If you have young children in the home, common sense tells you that you need to do everything you can to protect those children from seen and unseen dangers. You put special locks on cabinet doors, you installed baby gates, you keep medicines out of their reach and you watch carefully. Do you do the same thing with your dog? Is your home safe for your dog?
You may already know that certain foods such as chocolate and grapes have the potential to be deadly if your dog eats them. You may also know that care needs to be taken with the use of bleach. Bleach is a common ingredient in many household cleaning products; therefore, care needs to be taken using those products as well. Following are a few reminders that could save your dog’s life. Read about these common hazards and then ask yourself, “Is your home is safe for your dog?”
The bathroom is a dangerous place for a dog
You may not realize that many items in your bathroom are potentially dangerous to a puppy or a grown dog. It is advised that you never give human medications to a dog. Keep the following medications out of reach from dog: acetaminophen, cold medications, diet pills, vitamin pills, antihistamines and any and all prescription drugs. If you brush your dog’s teeth, do not use human toothpaste. You can buy special dog toothpaste at any pet store or on-line.
Does your dog drink out of the toilet bowl? If you use chemical cleaners in the toilet, and your dog drinks that water, it may irritate the dog’s digestive tract. The best way to avoid that is to keep the lid closed on all toilets in your home to discourage toilet-drinking.
The laundry room is a dangerous place for a dog
The laundry room has a large supply of potentially hazardous supplies. Those little fabric sheets that you use in the dryer pose a chocking hazard. Mothballs may keep moths away, but if you have a dog in the home find another method. Mothballs are extremely dangerous to dogs. If a dog were to eat just one mothball he may go into a coma, have seizures and the worst case scenario would be death.
Other potentially hazardous items in and around your home
When my husband and I got Abby, we were both smokers and most of our friends and visitors were also. There were always cigarette butts on the ground. When we took Abby for her initial veterinary visit, the vet realized we smoked and told us that is she were to eat a cigarette butt she could become very ill. From that day on we stopped throwing cigarette butts on the ground and told our visitors the same thing.
Something else that most people would not think of as hazardous is the common penny. Pennies minted after 1982 contain a high concentration of zinc and can make a dog extremely sick. A fatal blood disease, anemia, can be brought on by ingesting too much zinc. Kidney failure is another possibility. Keep your pennies where your dog cannot get them.
A puppy will chew on anything he can find. If it is on the ground, it is his. That includes small objects such as buttons, pins, nails, small toys, etc. These items, if ingested, may require surgical removal.
You know that a puppy, even an older dog, may chew on an electrical cord. When Abby was a puppy she chewed one lamp cord and never touched another one. She did, however, chew on a land-line telephone cord. That gave her a little jolt. My husband had to use small nails to hold the cord up flush with the baseboard and she wasn’t able to chew it again.
Take your time; take a look around your home. If you even think something may be potentially harmful to your dog, remove it from reach. If you aren’t sure, ask your vet. Sit down with your children and explain to them how dangerous certain items are to the dog. Tell them to let you know right away if they see the dog eating or chewing on something that could be bad for him.
As the old saying goes, “A pound of caution…..” Take another look around your home and then ask yourself again, “Is your home safe for your dog?”