is found to keep everyone safe at home, including your pets, suggest the experts at ICE Pest Control and Wildlife Removal.

3. Prescription Medications

It is a bad idea for pet owners to leave their pharmaceuticals out in the open. Animals can absentmindedly ingest a whole bottle of medication. Sadly, even a lone pill can be fatal. To prevent this tragic accident, keep all prescriptions locked in the cabinet.

4. Cleaning Supplies

A lot of household cleaners are comprised of highly hazardous chemicals. The fumes alone can cause serious injuries to pets while only the strong scent might bother you. All cleaning supplies must be locked in a safe location that is far out of reach from any animals. The same rule applies for insect repellants, fumigation materials and painting essentials.

5. Poisonous Food

Human snacks are not always safe for animals. Our treats can be downright deadly for pets. For example, dogs are terribly sensitive to chocolate. They can be doomed if they consume just a tiny amount. Cheese is also not recommended. Some fruits and vegetables that are a healthy part of your diet can be poisonous to your pet. Overall, it is best to maintain a strict diet of pet food.

6. Small Toys

Playthings come with endless microscopic accessories these days, and kids are prone to leaving their toys out. This spells disaster for small pets. The little pieces can be confused for food when left on the ground, which creates a dangerous choking hazard.


Pets have a very limited sense of self-preservation, so their owners need to take extra precautions. This list is a good start for pet owners, but they also should always be ready for the unexpected.


Anita GinsburgAnita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver and often writes about home, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn't writing.



By Natalie Hennessy 29 days ago at 9:23 am 0 Comments

Are you new to the dog owner world? While you may think food, water and love is all you need at first, there are actually a lot of intricacies that go into feeding a new puppy. Puppies are still in their development stages, and need proper nutrition to build healthy and strong bones, coats and teeth. Keep reading for nutritional advice and a general understanding of how your large breed puppy should be fed.

Nutrition for Large Breed Puppies
What to Feed Your Puppy
It is important not to believe everything you see marketed on a bag of dog food, as it can be misleading. Many dog foods don't provide sufficient levels of protein, so it is important to find the ones that do. Puppies need protein to thrive and be healthy. Foods with a good source of protein such as chicken and beef, can help your dog's digestive system, and create antibodies that fight diseases. According to most nutritionists, your puppy should be eating diets that consist of 30% protein, 9% fat, and about 1.5% calcium. Another tip when choosing food for your puppy is to look for an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) statement. This statement assures that the food is good quality, safe and nutritional. Only choose dog foods specifically designed for puppies.

How Much Food To Give
According to Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic, your puppy should be eating three times a day for at least the first three to six months. After that, twice a day. Be careful not to over-feed your puppy. Over feeding is dangerous and can result in conditions such as obesity, heart disease, or even diabetes. Large breed dogs tend to put on a lot of weight too fast. You can get an idea of how to measure each serving by looking at how big or skinny your puppy is. Take them to a Toronto or local vet clinic to get an accurate measurement. For additional guidance, many packages of dog food have precise measurements of food for each serving according to your dog's weight.

Many people are unaware of the importance of proper nutrients new puppies need to thrive. The average person, especially children, gets over excited about having a pet and won't stop to think what they feed them. All they know is they need dog food so their puppy won't starve. Most of the time people will buy the cheapest dog food on the shelf, or maybe the most appealing, without checking the ingredients on the back. The truth is, dogs have a lot in common with humans. They can catch diseases, and get sick like we can. The phrase "You are what you eat" has a lot of truth. When you eat bad, you feel bad. Give your puppy a chance to feel good while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


Brooke ChaplanBrooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She has lived and worked in her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico after her graduation from the University of New Mexico. Contact her via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.



By Natalie Hennessy 37 days ago at 9:52 am 0 Comments

Dogs: they’re cute, cuddly and doggone smart! We all know that dogs can be trained to complete simple commands like “sit” and “stay.” But did you know that they can also be trained to fetch diapers and serve drinks from the fridge? Dogs can even be trained to sniff out bed bugs. Here are some of the most bizarre skills you should be teaching your dog:

1. Talk or Hush

Want your dog to bark, sneeze or howl on command? Here’s how:

Let’s say you want “speak” to be acknowledged with a bark. Every time your dog barks, say the “speak” command and give him a treat.

The same can be done to quiet your dog amidst a barking spell. Just do the opposite: reward your dog with a treat and say your command (“hush,” for example) when it stops barking.

2. Stand on Hind Legs

Walking on hind legs is easier for small breeds, as larger dogs can get tired from carrying all that weight. Regardless, it’s not hard to teach a dog to stand. All you need to do is get your dog to sit upright.

Hold a treat just above its nose. When it begins to rise up for the treat, say “up” and pull the treat higher. When it’s balanced on its legs, give your dog the treat.

3. Dance

Once your dog can stand on command, train him to boogie. Get your dog up on his hind legs and pull the treat higher into the air. This will force your dog to jump around on its back legs, looking very much like a dancer.

Give your dog the treat when the trick has been achieved and you’ve said your “dance” command in a timely manner. If your dog gets very comfortable with this, you can even grab his front paws to position yourselves as dance partners. Talk about a bonding experience!

4. Skateboard

Training your dog to steer the skateboard may be a bit out of reach (although it’s not impossible). You can, however, get your pooch up on the board for a short ride. Here’s how:

First, you want your dog to feel comfortable on the skateboard. Place the board in a stationary position, held in place by sand bags or something similar. Each time your dog gets on the skateboard, give him a treat.

Next, put your dog’s front paws up on the back of the board. Give him a treat and verbal praise every time this is done. When he finally associates putting his legs on the back of the board with getting a treat, pull the treat up and forward in order to get him to leap up onto the board. Remove the sand bags and relocate the board to a more mobile location (carpet is a good surface to start on) and continue to give treats for this behavior. Eventually, your dog will be able to propel the board forward as it kicks off and skate down the hall or driveway.

Unique dog tricks

5. Back Up

“Back up” can be a useful trick for many reasons. Want him to stop crowding you at the front door or refrigerator, for example?

Place items like pillows or boxes on the floor. Use treats to get your dog to walk backward into the props. When he does this, say your command, reward him with the treat and tell him how good he is! When this becomes learned behavior, remove the props and continue to utilize your command.

6. Clean up the Floor

Get your dog to help with household chores. He can start by eliminating clutter from your floor. Let’s take dirty laundry, for example. You can train him to pick it up and drop it in a basket.

Start by getting your dog to drop something in basket — a toy is a great beginner object. Hold the container under his mouth when the toy is between his teeth. Give him the “drop” command and reward him with a treat.

Once he understands that, toss the toy onto the floor and give a new retrieval command. When he fetches his toy, reward him with another treat. Then, get him to get two toys in a row – using the same command. Continue giving treats as he accomplishes these behaviors. Eventually, switch out his toy for laundry and use the commands to have him collect your dirty shirts and socks!

7. Fetch the Newspaper

This trick requires the skills used in cleaning the floor. Teach your dog to pick up and drop items, then lead him out to the driveway. Give these commands for the newspaper specifically, but also include a new “fetch paper” command. Reward him with a treat upon completion. Eventually, your dog will know “fetch paper” without the initial pick up and drop commands.

8. Play Dead

Does your dog already know “lie down” and “roll over?” If so, you can train your pooch to play dead on command.

Start by giving your “play dead” command – loudly. Then, give the familiar commands to lie down and roll over. Reward him with a treat. Repeat that, but put your hand on your dog’s stomach when he’s mid-roll.

Reward him with another treat. Finally, try doing this without giving the commands to lie and roll. Only use a loud “play dead,” and he should roll onto his back and stay there. Take your time and give ample treats to make this as believable as possible.

Play Dead

9. Be Shy

Your dog can be happy, energetic and sometimes angry. Want to add bashful to the list? Here’s how:

Place a post-it note on your pup’s forehead. When he goes to knock it down with his paw, give your “shy” command and give him a treat. Eventually, your dog won’t need the post-it note to prompt the upward-facing eyes or paw-covering-his-face movement.

10. Open the Door

Tired of having to open the door for your dog every five seconds? Train him to open it himself!

Wrap a cloth or bandana around your doorknob. Encourage your dog to interact with it and give him a treat when he does. Also reward treats for pushing or nudging the door. When your dog combines both of these behaviors, offer an ecstatic “good boy!” and toss him a treat.


With tricks like these, you won’t be able to differentiate your dog from your human relatives. Get started training your pooch today and enjoy free, live entertainment on command!


Kayla MatthewsKayla Matthews is a pet-loving productivity blogger with a passion for animals and especially big dogs! To read more articles by Kayla you can follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or at ProductivityTheory.com.


Images by m01229 and Yortw

By Natalie Hennessy 42 days ago at 9:00 am 0 Comments