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Common Household Pet Hazards and What to Do If Your Dog Finds Them


Many people have the same seemingly innocuous items laying around their houses: foods, medicine, pest killers. However, we all too often forget to put these things out of reach of our beloved pups. And, while some things are probably okay to leave out in the open, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your pet’s health. See below a list of common household hazards and what to do if your dog is poisoned.

Edible Hazards

Some of the foods we love the most are not pet-friendly. Chocolate and coffee are especially hazardous to your dog, as they can cause toxicosis, leading to seizures and death. Other foods to watch out for include grapes, onions, and garlic. Grapes can cause acute renal failure and cause death in as few as three to four days. Onions and garlic can damage red blood cells and lead to weakness and lethargy, and, in rare cases, your dog could require a blood transfusion.

Medicinal Hazards

When considering giving your dog any type of human medication, always triple check with your veterinarian if it is okay. And never leave any medication out in the open where a curious dog could get into it. For example, even something as seemingly harmless as acetaminophen can cause problems with oxygen flow in your pup, or harm his liver. Do not ever leave medicine out, and do not ever give your dog any medication without discussing with your vet.

Additionally, you need to watch out for veterinary medicine prescribed for your pet. Even though this medicine is okay to give your dog, he could still overdose, just like a human could. And pet medicines are often flavored to entice your pet to take them, so be extra careful to not leave these in your pet’s reach, as his curious nose may make him inclined to eat the whole thing.

Chemical Hazards

This is especially important to be aware of, as chemicals can find their way into your pup’s system unintentionally. Insecticides and rodenticides, used to kill pests, can cause choking and blood problems in your pet. Cleaning products, fertilizer, detergents, antifreeze, and de-icers can also be very harmful to your dog. These chemicals can all lead to poisoning and even death. The problem is, even if your dog doesn’t get into a bottle of any of these, he could unintentionally experience the side effects of them from, say, licking his paws if he stepped somewhere where an insecticide was sprayed or drinking water from a puddle if it rains after you spray these chemicals. Always take extra precautions after using any chemicals in your home or your yard to make sure your dog does not ingest any unwanted chemicals. Alternatively, you can buy pet-safe household cleaners for virtually all of your household needs, as well.

Regardless of the precautions you take, accidents do happen, and it is important to know what to do in case your pet is poisoned. First, immediately remove your pet from the area. Then, check to make sure your pet is okay. Call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680, and never give any home remedies or try to induce vomiting without contacting the Helpline or your veterinarian. In severe cases, contact your veterinarian or bring your pet to the nearest emergency vet clinic immediately.

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