14 Hazards To Pet Safety

Pet hazards are all around us. What can we do?

Often just a few changes favoring pet safety can largely reduce many common dangers pets face daily.

This post addresses 12 common safety hazards many pets face, and some ideas on what you can do to reduce the risks.

So read below to get started with our list of common saftey hazards now.

Pets Trapped In Washers, Dryers, Dishwashers And Ovens

Washers, dryers, dishwashers and dryers have something in common that can be dangerous to pets. They all have doors that can trap pets inside, insuring death during operation.

Pets are killed by appliances every day. There are countless real life examples for this hazard. Ask your local vet office.

Please check washers, dryers, dishwashers and ovens carefully for pets before operating. The word to keep in mind is ‘carefully’. Please don’t just glance for a split second, but rather actually bend down and take a good look inside to make sure a pet is not trapped.

Don’t Feed Chocolate, Onions, Or Garlic To Cats And Dogs

There are foods that sicken or kill pets. Some of the major ones are chocolate, onions, and garlic. A full list of food that is safe for humans but not pets is worth reading up on further beyond this short article. Simply do an online search for ‘Foods Not To Feed Pets’ to research the matter further.

An example for this was a pet dog with bad behavior secretly ate several chocolates it found at home. Fortunately it did not die in this case, but did get very sick.

Your pets depend on you to know what they can and can’t eat safely.

Door Hinges Crush Tails, And Paws

Pets can get their tails, paws, fingers and arms shut in door hinges. Sadly as you can imagine this results in extreme pain, and often amputation surgery once someone returns home. When this occurs, the pet is often left stranded in pain for hours standing unable to even sit down while it’s tail or paw is caught in the door.

There is a real life example for this scenario where a cat’s tail got smashed in the door hinge, and needed amputation. Please check for pets around the door hinge before walking out the door. Make sure pets are not nearby so they do not fall casualty to this hazard.

Refrigerators, Empty Rooms, And Closets

Like other appliances already mentioned earlier, refrigerators, empty rooms, and closets all have doors too.

This is yet another real life example. A cat was accidently locked in a closet for days, and went nearly undiscovered. Thankfully it was freed it time by the housesitter. A joyus rescue indeed.

Some animals, especially cats, simply can’t resist trying to get inside the refrigerator when the door is open, which can cause them an emergency. Fortunately these animals have a longer time to be saved. Unfortuantely if their missing presence is not noticed they have a longer time to suffer a slow death trapped and unable to escape. The refrigerator has the shortest timeline to be saved as the temperatures may be very frigid.

There is a real world example for this one too, of a cat that jumps in the refrigerator often. The cat has been accidentally closed in there unknown until later when freed at a later time that the refrigerator was opened. Happy ending, but the lesson is real. Please don’t let this happen to your pet.

Thankfully most animals have thick fur coats, and as long as the air doesn’t run out before someone opens the refrigerator they have a good chance of escaping.

Poisonous Plants, And Flowers

There are many plants and flowers that are poisonous to many pets. Please check all of the floral species to see if any that are in, or come to your home are poisonous to pets.

Please do further research as there are far too many types of plants to cover in this article. The ASPCA has a fairly exhaustive guide covering a wide assortment of plants that are not pet friendly.

Simply do an internet search for “ASPCA Poisonous Plants” to find see if any of the plants in your home are toxic to pets. Some pets have an obsession and hunger for plants. This is another real life example. Happily, intervention of taking the plants away before the cat could eat them left this example with a happy ending.

It would be terrible for a pet to get sick from eating a plant in your home. It would be even worse to loose a lovable pet from eating a poisonous plant.

Please check your plants to ensure they are safe today. Alarmingly there are many common plants that are toxic to pets.

Electrical Cords, Window Blinds, And Leashes

Long cords, window blind drawstrings, and leashes can strangle or hang pets under certain circumstances. Espeically if the pet is strangled and unable to touch the ground they could die in only a short time. It happens more often than it may seem.

As an example, if a dog leash is tied to a swing set and the dog runs up the slide and off the other end, yet the leash is not long enough. A deadly swingset example similar to this is a real life example that happened unfortunately. The woman who tied the leash to the swingset felt a great deal of guilt which she likely carries to this day. There are far more other sad stories like that too. Simply ask your vet.

Please reduce as many long cords, window blinds and other choking hazards to your animals as possible. Also, think carefully about what you tie leashes to. The less hazards the better for your pets safety.

Severe Temperatures And Environments

Many pets are not able to withstand severe temperatures and environments. Keeping a pet in the car on a sizzling hot Summer day, even when the window is cracked could be lethal. Shutting your pet outside because you think it’s fur coat should keep it warm in cold temperatures could freeze the animal to death.

It seems like common sense, but many people treat animals brutally in extreme temperatures, often with deadly outcomes for the pet.

Along these lines, please keep in mind that while outdoors animals need shade and water in the hot months. Likewise they should not be left outside to freeze to death in the Winter months in the colder regions where it gets cold.

Please show your pet love and don’t force them to fight for their lives in severe temperatures.

Sharp Objects They Could Poke Their Eyes On

Some pets enjoy playing and get really worked up. Just like people, sometimes pets end up getting hurt when they play to hard. Also if a pet isn’t paying close attention, has bad eyesight, or is unable to see well in extremely dark areas they can poke their eyes on sharp objects.

A real life sad example exists for this situation for a cat suffering multiple eye pokes that leave it closing one eye for days until it heals.

Take a quick look around your home to see if there are hazards that could poke your pet’s eyes. If you are able to reposition or otherwise avert the hazard it could save your animals eyes or possibly save them from getting poked hard.

Choking To Death

If your pet wears tags, and is ever in a metal kennel, make sure that the tag clips cannot get caught on frame, choking the cat to death. If the tag or clips can get caught, look into plastic kennel alternatives, and then confirm that they will not pose a threat either prior to using. This may sound unlikely, but should be taken seriously.

Confined Spots They Could Get Trapped In

If you have confined spots in your home your pet could get trapped and unable to escape. Consider a pet that falls between your headboard and mattress in a tight area. The pet may be unable to escape and suffocate. This is a sad true example as well.

It could happen between a sofa and a wall, in a drawer, between a desk and a wall, or any other number of places as well.

Please try to find such dangerous confinements that pets could get stuck in. Try to close the gap if possible. If that is not an option try to significantly expand the area so the animal can reposition and possibly escape.

Traffic, Alpha-Cats, Dogs, And Other Predators

Outdoor pets have a far lower life expectancy than those that live indoors. In urban areas there are large amounts of auto traffic that kills many animals each year. In the rural areas there are large numbers of wild animals and predators that kill or eat smaller prey. Often housepets become meals for such predators.

Find an animal rescue that lets the pets roam freely. Once you’ve found one, ask if they have ever had a pet disappear never to be seen again. Chances are that they have lost several animals like this. It’s possible that street traffic hit the animal or other dangerous animals got to the poor pet.

The solution is to keep pets indoors. Indoor pets are defended from many dangers, including diseases that outdoor animals risk acquiring.

Indoor animals almost always have a far longer life span than outdoor animals. Please keep your animal indoors.

Cruel People And Animal Traps

Sadly, cruel people sometimes trap other people’s pets with harmful intent. A real world example of this is the neighbor of an animal rescue where several cats became missing. It turns out the neighbor was trapping the cats without telling the animal rescue owner. A specific answer was never given on what happened to the trapped cats.

There are sick people out there who do cruel things to animals. Every time you allow your pet outdoors this is a risk you are allowing them to be subjected to.

The solution to this problem is to keep your pets inside where they’re far safer, won’t catch diseases, or spread diseases. Please love your pet and keep it safe from cruel people. Make your pets indoor animals today if they aren’t already.

Heavy Or Sharp Objects Overhead

Heavy or sharp objects overhead can be a hazard to your pet. Please keep sharp knives away from where pets could accidently harm themselves on them. Likewise, ensure that heavy overhead objects are taken down and placed on the ground when possible.

Please securely fasten, and periodically double check items that need to remain in high or overhead locations.

Getting Squashed To Death

Some cats like to borough under blankets or clothes in the Winter to stay warm. Other times people just sit down on the sofa or chair without looking.

Sadly a heavy person sitting on a cat, especially when sitting down quickly can kill a cat. Whether sitting on a bed, a chair or anywhere else that has a blanket with an unsuspecting cat, the results can be terrible.

Please always check where you are about to sit, including picking up and looking under any clothes or blankets before sitting. It could save your cats life.

Feeding Harmful Food To Cats

There are several types of food that are safe for humans, but toxic and even deadly to cats. Chocolate, caffeine, onions, garlic and several other types of food are toxic to cats and should never be fed to them.

Do an online search for “Foods Toxic To Cats” to spend a few minutes to get familiar with unsafe foods for cats.


This article may not have been entertaining so much as a serious one.

The goal is truly pet welfare, and sometimes the examples aren’t always fun to hear. If you’ve this far in the post you must have some level of interest in wanting safety for your pet. If everyone is at least aware of the dangers their pets face it’s a big step in the right direction. Often just a few small changes can make a big difference for the betterment of animal safety in your home.

Please try to remember this article and review it a few times, perform a few safety improvements around home, and enjoy the benfits of greater pet safety!

Thank you for reading and kindest regards,

-Randy / Animal Weekly