Monday, November 14, 2016

6 Household Items to Keep Away From Your Dog

Abby getting kisses

I have tried to make a habit of giving my home a good look-over every time I leave the house. I try to see it from a dog's perspective to be sure there is nothing they might mess with that they shouldn't. I have made a list of items that are particularly dangerous to dogs:

1. Foods

Food poisoning in dogs is the most frequently reported poisoning to the Pet Poison Helpline. Keep the candy dish out of reach, especially chocolate. It can cause seizures, irregular heart beat, tremors or even death. Sugarless gum is very dangerous as well. Grapes, raisins and avocados are also poisonous to dogs. 

It is a rule at my house that the dogs do not get any people food. I teach my grandkids this practically from the time they are born.

2. Houseplants

Dogs don't know the difference between the grass that grows outside and your ivy houseplant. They just like to munch on green stuff from time to time. Many varieties of houseplants are poisonous to dogs. Always research the type of plants you plan to have sitting around. Also please be aware of any outside plants that your dog has access to.

3. Medications

I had to learn this lesson the hard way. Unbeknownst to me, two of my pups jumped on my bed where my purse was sitting unzipped. They proceeded to pull things out and found a Ziploc bag with my
Little Scooter
blood pressure pill, diuretic and a couple of Tylenols. When I walked in, they had chewed up the bag and there were no pills anywhere to be seen. I called my vet who told me to give them hydrogen peroxide to make them vomit. They both vomited but I didn't know who, or if either of them, ate the pills. They were both fine, but it could have turned out much worse. 

Dogs can chew through a prescription bottle very quickly. They also love to hang around when you are taking your medication "in case you drop something." I always try to take my medication over the sink just in case something falls.

Common drugs including NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen such as Advil, Aleve and Motrin) can cause serious harm to dogs. When ingested, these medications can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as potential kidney failure. 

Of all prescription medications, antidepressants are the reason for the highest number of calls to Pet Poison Helpline. When ingested, they can cause neurological problems in dogs like sedation, incoordination, agitation, tremors and seizures.

4. Chemicals

Sadly, I have had an experience with this one too. I had a black lab who was the sweetest, most gentle dog you could ever meet. She was up in years and although she normally never left our yard, I believe her failing eyesight allowed her to wander a little farther than our property line on occasion. She would sometimes wonder too far north and cross into a neighbor's yard. This evil woman hated dogs and I suspect she baited my dog using food laced with antifreeze. I remember distinctly that morning seeing a garbage bag laying outside her cans instead of in it, which was very uncharacteristic - she always kept a pristine yard at all times. 

I'll never forget that morning. After realizing my dog was missing, I opened the front door to find her on the front porch struggling to stand. We rushed her to the vet who suspected antifreeze poisoning. Sadly, we could not save her. 

Antifreeze has a sweet taste to a dog who will lap it up readily and will ultimately cause kidney failure. Bleach, ammonia, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners and lime/calcium removers should also be safely stored and kept out of dogs' reach.

5. Insecticides

The chemicals in rodent poisons all have different active ingredients, making all of them potentially poisonous to dogs. Depending on the poison that was ingested, poisoning can result in severe vomiting and bloat, kidney failure, internal bleeding or brain swelling. A dog could also become ill by eating or chewing on dead rodents who have been poisoned. Roach or mouse traps
Cozy on the couch
can also be a hazard to your dog.

6. Fertilizers

Certain fertilizers that contain blood meal, bone meal, feather meal and iron may be especially attractive but dangerous to dogs. Ingesting a large amount of these fertilizers can cause severe pancreatitis or can even cause an obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.

Because dog safety is top priority for all of us, it is important to realize exactly what the dangers are so we can be aware of the potentially dangerous items we have in and around our homes.

Have you had any incidents with your dog getting hold of something that was poison?  Please leave your story in the comments below. Your story may help someone else.

What should I do if I suspect my dog has ingested a poison?

-Remove the poison from your pet’s reach.

-Get the container or substance to be able to take with you to vet or to describe to pet poison helpline.

-Gather a sample if your dog has vomited.

-Know that the sooner you take your dog to the vet or call the poison helpline, the better outcome for your pet. Some treatments only have a small window of time after the ingestion to be effective.

-Even if your dog is not showing any signs, it is still important to take action if you suspect it has ingested a poison.

Who can I call?

1. Your veterinarian

2. Animal Poison Control 
($65.00 fee may be charged)

3. Pet Poison Helpline 
($49.00 fee will be charged)

Be prepared with this information:

-What and how much was ingested

-Time it was ingested

- Dog's weight

-Dog's medical history and medication list

Here are a couple of great resources to have at home for pet emergencies:


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