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Keeping Your Pets Safe During Spring Cleaning

By: Valerie Masi, Best Paw Forward

Spring! This is the time of year we purge the old and re-organize rooms and closets. It feels good to get in a room and clear things out that just have been sitting since last year. But what we don’t realize as we are doing this is that we could possibly be putting our pets in danger.

Here is an example. A magazine editor had a very traumatic experience in her home as she was re-organizing and rearranging items she had moved that had been blocking a sliding glass door. Her puppy had a burst of energy and ran through the glass patio door. The puppy was severely injured, but turned out to be okay. If, in this case, you are unblocking a glass door or window that your pets are unfamiliar with, put colorful stickers on the doors at a human height and an animal height. The best colors to use for dogs are blue and yellow because dogs only have two cones that detect color, compared to humans which have three cones. You may also want to use those for screen doors.

After re-organizing a room, get down to your pet's level and see if there are any possible dangers that may be missed at our level like electric cords – which may now be exposed. Your pet might chew on those. Also, be careful of the flowers or plants you may have put in your newly-organized room. Make sure they are not poisonous. If you have any concerns about whether or not something is poisonous to your pet, the ASPCA has an animal poison control hotline 24-hours-a-day: 888-426-4435. Be aware that there is a $65 fee for this service.

As you are cleaning things out, also be cautious to keep your animals out of the room while working as there can be small objects – or yarn, floss, etc. – that could cause either a blockage or strangulation.

Even if you're not starting that overdue project, keep in mind the possible household hazards that may exist for your pets. For a list of those type of hazards, go to the ASPCA website’s at