* Never allow your pets to have access to the areas in which cleaning agents are being used or stored. Cleaning agents have a variety of properties; some may only cause mild stomach upset, but others can cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth, and stomach.
* Be aware of the plants you have in your home and yard. The ingestion of azalea, oleander, caster bean, sago palm, Easter lily (in cats only), or yew plant material by an animal can be fatal.
Store all cleaners, pesticides, and medications in a secured area.
Most baits contain ingredients that can attract your pets. When using rat, mouse, snail or slug baits, or ant or roach traps, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your companion animals.
Never give your companion animals medication unless you are directed to do so by a veterinarian. Many medications that are safe for humans can be deadly for animals. For example, one extra strength (500 mg) acetaminophen tablet could be fatal to a cat. In treating your pet rats and mice, always consult a veterinarian.
Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of your pets’ reach, preferably in closed cabinets. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins, and diet pills are all examples of human medications that can be lethal to animals, even in small doses. For example, one 200 mg ibuprofen tablet could cause stomach ulcers in a small dog.
Never leave chocolate unattended. Small quantities are fine for rats. Too much chocolate will cause diabetes.
Many common household items can be lethal to animals. Mothballs, potpourri oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, dishwashing detergent, batteries, cigarettes, alcoholic drinks, and hand and foot warmers are potentially toxic.
Automotive products such as gasoline, oil, and antifreeze should be stored in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat; less than one tablespoon can be lethal to a 20-pound dog.
Before buying a flea product, consult your veterinarian, especially when treating sick, debilitated, or pregnant pets.
Read all of the information on the label before using a product on your pet or in your home. Always follow the directions.
If a product is for use only on dogs, it should never be used on cats. In general, products for dogs are too strong for rats, but cat and kitten products are normally fine.
Make sure your companion animals do not enter areas in which insecticidal foggers or house sprays have been applied for the period indicated on the label.
If you are uncertain about the proper usage of any product, contact the manufacturer and/or your veterinarian for instructions.