Isn’t it always the same, you finally find some time in between chores, work, kids and bills to go outside and play some catch with your dog. Catch is perfect, you don’t have to walk for a mile and it’s lazy enough that you can actually sit down to do it. Suddenly, as quick as you threw that favorite piece of driftwood, your lab brought it back, along with a case of torn skin around his snout. You automatically wonder how this happened? You’ve played catch a million times before and it had never occurred to you that one day your dog would actually cut his lip open with a piece of wood shard.
His Adrenalin has kicked in after the tenth catch so he’ll be wagging his tail, looking seemingly happy, but some 10 pm when you are getting to bed, the whining will start and so will the Vet bill, from the trip to the Emergency Vet Hospital.
Some of the most common problems that pet owners face today, are injuries, followed closely by dog fights, and then right behind those are illnesses as a result of swallowing foreign object, medicines or household chemicals (we all know the Anti-freeze Scare). Anti freeze being the most common type of swallowed chemical due to its sweet taste, can kill a susceptible dog.
Let’s take a look at some Accidents within the home:
?Cleaning and Gardening chemicals are the easiest to get into. Keep them safely put away, as well as keep them out of reach from the Curious snout while you are using them. Some common items left lying around that are harmful are instant lighters for the gas/charcoal grill. They can bite into the chamber that holds the fuel and cause a severe reaction. Rat Poison, highly toxic, as well as eating a poisoned rat, it’s just as bad as eating one. If your pet gets involved with Rat Poison, take the box with you to the Vet to show the toxicity level. All Rat Poisons and or many types of rodent poison, have explicit definitions of how toxic to humans and animals they are.
?Carbon Monoxide poisoning doesn’t just happen to people. Dogs can become overwhelmed by the gas when exposed to it. Carbon Monoxide is colorless and odorless, making it easy for us and our pets to be endangered. If you have a dog that sleeps in the garage or basement or anywhere near a boiler, furnace etc..ensure that your fixtures are properly maintained and serviced regularly. You can buy Carbon Monoxide detectors at any hardware store. Some signs of poisoning include drowsiness, lethargy and weakness. Take your pet outside for fresh air immediately and then to your local Vetrinarian.
?Fires may cause smoke inhalation to pets as well. Your dog should be given cpr immediately then rushed to your Vet for a check up.
?Parties are a source of dangers where tossed cigarette butts and illegal drugs as well are a source of poisoning and may hurt your pet.
?July 4th Provides a lot of festivities as well as caution, with the fireworks going off in the sky, hot embers as well as the used fireworks themselves pose a threat when chewed.
?Never give a Dog Human Medicine. Ibuprofen is particularly dangerous. Vitamins and Mineral supplements are also dangerous, especially iron and supplements containing zinc.
?Don’t use Household sprays on your dog (yes, I’ve met people that do this).
?Batteries are dangerous if swallowed.
?Keep your pet away from Household Paints, Paint thinners/removers, glue (any type).
?Make-Up, yes even some make up such as perfumes and aftershaves contain substances that are harmful if eaten.
Accidents outside the home:
?Imagine your dog gets away from you and runs directly into traffic. Traffic is one of the greatest dangers. It doesn’t matter how well behaved your pet is, a dog will always be a dog and if his snout gets a whiff of something very interesting, they will run! Train your dog to obey you when you recall him. Seek a Professional Trainer and follow through. Consistency is the key.
?Neutering a male dog is a personal choice, but there is a possibility of neutering reducing the roaming instinct which can cause accidents, for both sexes, and also has health benefits, such as a longer life span.
?Socialization is very important for a dog, especially when you start them very young. Get your dog used to being around other dogs, people, even cats or other types of animals. There are simple steps to help a dog “learn” to properly socialize, therefore lowering the risk of getting into fights. Check with a Professional Trainer on how and where to go for socialization training.
?Your dogs health is important. Make sure he gets his regular check-ups as well as Vaccinations.
?Remember the stick analogy at the beginning? You may want to stick to using hard rubber toys to play catch with instead of sticks, which may cause injuries. Just make sure the rubber toys are extra large for your dog, so they don’t swallow them and cause them to choke.
?The left over chicken bones after dinner are not a good treat. NEVER give your dog chicken bones. They can get wedged in their throat, causing airway problems, gastrointestinal trouble, even life threatening illnesses from pieces getting stuck in their bowels.
?Stickers are common in the southwest. Some are uncomfortable and for other dogs, painful.
?Never leave an open window in areas of the house where they can fall out.
?Do not allow your dog or puppy to chew on exposed electrical wires, they can get a shock and die.
?Algae, either blue-green or green scum like, can be dangerous. Some types produce toxins that can be irritants and maybe lethally poisonous.
?Although most dogs enjoy water, not all dogs can swim. Dogs can and do drown in the ocean and or rivers and lakes.
?When people see a dog locked in a car with the window slightly open, thoughts of death are apparent, however, heat stroke can happen even when you are playing outside with your pup. Ensure your dog is not overweight. Make sure they have plenty of shade and water and take frequent breaks. If your dog has a thick coat or long fur, have them get a Summer Shave. It’s like natural air conditioning and it does wonders . Use a Dog Sunscreen..SPF 15 works well.
?The list of poisonous plants is numerous, so keeping an eye on your pet while outside is a good idea. The most common types of poisonous plants are:
-Azalea, daffodil, dieffenbachia, rhododendron, yew, Daffodils among many others.
-Horse chestnut twigs, leaves and conkers are poisonous as well.
?Bone Meal that is used for the Garden, and that does not contain fertilizer or insecticides, may cause gastrointestinal upset even in small swallowed amounts. Some Bone Meal is enticing, due to the odor and makes dogs dig and lick.
?Compost is a danger as well. If a compost mound is old and decayed, it may produce vomiting, twitching, tremors and worse.
Vigilance is very important around your home, around your Garden and even out in Public. All it takes is a second of distraction and the danger ensues.
Following through as a Responsible Pet Owner is important, and your dogs health and well being should be at the top of the list.