When we add a dog to our family, their wellbeing becomes our priority. We love our best friends and take care to keep them happy and healthy. But accidents happen and potential dangers for dogs can lurk in unexpected places. Keep these tips in mind to keep your furry friends safe.
1. Dog Food Only! Some foods are harmful for dogs, including alcohol, avocado, caffeine, chocolate, grapes and raisins, garlic, onions, and items like gum that contain the artificial sweetener xylitol. Stick with dog food and treats, and avoid people foods, to keep your pup healthy.
2. Hide Your Trash. Some dogs love the challenge of getting the garbage can open to search for what’s inside. So many exciting smells! But there are also so many dangers, from molds and bacteria, to hazardous food scraps, to plastic and other materials they could choke on. Keep your trash in a cupboard or the garage so it’s out of reach.
3. Practice Fire Safety. Be sure to keep pets away from hot grills and backyard campfires. Keep them indoors or on a leash while fires are active. Stoves with accessible on/off knobs can be dangerous too, if dogs can reach them. Removing knobs or using safety covers can help. Plus, never leave a lit candle unattended if you have pets. Flameless candles provide great ambiance without the risk!
4. Store Household Chemicals. Antifreeze, cleaners and other household chemicals can be very dangerous for dogs. Antifreeze, especially, has a sweet taste, but contains an ingredient that can be fatal to dogs if not treated immediately. Get medical help right away if your dog gets into any household chemicals.
5. Avoid Suffocation Dangers. Snack and chip bags can be irresistible for a pup, but also very dangerous. If they get their face inside and inhale, the bag can tighten around them, blocking all airways. Store food in containers and put snacks in bowls instead of eating out of bags. And, remember to dispose of bags properly – you may even want to consider tying empty bags in a knot before disposing of them
6. Be Garden Smart. Garden items like fertilizers, blood meal, insecticides and bait traps for rodents or slugs can all be dangerous for dogs. Plus, certain plants, including azaleas, ivy, chrysanthemum, daisies, geraniums and others, are toxic to dogs. The ASPCA has a helpful list of toxic and non-toxic plants (see link below). Check it out before you plan your garden.
7. Don’t Be Shocked. Electrocution from biting on an electrical cord can result in burns or even death for curious pups. Keep electrical cords away from dogs by placing the cords behind or under furniture, or taping them to walls. Also, repair or replace any fraying or damaged cords immediately.
8. Ask Your Vet. We all hope nothing will ever go wrong and our dogs will always be safe. But knowing what dangers to avoid is important. If you have questions or need advice about dog safety, be sure to ask your vet! And, here are some additional resources to check out:
- Banfield Pet Hospital: Keep Your Pet Safe from Household Toxins
- ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List
- BluePearl Pet Hospital: Common Household Items Can Be Dangerous for Your Pets
- Pet Poison Helpline
- Party Tips for Pet Safety when Entertaining
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