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What’s in Your Garage? Hidden Poisons That Can Harm Curious Pets

Many years ago, my aunt had a cat that she had rescued from a shelter. Taz was a very spunky and curious guy. He could climb any tree and open any door. Taz loved to sneak out into the garage to explore new things. Normally, that wouldn’t be an issue, but this garage was filled with harmful chemicals, like rat poison, that Taz was all too interested in.


Two dogs standing next to a can of paint

All too often, poisonous household products are packaged in bright coloring, which animals can’t resist. Taz was no exception. One evening, the frisky feline wandered into his favorite hideaway, in the hopes of spending the night. He discovered some antifreeze that had been left open. By the next morning, when my aunt realized he wasn’t in the house, it was too late to help Taz. Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where curiosity actually did kill a cat.

While we can’t change animal behavior, we can take a few extra steps to protect the pets we love. Whether this means stashing away any cleaning products and common household items that may contain toxic ingredients, or removing them from your home altogether and replacing them with alternatives, both approaches can help. Here’s a handy guide that will help you make your garage, a common area for these products to be stored, safe for any animal that may find its way in there.

Common Poisons That Can be Found in a Garage:

Antifreeze. Antifreeze is brightly colored and is sweet tasting to an animal. It is made with ethylene glycol and ingestion is damaging to the central nervous system, heart, and kidneys.

Windshield Wiper Fluid and Brake Fluid. Like Antifreeze, wiper and brake fluid can be colorful and have a sweet, attractive smell to an animal. Even a small amount can be damaging to the animal’s kidneys and potentially deadly because of the ethylene glycol in brake fluid and methanol in wiper fluid.

Rat Poison and Insecticides. These are often found on the floor of the garage and are easily accessible to a curious pet. Because rat poisons and insecticides are used to kill rodents and problem insects, they are just as harmful to anything else that ingests them, including your beloved pet. EarthKind offers botanical rat repellent and pest deterrent solutions that are made with plant-based ingredients and can be used as an alternative to these products that contain harmful chemicals. 

 Ice Salt. Ice salt is appealing to an animal because it looks like sea salt and has a strong odor. The calcium chloride in ice salt is poisonous to dogs and can lead to kidney damage or death. It is also known to burn animals’ paws.

Batteries. Batteries are found pretty much everywhere, from kitchen mixers and children’s toys to power tools and vehicles. However, the smaller the battery, the easier it fits in a pet’s mouth. If punctured, the risk of alkaline poisoning is high.

Signs That Your Pet May Have Gotten into a Poison:

Your pet’s poisoning may be life-threatening. A furry friend that is showing any signs of poisoning needs to go to the vet right away. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Look out for these common symptoms:

Vomiting Diarrhea
Excessive thirst or urination Excessive panting
Drunkenness Lethargy
Kidney Failure Coma
Foaming at the mouth Sedation

What Can You Do to Avoid Pet Poisoning?

Knowing all of the items that may be poisonous to a pet is important. Even some human foods, like macadamia nuts or grapes, can be extremely dangerous. Knowing this will help in the effort to keep your pets away from potential danger. 

The first step you can take to protect your pets is to be sure that any poisonous household items that cannot be replaced with a natural alternative are placed in an airtight container, which will block the scent. You’ll also want to be sure that the container is not see-through. Curious pets see pretty colors and somehow figure out a way to open even tightly sealed bottles. Some pet owners may find child-proof containers helpful. 

Also, be sure to place anything that could contain poison high up on a shelf or inside of a locked storage cabinet. We know cats like to climb and some, like Taz, can open drawers — but even for a cat, out of sight means out of mind.

Sometimes rodent and insect repellents need to be placed in areas where pets spend their time. That’s the reason EarthKind® developed planet and pet-friendly (when used as directed) pest repellents. Our families and pets are too important to risk being harmed. Whether it’s rodents, spiders, moths or ants that you’re trying to keep out of your home, EarthKind has a safe and natural solution. Shop EarthKind’s solutions today or find them in a store near you.

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