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Common Household Items Can Be a Threat to Your Dog!
Even the cleanest and safest home or apartment can pose health risks for your dog. There are many common household items that we all keep around that can be a hazard to your dog, either causing illness or death.
Did you know that an environmental toxin can be any substance outside an animal’s body and if ingested or otherwise 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 filled with things that can harm our dogs.
Did you know that secondhand smoke can cause cancer in dogs? Rotting food found in garbage can cause illness or death.
Substances found in the home that can pose a deadly threat vary from pesticides and contaminated water that pollute the environment to many other things that seem small and insignificant.
I hope this article opens the reader’s eyes in some small way and possibly prevents a dog or other pet from getting sick or dying.
As you know, dogs are one of the most curious household pets, monkeys may be more curious, but when it comes to putting things in their mouths, I believe dogs beat all other critters.
Since a dog has no hands to find things, his first choice is his mouth and whether it tastes good or not, it goes into his mouth. I never read anywhere that dogs are gourmands. It seems their philosophy is, if it fits, it can be chewed and/or swallowed. The problem with this philosophy is that the toxins in the items can cause illness and/or the items can cause serious blockages in the dog’s body.
So what’s a dog owner to do? First of all some simple rules should be followed which will prevent some accidents from happening. Especially if you have a puppy or a dog that likes to chew, keep small things out of the dog’s reach. Small rubber balls, jewelry, all kinds of medicine bottles (glass or plastic), containers of ant or mouse poison, household cleaners, live wire placed on chewable soil, containers of pesticides, fertilizers, automobile fluids such as antifreeze, power steering fluid, and the like. Anything you don’t think you’d like to swallow is a “no” for your dog.
There are many substances that can cause a toxic reaction in a dog:
– Alcohol – can cause coma or even death in addition to intoxication.
– Avocado – The fatty acid ‘persin’ found in the leaves, fruit, seeds and peel of avocados can cause breathing difficulties, abnormal fluid accumulation in the chest, stomach and sac around the heart.
– Chocolate – This and any product related to chocolate such as cocoa powder, cocoa beans, cocoa nibs are very dangerous for dogs. These products contain caffeine and theobromine, both of which are nerve stimulants, and dogs metabolize theobromine more slowly than humans so it can cause many problems, including death. Dark chocolate has the highest concentration.
– Coffee, tea and cola – contain caffeine and can cause caffeine toxicity, also tea and cola 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, it can cause depression, hyperthermia, weakness, muscle stiffness, tremors and increased heart rate.
– Mushrooms – contain poisonous substances that can be fatal if eaten by a dog.
– Nutmeg – I didn’t know it would affect a dog, but it is on the list of very dangerous foods for dogs and can be fatal if a dog eats enough. I don’t know what is enough – so keep it away from your dog.
– Onions and Garlic – It is not known how much onions or garlic should be eaten by a dog (or cat), but they are considered dangerous because they contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can cause red blood cells to burst and cause anemia from what I have read. This can lead to severe weakness and even death if not treated by your vet.
– Xylitol – This is a sugar substitute found in some gums and sugar free candies that is extremely harmful to dogs. If a dog eats enough candy, it can cause low blood sugar, loss of coordination, depression, liver damage, collapse and seizures, which can be fatal.
– Yeast Flour – Growing yeast flour can cause gas to build up in a pet’s digestive system which can cause its stomach or intestines to rupture. Do not feed your dog raw flour that contains yeast. A small amount of bread or rolls are fine for your pet once they are cooked.
Some plants are very poisonous to dogs. Puppies are usually the most curious, but dogs that like to dig can also have problems.
In general, the following plants cause similar problems and what are the symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, lethargy, salivation, tremors, dizziness and upset stomach.
Amaryllis, azaleas, crocuses in autumn. Christmas pine needles, chrysanthemums, cyclamen, daffodils, some ivies, holly, kalanchoe and lilies, sago palms, oleanders, poinsettias, tulips and narcissus bulbs are the most common ones found in our gardens. However, the castor oil plant contains highly toxic proteins and one bean can kill a human and four beans can kill a horse, so I would rid my yard of such a plant just to be safe. If a bean can kill one of us, I bet a chew by a puppy or dog can be deadly.
Also new to the garden circle is cocoa bean mulch that smells like chocolate, dogs are attracted to it and will eat it. This can lead to many problems including death, stick to our regular coverage to be on the safe side.
Do not allow your dog to swim in stagnant water or any water that you are not sure is contaminated.
Dogs are like children, they are very curious and attracted to things because they smell good. If it smells good, it must taste good, and therein lies the problem.
All dogs are at risk of chewing or swallowing poisonous or irritating objects, 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 outdoors, being careful can prevent any mishaps.
Invest in an emergency first aid kit for your dog. It should contain:
– A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide (3%) for vomiting.
– A turkey baster or large syringe to inject the peroxide into the dog’s mouth
– Saline eye remedy
– Artificial tear gel to lubricate the eyes after flushing
– Forceps (tweezers) to remove stingers.
– Muzzle to protect yourself from fear or excitement
– A mild grease cutting dishwashing liquid to bathe the skin after any contamination
– A can of your pet’s favorite wet food
– Pet carrier
Keep your veterinarian’s phone number posted near your telephone and list the ASPCA poison control number 888-426-4435 (there is a fee for this service.) The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center website has an alphabetical list of the most common plants. , including information about their safety.
If you ever think your pet has ingested a poisonous substance, call your veterinarian immediately. Time is of the essence and the life you save will be your pet’s.
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