Doggie Dangers - Items to Look for When Dog Proofing Your Home
(download PDF here)
Many common household products are dangerous to pets. Products safe for humans can be fatal to dogs. It's important to be aware of these hidden and lurking dangers.
This list, by no means includes everything. But as a new dog owner - these are some of the more common items that should be removed or locked up once a pet arrives.
Chemicals - Home, Garage, Lawn and Automotive
Lock up any cleaners, pest control and automotive products. Many of these items are toxic to pets. Pay particular attention to items that animals find attractive. Rat poison and antifreeze both smell good to dogs and they will eat it. As for the rest of the chemicals - look for pet friendly brands or make sure they are locked securely out of your pet's reach.
Some house and garden plants are toxic to animals. Even plants found in vegetable gardens can hurt your new addition. Tomato and potato plants are part of the nightshade family. Mushrooms that grow in the lawn can be poisonous. Rhubarb leaves are also toxic. Check toxic plant databases when planning a garden. If in doubt, don't let your dog (or cat) eat it.
Dogs cannot digest certain foods that people eat on a daily basis. Common foods that are toxic to dogs include grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, chocolate and onions. Other foods can cause problems if digested in large quantities. Click on the link to the A.S.P.C.A. database on the Awesome Dogs website.
Women (and men with man bags) carry essentials in their bags. Medication is commonly kept in bags. From drug store pain medication to prescription pills to vitamins - your dog can die if they ingest some of these items. People also put breath mints and chewing gum into their bags. Some of those products contain Xylitol. It is toxic to pets. Make sure hand bags, or guess' personal belongings are placed high out of the reach of curious animals.
Along with cleaning supplies, there are plenty of dangers in the bathroom. Put razor blades, vitamins, medications and electrical cords out of reach. Also move items such as soaps, personal hygiene products and dental care out of the way. Some may contain chemicals that can harm pets. Others may contain artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol. Better to be safe than sorry.
Secure cords out of reach. Make sure you supervise at all times. If cords cannot be placed out of reach, then cover them with plastic tubing to keep your puppy's teeth away from them.
Collars can become tangled. Do not leave your dog unattended while they wear training collars such as choke or pinch collars. (Better yet, teach your dog using positive reinforcement and don't use them at all.) Look for objects that might catch on collars such as loose fence boards. Use tear away collars when needed.
Small toys can be a choking hazard. But other toys may contain chemicals - such as science kit projects. Other items may contain fire retardant sprays. Children's stuffed toys are not a good alternative to a dog toy that is designed to be chewed.
Inspect leashes, fences and other barriers
Leashes that are frayed, loose fence boards or small spaces under fences are not secure. Inspect these items regularly and ensure that your pup doesn't outwit you. Just because they have not dug under the fence yet - does not mean they won't try. If necessary, bury fencing below ground to keep your pet securely inside. During winter months, clear snow that has built up and may inadvertently giving pets a way out.
Ponds and pools may be fun and attractive. But it's not true that all dogs can swim. Some sink like stones. In cold weather, water can freeze. Your dog is unaware that they may fall through thin ice. Cover ponds to prevent animals from falling in. Don't leave stagnant water in pools. Keep pets from going onto frozen rivers, ponds and lakes where they could fall through thin patches of ice.
Certain holiday traditions should be banned from pet owner homes. One of those items should be tinsel. Pets are attracted to the product. But it can get into their intestines, causing severe and even fatal internal injuries. Also watch out for decorations involving candles. Tails can easily knock them over.
Dogs are scavengers and are attracted to items tossed into trash bins. Poultry bones are extremely dangerous. Place garbage cans securely out of reach. Get a bin with a latch for the bathroom.