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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Keeping My Dog Safe From Poisons

With the kids (and me), there are always things left around the house that our dog might get into.  What are the things that I should watch out for to protect him?  I don’t want something that I left out after the game to make my doggie sick…



All dogs, but especially young dogs, are naturally curious creatures.  This is why we advise dog owners not only to know and be vigilant about potential poisons in and around the home, but also to learn to recognize the signs indicating a dog has eaten something poisonous, and then know what actions to take.  Just because something is safe for people to eat doesn't necessarily mean it is safe for our dogs to eat.

By following these tips, you can help protect your dog from accidental poisoning:
  • Toxic foods include chocolate, avocado, onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks, macadamia nuts, and chewing gum or candy containing xylitol (a sweetener that is safe for humans but toxic for dogs).
  • Serious danger to pets continues from antifreeze/coolant, even though animal-friendly products-made with propylene glycol, not ethylene glycol-are now available.  Always wipe up antifreeze leaks or spills of any size. Pets are attracted to the sweet taste and can die from kidney failure if they ingest even a small amount of this highly toxic substance.
  • Store poisonous baits used to rid your home of pests (rodents, snails, insects, etc.) in places that your dog cannot access.  Like antifreeze, some baits smell sweet but are very toxic to pets, causing severe internal bleeding.
  • Keep pets away from common household cleaners (the fumes can be noxious) and heavy metals (such as lead) found in paint chips and linoleum.
  • Consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any vitamin, herbal supplement or medication made for humans.  Even small doses of medications of any kind-whether for humans or pets-can be lethal to pets.  Keep all medicines well out of your dog's reach.
  • Many plants-even dead or dried-are toxic to pets. Whatever part of the plant may be dangerous (leaves, fruit, seeds), learn about the types of toxic plants that may grow in your home and surroundings (both cultivated and wild), and keep your pets away from them or remove them entirely.
  • Keep your pets off lawns or gardens that have been treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides.  If your dog has walked on treated lawns, wipe his feet clean as soon as you get home to avoid the possibility of him licking his paws and ingesting the poison.  Store all such chemicals in places your pet can't reach.
  • Other toxic substances found outside include mushrooms and garden mulch.
  •  Ask your veterinarian for a detailed list of all potentially poisonous items, substances and plants found around your home. 

Possible Symptoms of Poisoning (Toxicity) in Your Pet:
  • Vomiting/upset stomach
  • Labored OR shallow breathing
  • Drooling
  • Increased OR decreased heart rate
  • Fever
  • Hyperactivity OR sluggishness/lethargy
  • Increased thirst OR lack of thirst or hunger
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stumbling or staggering
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Loss of consciousness

If you think your dog has ingested a dangerous substance contact your veterinarian or local animal hospital immediately.  If you are advised to bring the dog into the clinic, be sure to take along the packaging of the suspected substance or a sample of the plant you think your dog may have eaten. This can help the veterinarian know how best to treat your pet.  For more information or clarification, please contact us at Great South Florida Dog Trainers.



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