There are few things more rewarding in life than having a dog that cannot wait for you to get home from work just so the two of you can hang out on the couch together. “Man’s best friend” is no idle turn of phrase — in fact, you’d probably do nearly anything to keep your pet happy and healthy, and that includes protecting your dog from household dangers.
Being a pet owner requires vigilance, even in your own home. Dogs can be particularly curious when you’re not around. It’s essential for pet owners to keep them safe and healthy.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to better protect your pet from household items that may pose a hazard. Becoming aware of any potential risk is the first step to success. Below is a list of things that could become an issue, should your pup get a hold of them:
Toxic food items
When you are eating dinner, it can be hard not to notice those big puppy eyes staring at you, just begging for the tiniest taste of whatever you’re eating. Beside caving to the begging habit and creating a food stealing monster, it is vital to avoid giving your dog human food that could cause problems down the road. These food items range from well-known risks to less obvious ones.
The types of foods your dog should not eat are well-documented across the internet. Frequently they are linked to severe reactions — for instance; chocolate can cause your dog to vomit or have diarrhea or, in more extreme cases, have tremors or seizures. Likewise, things such as dairy products may cause other issues because many dogs are lactose intolerant.
Fortunately, there are several human foods that your dog can enjoy if you want to give them a treat. For instance, most vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, or broccoli are OK for dogs to eat (so long as they like them). Other foods such as peanut butter (watch out for peanut butter made with xylitol, also known as birch sugar) or cooked chicken meat make great dog treats.
It is often helpful for dog owners to go room by room through their house looking for things that could pose a potential problem for dogs. Do this at dog-level height, which can help to catch lower-level things that you might otherwise miss.
The big thing is to be aware of small toys or other items that may be left out and begging to be eaten up by a curious pooch. For example, we all know laundry soap pods have been a concern with kids, but they also can choke or poison your dog. Also, be aware of small things like potpourri that may register as food in a dog’s mind.
Also, watch for large items that could fall on your pet. Keep close tabs on things such as the garbage can, which can be very tempting for a pup. Make sure it isn’t easily accessible.
Additionally, be aware of how certain cleaners and sprays may affect your dog. Things such as fragrances, chemical pesticides, or cleaning products may pose a substantial health hazard to both you and your pet in any quantity. Try to use non-toxic cleaning products for your pets.
Items designed for pets
Surprisingly, even things made for pets can be hazardous. That includes medications, beds, leashes, and toys.
Take medications, for instance. If left out, a pet may be able to access pills — either yours or their own — and overdose. Likewise, things that may be beneficial for your dog in small doses, such as CBD or essential oils, can be dangerous in large quantities. Always consider the size of your pet and potential side effects before giving your pup any health treatments.
Furthermore, be careful about leaving your pet with old, beat-up toys. Many plush toys that your dog may have loved “too much” may be losing fuzz. Eating things such as fuzz or stuffing can cause significant health issues for pets, especially if they become clogged in the intestinal tract, which could require surgery to remove it. If toys are nearing the end of their lives, keep them away when you cannot monitor your pet’s play time.
Keep your pup safe
Having a pet in your home brings a whole host of potential health hazards. Protect your dog. Pick up the house before you leave and don’t feed your dog dangerous foods. Take care to remove anything that could be potentially hazardous. Dog-proofing your home can be a small task that ensures years of comfort and enjoyment for you and your pup.
– Noah Rue