Save Your Dog From Common, But Hazardous, Household Items

If you want to continue keeping your pet safe, arm yourself with knowledge. Here is my list of different hazards that you might not have considered, sorted by location in your house.

If you want to continue keeping your pet safe, arm yourself with knowledge. Here is my list of different hazards that you might not have considered, sorted by location in your house.

Americans love their pets. In fact, 57% of American households have a dog or a cat. More telling, 90% of pet owners consider their pets as part of their family. If this is how you feel about your pet (and I certainly do), you want to keep them safe and healthy. You worry about what you feed them, you take them to the vet regularly, and you make sure they get plenty of exercise and companionship. Many pets even have their own health insurance.

With all this family care, many pet owners forget dogs (and other animals) are very different from humans. Things that are safe for people can be bad, or even deadly, for dogs. In 2013, the ASCPA’s Poison help line handled nearly 180,000 possible cases of pet poisoning. If you want to continue keeping your pet safe, arm yourself with knowledge. Here is my list of different hazards that you might not have considered, sorted by location in your house.

Medicine Cabinet

Medications, even veterinarian prescribed ones, can be dangerous to dogs, many because dogs will not take just one. If they grab the bottle or box, they will probably swallow all of them. Unfortunately, some human medications are dangerous in just small doses, especially to smaller dogs. If you drop a pill on the floor, always make sure you find and pick it up; otherwise, your dog will probably do it for you. Here are the four most commonly swallowed medications that are life threatening for your pooch.

NSAIDs (Advil®, Aleve® and Motrin®) cause stomach and intestinal ulcers and possibly kidney failure.

Acetaminophen causes dry eye in small doses and liver failure in larger quantities.

Anti-depressants cause neurological problems in dogs, including sedation, incoordination, agitation, tremors and seizures.

ADD/ADHD medications contain stimulants such as amphetamines. When ingested by dogs, even in small doses, they cause tremors, seizures, elevated temperatures and heart problems. All of which could lead to death.


Cleaning Cabinet

owners consider their pets as part of their family. If this is how you feel about your pet (and I certainly do), you want to

owners consider their pets as part of their family. If this is how you feel about your pet (and I certainly do), you want to

owners consider their pets as part of their family. If this is how you feel about your pet (and I certainly do), you want to

The problem with cleaning products is that often they are stored in a low cupboard, sometimes by the garbage under the kitchen sink. Ingestion by pets can be accidental as they are getting to the garbage can. However, most of these products don’t have to be ingested to cause problems for dogs, for some just the fumes are potentially harmful and many are caustic to the skin. Always use household cleaners labelled non-toxic and safe for pets, and avoid these two categories whenever possible:

Fabric Softener Sheets use chemicals that cause gastrointestinal irritation, ulceration, pulmonary edema, and kidney failure. Never use these to freshen up your dog bed or let them chew on the used ones.

Drain cleaner, lime removal cleaners, and bleach use chemicals that are caustic not only to the skin, but also to mucus membranes and to the gastrointestinal tract. This is also a category where just the fumes are harmful.

Garden Shed

All those products and tools to keep your yard beautiful are stored here. Many people have recognized the dangers of lawn and garden chemicals, and have switched to natural alternatives. However, here are three items that you might think safe, but are actually dangerous for your dog.

Blood meal / bone meal fertilizers smell particularly good to dogs, but can be harmful. If they eat large quantities, the meal products can form a solid mass in the stomach. This blocks the gastrointestinal tract and causes pancreatitis.

Cocoa mulch uses the shells of the cocoa bean. Like chocolate, the mulch contains the chemicals theobromine and caffeine that are dangerous to dogs. Moreover, like most mulches, this one also can contain pesticides and mold which are harmful. While the mulch smells a little sweet and appeals to dogs, most dogs will probably not eat enough to be a danger, but why take a chance? Use a substitute.

Organophosphates-based insecticides are a special class used especially in caring for roses. Even small amounts of these can be fatal to dogs. If you love your roses, make sure you know if the products you use contain these dangerous compounds. If you cannot find substitutes, keep them out of reach of your dog, and possibly warn your neighbors with dogs when you use them.

One final note on this category. If your dog plays or explores in neighboring yards, you should check with the owners about the lawn care products they use. Also, check their yards for poisonous plants. Unfortunately, the neighbors’ yards may not be as pet friendly as yours. Who knows, you might just be able to save their pets as well as your own.

Garage Shelves