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Half a million pets are affected by home fires every year; establishing a pet-friendly fire escape plan can save your pet’s life.
How to Keep Pets Safe at Home
Since not all fires can be prevented, a little advanced thought and preparation is a good idea. From including your pets in your family’s disaster and emergency evacuation plans to helping to equip your local fire department with pet-specific oxygen masks, there are some important steps you can take to improve your pet’s chances of survival in the unfortunate event that a fire strikes your home.
- Take an afternoon and draw up a disaster preparedness plan for your family. Be sure to include the non-human members of your crew, as well. Conduct annual “dry runs” of your evacuation plan with your family.
- Have plenty of smoke detectors throughout your house, ensuring that you’ve got at least one on each level. Test them and replace the batteries regularly.
- Put “Pet Alert” stickers on the inside of your front door windows so that firefighters and other first-responders will know that there may be animals inside that may need saving.
- If you’re like most people, and spend a lot of time outside of your home, consider having monitored fire and smoke detectors installed throughout your home. This way, the fire department will know to respond even if you and your neighbors aren’t home.
- Keep a leash, carrier, or even a spare pillowcase near where your pets sleep. These can help you control them and lead them to safety in the event that an evacuation needs to happen in the middle of the night.
- Contact your local fire department and ask if they have pet-specific oxygen masks. If they do, great – thank them. If not though, help them raise the funds to get some. This can be a great school or scout project for your kids to initiate. Or collaborate with your veterinarian and/or pet supply store to create a local fundraising drive.
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and while most are getting ready for the day of love, Valentine’s can turn into a day of disaster for pets. While its general knowledge that chocolate is bad for pets, there are other considerations we must be aware of.
Chocolate or public enemy number one contains methylxanthines, which eaten by your pets can spell disaster. Effects to pets can range from vomiting, panting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and even death. Remember if any of your loved ones get you some chocolate or even a secret admirer, make sure to keep it in a secure place out of reach of pets.
Other types of candy besides chocolate are a safe alternative then? Wrong, candy is sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol causes your pets insulin to rise. This can cause your pets blood sugar to drop and can cause liver failure. Symptoms can include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Please do also make sure to keep all types of candies away from your pet.
Flowers, the universal symbol of love are also a matter to be concerned about. Flowers are given to moms, wives, girlfriends, friends, crushes…you name it. While not all types of flowers are harmful to pets, some are deadly. Be cautious of lilies, these are fatal to cats if ingested.
Setting the mood for that loved one? Looking to fill the air with love and warmth, well be sure to set those candles away from low areas or near the edge of anything. Pets curiosity can cause them to nudge candles while smelling them, or wagging tails due to the excitement of guests can easily knock them to the floor. As such as you may want a bright burning flame of love in your life from cupid, flames engulfing other parts of your residence clearly are unwanted.
Now go ahead, enjoy your day of love. Upset because this article doesn't apply to you? Of course it does, if you have a pet, then you have a Valentine! Spend the day with them, get them a new toy, maybe some special treats, go for a peaceful walk, and then cuddle them like never before while enjoying a movie.