When it comes to children and pets, safety is always an issue. [caption id="attachment_172" align="align-right" width="221" caption="Marshall Pet Cord Protector"][/caption] While most people know the basic rules of safety, some of us tend to overlook a few critical factors. It's important to understand the very nature or instinct of your pet to get a better idea of where danger may lurk. Take for example, a ferret's tunneling nature paired with their ability to slink through the tiniest places. Remember, if a ferret can fit his head into a place, he most certainly can fit his body in there. Gaps in wallboard or paneling should be sealed for this reason. Any doors or windows that don't fully close serve as an open invitation to explore, so make sure that those are secure as well. Window screens should be checked for gaps to prevent your pets from making a stealthy escape. Cupboards for food and cleaning supply storage should be securely closed to prevent your pets from getting into items that are potentially dangerous for them i.e. chocolate, sugar-based foods, toxic chemicals. Even items that don't seem harmful, such as candles, could be dangerous if ingested. Chewing is another big concern for most pet owners and since it's a natural part of an animal's development, appropriate chew toys and treats should always be available to them. Electrical cords should be kept safely out of the way or housed in a protective casing such as a Critter Cord. Common household plants can also pose a threat to your pets. Be aware that flowers such as Lilies can cause a toxic reaction in cats, even in very small amounts, and have been known to cause acute kidney failure if ingested. For a complete listing of harmful plants visit http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/plants_poisonous_to_pets.html As always, if you are unsure if your pet has swallowed something harmful or their behavior has changed in some way, i.e. lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, etc. consult your veterinarian immediately for a thorough examination. Remember, animals are curious creatures and it's our responsibility to keep them safe. If you'd like to share a pet safety related story, please send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish it!