Taking your dog or a walk is healthy for both you and your dog – and a time to bond. Yet, there are dangers that lurk in the most unlikely of places. Keep your dog safe by being alert to these doggie dangers.
Litter – a bag of chicken bones dropped by a path, a trash pile, an overturned garbage can – any of these can contain items that can poison or choke your dog. It’s a great idea to teach your dog to “leave,” or “drop” before this happens. Be alert – your dog’s super sniffer will locate these items even when you may not notice them.
Poop – Even the most refined of pups might find “droppings” appetizing. Droppings from other animals can contain disease and parasites and sicken your dog. Help prevent this risk to others by carrying a bag to retrieve your own dog’s business.
Water – Dogs need lots of water and a puddle, or pond, and any container holding water may provide ready refreshment. Unfortunately, these sources of water are also likely to transmit heartworm from mosquitos, parasites, and bacterial disease. Even bird baths are likely sources of fungal disease. Anticipate your dog’s water breaks and bring some fresh water along for them.
Pesticides and Rodenticides- What could be more fun than rolling in the grass for your pup, and it’s a joy to see their enjoyment. With the use of pesticides, it may be that your dog is rolling in a poisonous spray. At the same time, many homeowners place rodent bait near ground level where you may not see it but your dog’s nose hones in. Be alert to newly sprayed lawns and to your dog’s interest to likely bait trap areas.
Wild animals – Dogs are prey animals, and their hunt instinct hasn’t been removed by the dinner they just got at home. At the extreme, eating a toad can be fatal for a dog. Getting into a scrap with other wild animals can lead to injury or death. Once the battle is underway it may be too late to prevent disease or injury so stay aware and alert to your dog’s sudden interest. A “stop” command is a good prevention tool. If your dog is injured by a wild animal be sure to consult a vet promptly. Using a pet stroller as a refuge for your dog when an unleashed dog or wild animal is encountered is a good way to keep your dog safe. It’s also a good way to give your older or disabled dog a break on long walks or particularly hot days.
Stuff – Some things are injurious to dogs but not to people. That piece of discarded candy or bubble gum can contain xylitol which causes hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs. Chocolate contains high levels of caffeine that is risky for dogs, and any items containing artificial sweetener. Bagels contain raisins which are toxic to canine kidneys.
- Toxic Plants – Many plants are innocuous to humans but dangerous to dogs. Here are a few common plants for “doggie danger;” The ASPCA maintains a poison control hotline (888) 426-4435.
- Apple Parts
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons
- 9 Tulips
- Sago Palm