Could You Be Poisoning Your Dog?
If it’s safe for you to use, it should be safe for your dog…right? Wrong!
Each year, there are thousands of dogs who are poisoned by common, everyday substances that are found around your home, things that seem harmless because you use them, but that doesn’t mean they are harmless for Fido. These things are found both inside and outside of your home…so just like you “baby proof” your home for young children, you should “dog proof” your home for the safety of your pooch.
Recognizing the symptoms of dog poisoning…
Usually with poisoning, every minute counts, so you will want to be able to recognize the signs in order to get help right away.
- Black or bloody stools
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased urination
- Irregular heartbeat
- Black stools
- Discolored gums
Each dog will react differently depending on his size, and the substance and how much of it he has ingested. These symptoms could also be caused by various health issues also, but if you suspect poisoning, remain calm, and act as quickly and carefully as possible…call your vet immediately and be prepared to give him/her as much information as possible; if there is evidence of poisoning such as vomit, you should collect a sample that you could take to your vet. However, if your dog has passed out, having difficulty breathing, or having a seizure, don’t waste time on a phone call, take him directly to the vet, a pet emergency clinic or hospital immediately.
Household things that can poison your dog…
Inside the house:
- Human food: As every dog owner should know, your dog’s digestive system and metabolism are very different from your own, so many human foods are dangerous for your dog…the safe thing is to stick with food that is specific for dogs and avoid such foods as:
- Chocolate – eating it can be fattening for you, but fatal to your dog
- Macadamia nuts
- Foods with artificial sweeteners
- Alcoholic or caffeinated beverages
- Human medications: All medications should be kept put away in a cabinet
- Over the counter pain meds
- Prescription pain killers
- Blood pressure medicines
- Pet medicines
- Household products: It’s easy to leave these products sitting on a counter or some other dog accessible place, but they need to be put away after every use.
- Cleaners and chemicals
- Anti-freeze – it’s sweet to the taste but very hazardous to your dog.
Outside the house: The difficulty with using these products and keeping them out of your dog’s reach is they are intended to get rid of outside pests, so they have to be placed where the pests are, which usually makes them accessible to your dog also.
- Rodent poisoning or a poisoned rodent
- Pesticides use to eliminate ants and other insects
- Plants: Here is a complete list of plants that are dangerous for your dog
- Lawn treatments are also hazardous to your dog’s health…because dogs often eat the grass, whenever you (or your neighbors) put chemicals on your lawns you need to keep your dog off those lawns for the amount of time recommended on the chemical’s label. Also keep in mind, if you have walked on a treated lawn, leave your shoes at the door…those chemicals come into your home on the bottom of your soles, your dog can pick up the residue on his paws, then as he licks his paws, the chemicals can enter his body. Because these products can be absorbed through their skin, it’s important to wipe their feet after they have been outside on treated lawns.
- Believe it or not, mud puddles can be poisonous to pup, they can contain automotive oil, anti-freeze as well as bacteria. Many dogs can contract Giardia, an intestinal parasite, from puddles.
We are all aware that no matter how well trained they are, dogs like to get into things, often times things they shouldn’t, so it’s up to us to make sure they are safe, and not be responsible for poisoning them.
Pawsitive Steps Dog Training offers Puppy Charm School, where we focus on socialization, housetraining, bite inhibition, problem prevention and solutions, handling, with beginning “basic obedience” the Pawsitive way and more!
We believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are under given circumstances and situations.