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Household Dangers to Dogs

You all know about the normal hazards like a fast moving vehicle, the business end of a gun, drowning, heat exhaustion and other obvious dangers. Most people are ignorant of the dangers that are always present and could kill or cripple their dogs. As typical of the American news system, sometimes networks will air stories of weird cases of death but most likely you will never hear of the dog that died from a household incident/accident.

Kitchen:

So, what could be so dangerous about the kitchen. After all you or your spouse may use it every day and you still have all your appendages and your sanity. Well let's talk about bones. Some bones are really dangerous (rabbit, chicken - they splinter) and so is the small rope or string that's sometimes used to truss up the meat. Splintered bones can wreak havoc on the digestive system and cause internal bleeding and the twine, rope or strings used in packing the meat can cause blockage of the intestines. Don't leave knives close to the edge of counters or tables since your dog (especially the large CO) may brush it off with their tail and possible injury your or themselves. Watch out for the same tails knocking pots off the stove - turn the handles inward and don't let them hang over the side of the stove.

Bathroom:

Here is where you keep your medicines (ok most of them). You probably also have some shampoo, conditioner and probably toilet bowl cleaner out in the open. Hey, most of us do. Now since most dogs are smaller than humans and have faster metabolism they can have a more severe and intensified reaction to our drugs and large doses of bathroom chemicals. So, If your dogs actually live in the house and visits the bathroom (no pun) make sure it is pet safe. Keep aspirins, diet drugs, allergy medicine, toothpaste, Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, and other medicines, powders and liquids secured. Please don't give you dog any of your medicines without first consulting the vet. If you dog have had firsthand knowledge and taste of any of your bathroom chemicals consult your dog's vet immediately. Other items such as feminine hygiene products, pantyhose, stockings, and diapers are quite attractive to dogs but can cause blockage and suffocation. Disposable razors, hair care products, drain cleaner, dye, laxatives, rubbing alcohol, soaps, cleaning fluids... ok you get the picture by now. Keep all your stuff in safe and secure places if you don't want your dog to eat, drink, or destroy your thing and themselves.

Around the House:

Other hazards that lurk around the house and may jump at the opportunity to harm you dog are bleach, roach powder, mothballs, metal polish, mineral spirits, phenol, shoe polish, window cleaner, furniture polish, matches, kerosene, batteries, golf balls, marbles, needles, knives (yes.. knives), coins (all you have left after feeding the CO). Watch out for electrical wires that can be chewed through, the experience will be electrifying for you and shocking for you dog and please don't let your dog lick the fresh, wax off the floor.

The garage can be one of the most dangerous places in your house. Almost everything there is poisonous. Brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, fuel additives, tire cleaning stuff, and almost every other liquid that can be put into a car, truck, boat or other mechanical contraption... and ok, so you really get the picture if you have read this far.... good job.

Collars and Dips:

Flea control products are a common source of calls to the doggie doctor and poison control centers. Flea and tic dips can harm you dog if he has open wounds or other skin problems where the skin is broken. Always follow the instruction carefully. The product label is the best source of how to properly use the product. Most manufacturers of pet care products will also provide a toll free number on the container's label. If you live outside the USA and Canada you will probably have to pay for the call... sorry...

Collars can cause problems or death.

Collars may get caught on protrusions and hang your dog. The sudden pull of a choke chain can cause spinal injuries. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) warns not to tie animals outside wearing a choke collar, since they may, .... choke. Use a buckle collar instead although they too can prove dangerous, but hey...you have to use a collar right? Beware of the dangers of Elizabeth Collars - the cone shaped oversize collars usually prescribed because of some medical conditions - if your dog puts his head in plastic bags he may not be able to paw it of with his Elizabeth collar on. Muzzles are designed to keep the dogs mouth closed... makes it hard to eject vomit and fluids and can drown your dog... Be attentive when your dog is wearing anything that prohibits his normal body functions.

Automobiles:

You may think it's cool and hip to have your dog ride in the bed of a pickup truck, well it's not. I dog in the open back of a pickup truck can easily become a flying object. Let's say you have to stop suddenly, swerve to avoid something or you just hit the speed bump or a pretty deep pothole. Well, it's bye, bye, doggie. Your dog may even decide to jump from you moving pickup to chase a cat or a bitch in heat. You may than want to secure your dog to the back of your pickup truck, ok, but don't do so that they will hang themselves if the aforementioned events occur. Keep in mind also that the bed of the truck can get pretty hot and will burn the pads of their paws... oooccchhhh. Cat on a hot tin roof - Dog in a hot pickup truck.

Inside the car is also dangerous. Don't leave your dog alone in the car in the summer heat, they will become hot dogs. In the winter the inside of your car can be just as dangerous.. much like the inside of a refrigerator. Your dog, if loose, inside the car can be a missile hazard if you have to make any sudden changes in directions. One last bit of advise, please don't put your dog in the trunk. Ok so you may not want to mess up the inside of your car, just use a blanket and then some air freshener but not the trunk. How would you like to be locked in a very dark box and drive across town? You would bang into the side of the box at every change in direction.

Water-related:

Even clean-looking water can be contaminated by animals or chemicals. When traveling, carry bottled water for both of you. Watch where your dog drinks. That means no lakes, rivers, or puddles. Other water dangers can come from blue-green algae, or ocean water, which can make dogs seriously ill if they drink too much of it. Pool chemicals, especially undiluted chlorine, are another water-related menace. Dogs have died when they tried to walk across a frozen pond or stream. Their owners have also died trying to save them.

Lawn-related: Some dogs eat weird nonfood items (called pica), including rocks. Others eat grass, which may have been treated with chemicals such as fertilizer or weed killer. Read the labels care- fully, and keep the products out of reach. Use your sprinkler or hose to help the chemicals sink in, unless the directions state otherwise. Keep your dogs off the lawn for twenty-four hours afterward, or until it is dry, whichever comes first. Watch out for insecticides, herbicides, or other chemicals applied to your lawn, shrubbery, or trees. A lot has been written lately about an herbicide, 2,4-D, used in fifteen hundred different weed killing products, which has been linked to malignant lymphoma in dogs.

Miscellaneous outdoors: Curbing a dog at a bus stop is risky; the driver is so high up he sometimes doesn't see the dog. Rotting garbage puts your dog at risk because it smells great to him. Secure your outdoor garbage with tight lids. (Indoors, rotten food that dogs have jumped up and stolen off a table or counter has caused more deaths than people realize.)

The Tragedy of the Dog and the Diaper.

The unexpected and unnecessary death of any dog is a horror, but an especially sad case occurred in Pennsylvania in March of 1993. Many dogs are naturally attracted to soiled diapers, as was one basset hound that accidentally ingested a small amount of a disposable baby diaper. The dog vomited up some of it, but the rest remained in his body, spewing out toxins. He lingered for three and a half months before dying. The owner wrote to Dog World that when she contacted the diaper manufacturer to inform them of what happened, they sent her a leaflet and some coupons so she could purchase more diapers from them.

Watch out for poisons Poisons:

What we use to kill rats may be more dangerous than the rats, because rodent killer (which may also be used indoors) can be a dog killer as well. (Symptoms can start two to five days after ingestion and much of the bleeding can be internal, so you might not realize what's happened.) Dogs can be injured by poisonous insects (especially one called striped walking stick), spiders, snakes, and so forth. (Look for swellings on the body.) Also, products used to kill other animals and insects, especially those for controlling garden snails and slugs, can kill your dog.

Secondary poisonings are also a possibility; birds and others eat the poisoned items, become ill or die, and they in turn may be eaten by dogs and cats. Outdoors, fishhooks can become embedded in a dog's body, especially if a fisherman leaves old bait on his line, which can attract a dog. Other outdoor nonfatal but painful hazards include foxtails, cacti, thistles, and sand spurs. Wild animals present rabies problems, especially raccoons (be wary of lethargic or friendly acting ones), skunks, opossums, woodchucks, rabbits, and bats. And porcupine quills can end up in your dog's nose or mouth and be excruciatingly painful. Still awake? Believe it or not, there are many more hazards.

The important thing is to be cautious and watchful, and if your dog has sudden unexplained signs of illness like vomiting, diarrhea, or seizures, to call your vet immediately. You may also contact the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center, at 800-548-2423 but it will cost you $30.00 (Major Credit Cards accepted) for as many calls as it take to resolve your case. If you do not have a credit card and you live in the USA you may call 900-680-0000 and the $30.00 will be billed to your telephone number.

Protect your dog, and he will protect you."

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