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Health Hazards in the Home


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Health Hazards for Dogs Just as we would protect our children from hazardous substances around the home so to must we be aware of dangers to our dogs. The kitchen, garden shed and the garage may harbour chemicals which when ingested by a dog can be life threatening.

Aluminium Foil if eaten can cut the dog’s intestines causing internal bleeding.

Antifreeze, (ethylene glycol) is lethal even in small quantities. Surprisingly, antifreeze tastes quite sweet and dogs do drink it. Many animals die from antifreeze poisoning. If you suspect your dog has drunk antifreeze call a veterinarian immediately. This is a medical emergency and the dog’s life is in danger. Keep antifreeze safely secured out of reach and never leave antifreeze waste where a dog can find it.

Bones, ah how our dogs love them. Cooked bones should never be given to a dog as we all know, but dogs love to raid trashcans and will soon find those discarded bones, Do make sure that you wrap and dispose of any cooked bones where your dog will not be able to reach them. Be warned, dogs will eat plastic food wrapping if they smell residue food on it. It causes intestinal blockage and/or choking.

Chocolate is said to be good for the human soul. For dogs however, chocolate is extremely lethal. Chocolate contains Theobromine, which is toxic if ingested by dogs. Small dogs only need to eat one ounce of chocolate to become seriously ill. Beware also of other chocolate products such as biscuits, or chocolate drinks. Chocolate treats sold for dogs are not the same though they should not be given excessively to avoid obesity. Visitors and children should be aware of the dangers of feeding the dog chocolate, as many dogs have ended up at the vet because the child has shared her bar of chocolate with the family dog. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning are vomiting, seizures, diarrhoea, and hyperactivity. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect that your dog may have eaten chocolate and is displaying any of these symptoms.

Cleaning products that fill our kitchen cupboards not only pollute the environment but pose a serious health hazard to our dogs. Make sure that tops are screwed tightly shut and secure all cupboards that contain cleaners. Some dogs chew or lick furniture that has been polished with cleaners containing beeswax. Although not life threatening, this can cause tummy upsets and sometimes vomiting. If you must use cleaners around the home try changing to more environmentally and pet friendly ones, such as those made from natural products. Needless to say, medicines of any form, ie cough mixtures, creams, salves, and so on should never be left lying around where the dog can find them. A dog will eat tubes of cream that are meant for topical application only and are toxic if ingested. Dogs have been known to drink massage oils, and lap up cough mixtures. Be sensible and never leave these lying around the house. A favourite place is the bedside cupboard, which usually holds an array of creams and potions.

Plants look wonderful displayed attractively around the home. Many houseplants can be dangerous to animals if chewed or eaten. Position houseplants out of reach, standing on secure furniture that cannot be upturned by your dog. Check the garden for any plants, fruits or berries that are poisonous to dogs.

The Christmas season means a beautifully decorated tree, tinsel and gift wrapped presents while a joy to behold these can all be life threatening for our pets. In the hubbub of Christmas the dog’s whereabouts may go unnoticed until it is too late. Be sure to prevent the dog from playing with or eating Christmas decorations.

We cannot watch our pets all of the time so it is best to make your home and garden as safe as possible for all to enjoy.

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