Dogs and humans have very different digestive systems, and of course, very different things that we are tempted to put in our mouths. For this reason I want you to think like a dog- even get down on all fours so you can get a feel of what it’s like for your dog. Things that may not seem very hazardous to us can cause a great deal of pain for a dog. Things that look boring to you can be very alluring to your dog. Use the below information to create a safe, low risk environment for your dog.
Doing these simple things can save you a lot of money and heart-ache!
Keep it Tidy
Whether you have a young pup or an aging dog, mischief is bound to follow!
- Dog Food– dog food in large quantities will cause big tummy upsets. Make sure that your dog’s food is kept out of reach and in a secure container, so your dog doesn’t help themselves!
- Rubbish– having an open recycling bin does have its perks; unless you own an inquisitive puppy! If you don’t want even more of a mess, keep a lid on your bins and put them in locations that your dog can’t reach (i.e. in a cupboard) or you may find that the allure of paper was too tempting to resist
- Socks, underwear and other small laundry items– our dirty laundry smells very nice to dogs; too nice to leave alone. If swallowed, this can become very costly (it will cost your dog’s life or a lot of money). Keep your laundry and bathroom doors closed or put dirty laundry someone that is inaccessible to a dog.
- String– leaving pieces of string, thread or other small items can also do damage. These can get caught in the throat and anywhere in the intestines leaving your dog in knots!
Dangerous Foods for Dogs
There are many things that we can eat that can be VERY dangerous for a dog to consume. If feeding leftovers, ensure you look at the ingredients before giving it to your dog. You can be doing long term damage with some foods that get easily overlooked. Be very careful with the foods below- best to avoid them:
- Alcohol – alcohol (even that in desserts/cakes) get absorbed very quickly into a dog’s bloodstream. They are then at very high risk of losing blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. This can quickly lead to seizures, respiratory problems and death.
- Avocado– Avocado, although not always deadly can cause vomiting and diarrhoea and a lack in faeces production- best to steer clear of Avocado.
- Bubble/Chewing Gum– a chemical called Xylitol used to make Gum is highly toxic for dogs. Small amounts can result in death and other symptoms such as being comatose, uncoordinated, vomiting.
- Cat Food– Cat food in large quantities is very dangerous. Cat food contains an ingredient called Taurine which is essential for cats but can quickly overdose for dogs. Cat food can be used as training treats but not as your dog’s main diet (no matter how much they may like it).
- Cooked Bones– cooked bones are known to splinter when chewed. If a dog continues to eat a splintered bone this will cause internal lacerations and become a very prominent choking hazard. Ensure that all bones are raw!
- Grapes/ Raisins– grapes are known to cause sudden kidney failure and reduce urine production
- Human Chocolate– chocolate in all varieties (milk, dark or white) is toxic for a dog, however the darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity. Even small doses can cause seizures, severe vomiting, pancreatitis and death. If you want to give your dog the pleasure of chocolate, try the safe option of pet Carob Drops!
- Human Pain Medication– including Nurofen, Aspirin and Panadol
- Macadamia Nuts– a toxin in Macadamia Nuts causes muscle tremors, fever and even depression in dogs
- Onion and Garlic– an amount as small as 100gms of Onion is enough to kill a 20kg dog. Onion Poisoning causes Haemolytic Anaemia which in short, bursts red blood cells. Symptoms can include diarrhoea, vomiting, breathlessness and lethargy
- Rat Poison– be extremely careful where rat poison is placed. The most secure place if you have a dog is in the roof only. If Rat Poison is placed in a cupboard a curios dog can sniff it out. This will stop the dogs blood from clotting and soon cause severe illness or death
Plants to Avoid
There are many plants that you may have in your back yard that cause rashes, stomach upsets and in some cases death. For a more extensive list of plants toxic to pets Poisonous to Pets is a fabulous book to purchase.
- Aloe Vera– if devoured, Aloe Vera will cause tremors, vomiting and anorexia. Plant in an area that your dog does not have access to.
- Cycad– Cycad plants are extremely dangerous for dogs. If ingested they cause Liver Damage in as little as 2 weeks in some cases. Vomiting is generally noticed straight away.
- Rhododendron– the toxin in this plant generally takes effect a few hours after digestion. The toxin will interfere with muscle and nerve function
- Rhoeo/ Moses-in-the-Cradle– this plant is many times the unknown cause of itching and rashes. This is a high known allergen for dogs upon skin contact
Take a look at some of these great information resources on Poisons and Dangers for your pet: