Common household items can be a threat to your dog!
Even in the cleanest and seemingly safest house or apartment, a threat to your dog’s health can lurk. There are many common household items that we all keep that can be a threat to your dog, either making him sick or causing death.
Did you know that an environmental toxin can be any substance found outside an animal’s body that, if ingested or exposed to it, can cause harmful biological changes?
We live in a world where we are trying to go “green” and yet many of our homes are full of things that can cause harm to our dogs.
Did you know that secondhand cigarette smoke can cause cancer in dogs? Rotten food found in a trash can has the potential to cause illness or death.
Substances found in a home that can become a lethal threat range from insecticides and polluted water that pollute the environment to a multitude of other things that seem small and insignificant.
I hope this article will, in some way, open readers’ eyes and possibly save a dog or any other pet from ever having to get sick or die.
Dogs as you know are one of the most curious household pets, a monkey may be more curious but when it comes to putting things in their mouths I think dogs beat all other critters.
Since a dog doesn’t have hands to figure things out, his first choice is his mouth and whether it tastes good or not, his mouth goes. I have never read anywhere that dogs are gourmet eaters. It seems that their philosophy is that, if possible, it can be chewed and/or swallowed. The problem with this philosophy is that the toxins in the objects can cause disease and/or the objects can cause serious blockages within the dog’s body.
So what’s a dog owner to do? First of all, there are some simple rules to follow that will prevent some accidents from happening. Especially if you have a puppy or a dog that loves to chew, keep small things out of your dog’s reach. Things like small rubber balls, jewelry, medicine bottles of all kinds (glass or plastic), ant or mouse poison containers, household cleaning products, live wires lying on the floor that can be chewed on, containers with insecticides, fertilizers, automotive fluids such as antifreeze, power steering fluid and the like. Anything you don’t think you’d like to swallow, consider it a “no-no” for your dog.
There are many foods that can cause a toxic reaction in a dog:
– Alcohol – in addition to causing intoxication can cause a coma or even be fatal.
– Avocados: a fatty acid found in the leaves, fruit, seeds and rind of avocado called ‘persin’ can cause shortness of breath, abnormal accumulations of fluid in the chest, abdomen and the sac around the heart.
– Chocolate: This and any product related to chocolate, such as cocoa powder, cocoa beans and cocoa humus, are very dangerous for dogs. These products contain caffeine and theobromine, both of which are stimulants to the nervous system, and since dogs metabolize theobromine more slowly than humans, it can cause a multitude of problems, including death. Dark chocolate has the highest concentration.
– Coffee, tea and colas – contain caffeine and can cause caffeine toxicity, also tea and colas contain theobromine.
– Grapes and raisins – are highly toxic to dogs – we don’t know the toxic component, but eating large amounts can cause kidney damage or failure.
– Macadamia nuts: another toxic mystery, but a dangerous food for dogs, can cause depression, hyperthermia, weakness, muscle stiffness, tremors and increased heart rate.
– Mushrooms: they contain toxins that can be fatal if eaten by a dog.
– Nutmeg – I didn’t know this would affect a dog, but it’s on the list of very dangerous foods for dogs, and if a dog eats enough of it it can be fatal. I don’t know what is enough, so keep it away from your dog.
– Onions and garlic: It is not known how much onion or garlic a dog (or cat) should consume, but they are considered dangerous because they contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can break down red blood cells and cause anemia. From what I have read, consuming it in large quantities can result in severe anemia and even death, if not treated by your veterinarian.
– Xylitol: This is a sugar substitute found in some sugar-free gum and candies that is extremely harmful to dogs. If a dog eats enough candy, it can cause life-threatening low blood sugar, loss of coordination, depression, liver damage, collapse, and seizures.
– Yeast Dough: Rising yeast dough can cause gas to build up in a pet’s digestive system and rupture the stomach or intestines. Do not feed your dog raw dough that contains yeast. Once it’s cooked, a small amount of bread or rolls is fine for your pet.
Some plants are also very toxic to dogs. Puppies are usually the most curious, but dogs that love to dig can get into trouble too.
The following plants generally cause just as many problems and these are the symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, lethargy, drooling, tremors, seizures, and upset stomach.
Amaryllis, azaleas, autumn crocuses. Christmas pine needles, chrysanthemums, cyclamen, daffodils, some ivy, holly, kalanchoe and lilies, sago palms, oleanders, poinsettias, tulips and daffodils are the most common bulbs. common found in our gardens. However, the Caster Oil plant contains a highly toxic protein and one bean can kill a human and four beans can kill a horse, so I’d rid my garden of that plant just to be safe. If a bean can kill one of us, I’d bet a serious puppy or dog chewing on it could be lethal.
Also new in the garden circle is cocoa bean mulch that smells like chocolate, dogs are attracted to it and eat it. It can cause a lot of problems including death, stick to our regular mulch to be safe.
Do not allow your dog to swim in standing water or any water that you are not sure is free of contamination.
Dogs are like children, they are very curious and they are attracted to things because they smell good. If it smells good, it must taste good and that is where the problem lies.
All dogs are at risk when it comes to chewing or swallowing a toxic or obstructive object, especially older dogs and young puppies. It’s a good idea to baby-proof your home by keeping things out of your dog’s reach, and when you’re outdoors, a careful eye can prevent any mishaps.
Invest in an emergency first aid kit for your dog. Must contain:
– a fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide (3%) to induce vomiting
– a turkey baster or a large syringe to administer the peroxide into the dog’s mouth
– saline solution for the eyes
– artificial tears gel to lubricate the eyes after rinsing
– forceps (tweezers) to remove stingers
– a muzzle to protect against bites induced by fear or excitement
– Mild dishwashing liquid to cut through grease to bathe skin after any contamination
– a can of your pet’s favorite wet food
– a pet carrier
Keep your veterinarian’s phone number near your phone and also keep the ASPCA poison control number 888-426-4435 (there is a charge for this service), with information on your safety.
If at any time you think your pet has ingested a toxic substance, call your veterinarian immediately. Time is of the essence and the life you save will be your pet’s.