Dogs are nothing less than a curious child who loves to explore the world around him. Like a child, they love to touch, smell and taste everything they come across.
Making your home dog-proof is a tough job. You cannot teach your pooch to stay away from certain things. All you can do is to place all the toxic household items out of the reach of your pooch. It’s a tough job in a busy life routine to be careful with the pooch’s safety at home. You will have to walk an extra mile to get all the love and companionship of your pooch for a long-term.
The oft-quoted words fit perfectly here: Prevention is better than cure.
Want to know what poisons your dog? What are various symptoms of dog poisoning? Here’s a detailed (not general) list of household items that should be kept away from your dog’s reach always:
1. Food Items:
There is a range of foods that we humans can eat but are toxic to our dogs. Dogs can get stomach problems, kidney or liver diseases, neurological or heart problems if they eat certain human foods. They are sensitive to certain ingredients in foods like:
i. Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolates are toxic to dogs as they contain methylxanthine in high concentrations. But, that doesn’t mean other chocolates are safe. Caffeine in cooking chocolates and dark chocolates is harmful too. A lot of chocolate can cause vomiting, urination, thirst in excess, diarrhea, and hyperactivity in dogs. In severe conditions, irregular heart rhythms, seizures, and tremors are experienced by dogs.
Coffee has high levels of caffeine concentrations which can cause similar health issues in your dogs as a dark chocolate does.
iii. Table Foods:
The fruit basket that you have placed on your table might attract you pooch by its scents. But, beware, they all are not safe!
Avocadoes: Avocadoes get controversial reviews about their toxicity, but still the central seed might choke your furry friend.
Grapes and Raisin: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
Macadamia nuts: They are poison to your dog. So, better not to ever share your cookies and snacks containing Macadamia nuts with your dogs.
Onions: Onions or onion powders are life-threatening for your dog as they kill blood cells and cause Heinz Anemia.
Alcohol: Alcohol poses a greater threat to your dog than it does to you. It can cause cardiac arrest, kidney or liver failure, and acidosis.
Garlic: Garlic gets poisonous when used in large quantities in dog foods.
Raw meat: Raw meat is harmful to domestic dogs as Salmonella, and other bacteria can threaten the dog’s immune system.
Sweetener: The sugar-free sweetener like Xylitol is found in baked products as well as chewing gums. The ingredients can lead to liver failure in dogs.
2. Pharmaceutical Products:
From pain-killers to anti-allergy and from birth-control pills to blood pressure controlling drugs, every over-the-counter medicine in your home is harmful to your dog and can cause breathing issues or neurological problems.
Some human drugs are prescribed for pets as well, but they can only be given after consultation with your vet. Reason: The quantity of dose and concentration of ingredients in medicines make a difference, and can cause harm to your pets.
Plants, on the one hand, house ticks and fleas and, on the other hand, can prove poisonous if your dog nibbles on it because of its attractive scent. Some flowers like lilies, tulips, azaleas, sago palm, rhododendrons, and daffodils are toxic to dogs if eaten. Ornamental shrubs and field plants including Aloe Vera, Elephant Ear, ZZ Plant, Asparagus Fern, Jade, Pothos, Ivy, Jade, Philodendron, Dumb Cane and Corn Plant are some other plants that are poisonous for dogs.
A whole list of plants that should not be planted in a house with pets is available at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) site.
4. House Cleaners:
Cleaning products like bleaches, window and bathroom cleaner, furniture sprays, etc. are highly toxic to your dog’s health. Place them in cabinets that are unreachable for your little pooch.
Often pet-owners leave the detergents open and approachable where pets can taste them. But, they are nothing less than giving your dog a taste of poison.
6. Insecticides/ Rodenticides:
Insecticides that have been sprayed around the home to trap tiny insects can prove to be poisonous for your dog. A little taste of deadly ant-powder trap can poison your dog. Rodenticides have attractive smells that can build curiosity in your dogs. The phosphorus elements in rodenticides are poison to the dog’s health.
Paints, batteries and other leaders and zinc-based items at home can choke your dog or poison him altogether.
Anti-freeze is commonly found on walk tracks in winters outside. Dogs often lick their paws after a walk to get rid of irritation caused by the anti-freeze; which poisons them.
Fertilizers can appear appetizing to your dog as he sniffs the appealing smell it leaves. Your dog may feed on those nitrogen and phosphorus-based chemicals that are meant to keep away weeds and insects. Keep the dogs away from the field when you have used fertilizers there.
Helpline Numbers for Emergency Situations:
Paste these two important numbers in your fridge for quick access:
Pet Poison Helpline: 800-213-6680. (No Consultation Fee.)
James Shore is a part-time dog-trainer and dog behavior consultant. He is a professional freelancer with years of experience in dog training. He is interested in finding out fun ways to handle dog behaviors, specifically, Labradors to help dog-owners enjoy their companions at all times. His pet-passion led him to develop labradortraininghq.com to help people.