Having a dog is a lot of fun because they’re full of love and excitement. Your dog will always know how to make you laugh and cheer up, but that doesn’t mean they know everything. Dogs are also very curious, which means they may get into things that could hurt them. They don’t know what’s good for them and what’s not, which is where you step in.
Don’t let your dog be the next one to wind up at the emergency vet getting their stomach pumped. Read on to learn how your dog could get poisoned, even accidentally, and how you can keep that from happening. Your dog can still live that adventurous life they love while staying safe at home and while out on the town.
1. Lock Prescriptions Up
Those who live with kids probably already do this, but everyone should always keep their prescription medication locked away where only you can get it. This could be in a medicine cabinet or drawer. Leaving them out on the counter means that your dog could jump up and chew through whatever your medication is contained in. They’ll think they’re just playing with another toy that hides treats inside and won’t think twice about ripping your medication open.
2. Be Wary of Insecticides
Pet owners should know that when you take your dog for a walk, never let them roam where insecticides have recently been sprayed, but that doesn’t always look like a garden or flower patch. Dog parks can be sprayed too for fleas and ticks. These sprays have carbamate and organophosphate in them, which is highly toxic for dogs. Ask your local park operator if they spray where dogs go and when it will be safe for your dog to come back to play.
3. Research Your Plants
Growing indoor plants can make any room feel cozier, but are your plants okay for your dog to be around? There are lots of common plants that are toxic for pets, so if you have any, swap them out for a pet friendly alternative instead:
- Spider plant
- African violet
- Christmas cactus
The plant options that will be safe to be around your dog are seemingly endless! Whether you’re looking for something colorful or something green, you’ll find a plant that fits with what you’re wanting so you can get planting and watch it grow.
4. Use Pet Medication Responsibly
If used in dosages greater than what the vet recommends, pet medication can also be toxic for dogs. These should be locked away like your personal medication. Even if your dog hates taking what they’re prescribed, they could easily overdose without knowing it if it was left out for them to grab. Medication could be confused for treats or food, especially if it’s uncontained.
5. Store Cleaning Solution Away
That grime that’s been in your shower for the longest time won’t go away without the help of some powerful cleaning solution, but think about how that will affect your dog. They could find it while you’re not looking or lick it up after it’s been sprayed all over a dirty surface. Take a minute to check what household cleaning products are toxic and then store them where your pet can’t reach.
6. Don’t Feed Them Scraps
Your dog might beg next to you at the dinner table and put on their cutest puppy dog eyes, but you shouldn’t give them what’s on your plate. A lot of food that you would think would be safe for dogs is actually toxic for them to digest. Chewing on a grape or licking up spilled alcohol could cause symptoms like intense vomiting, leading to an emergency vet trip.
7. Be Careful with Rodenticides
When your home gets invaded by unwanted pests like rats or other vermin, you have to get heavy duty chemicals out to get rid of them or keep them away. If you can’t handle it on your own, a pest control company will come in with their deadly equipment. If you spray anything or lay out any traps, make sure to keep your dog away from them. A poison that’s bad for any animal will be bad for your dog too.
8. Monitor What They Eat
It’s easy to watch what your dog eats while they’re around you, but when you’re away, mistakes can happen. When you drop your dog off at a boarding facility, it’s always safe to leave them with more than enough of their regular kibble to last while you’re gone. It’s never wise to assume that the food a dog sitter or boarding service will have will be good for your pet.
9. Keep Them Leashed
Your dog knows the route when you go on a walk around your neighborhood, so why not let them off the leash for a loop? You never know what your neighbors have sprayed on their lawn or left outside, so keep your dog leashed to prevent them from getting into anything toxic. Even a tipped over garbage bag could create trouble when all you wanted to do was let your dog have a nice walk.
10. Always Think Outside the Box
Dogs are quick, so when they see something they want to explore, they’ll figure out a way to do it faster than you might be able to react. That’s why it’s always smart as a dog owner to think outside the box. Could your dog get into something or chew through it or find another way to get into a dangerous situation? Think ahead about what could possibly go wrong to keep them safe in the long run.
When you first got your dog, you might have been like an overprotective parent, but as time goes on, those protective urges might relax. That can be fine, but never forget that dogs can be easily poisoned by things you might not have even thought about. Watch where you store chemicals and research your plants so your dog has a safe home to live in even when you’re not around to keep an eye on them.