I see more and more pictures of stitchers with their stitching buddies - cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs (you know who you are!), and more. As someone who generally prefers pets over people, I love these photos. Love them. They warm my heart.
Then I talked to a friend whose sweet little dog swallowed one of her cross-stitch needles.
As you can imagine, she was panicked. Luckily, her pup was fine, after a trip to the emergency vet and surgery to remove the offending needle. But it scared my friend shitless.
So I got to thinking about all the things we work with while stitching that can be dangerous to our furry and feathered friends.
That's the obvious one. They are so easy to lose - even with needle minders or what I scientifically call the "couch arm method" (jamming it into the arm of whatever chair you're in!). I have dropped my needle so many times and only found it when it stabbed me in the flesh. Now imagine if your fuzzy friend found it first. Curious kitties may get one lodged in their paws. Nosy pups could swallow that needle, just like my friend's dog did.
Injuries could run from a benign poke in the paw to complex surgery or worse.
While those magnetic cuties may be helpful while stitching, they could be dangerous for your pet. Those little magnets can be swallowed and called all sorts of digestive havoc. "While even one magnet can cause problems, such as obstruction and/or irritation of an animal’s digestive tract, the real danger happens when two or more magnets are swallowed by a curious, mischievous, or otherwise wayward pet," preventivevet.com reports.
I'm not positive, but I am pretty sure that the internet was made for cute cat videos, especially kittens playing with string. You may still think it's cute to taunt your pet with your floss, seeing them swat at it as you dangle it in front of their curious faces. Just stop there. In doing some research on PetMD, I learned that an animal swallowing string, yarn, floss, or twine is called swallowing a linear foreign body. It can be incredibly dangerous for your fur baby to swallow long lengths of floss and it may be instinctual to immediately try to pull it out of their mouths. Don't! Take your pet to the vet immediately so it can be removed safely.
No shit, it can be dangerous to your pet. Many fabrics have dyes or fabric stiffener that, if ingested, can be harmful to your pet. It can also be dangerous for your pet to eat and swallow your fabric -- not just because it could cause tummy issues or gastric obstruction -- but you would likely get pretty angry if they used your fabric as a chew toy!
Any Small Do-Dad
OK, this is a bit of a catch-all but there are so many little thingies that we use during our stitching -- clips, organizational accessories, stretchers, threaders, bobbins, and so, so much more (she says as she looks at the loads of stitch-related stuff around her). There are so many things to swallow, chew on, lick -- heck, even floss conditioner that is 100% beeswax could upset your pet's GI system (though it is not 100% toxic for dogs and cats).
Let's face it, your nosy pet is gonna be in your stitching business -- just be sure to watch what they are doing when you have your stash out and try not to tease them with your supplies so they aren't tempted to dip into your project bag like it was their toy box!