We love our dogs so much that we’d do anything to protect them. But some dangers for your dog come from unexpected places. Here are 4 common household dangers.
(Image via Flickr by Cristian González Photography)
Not every aspect of pet ownership is glamorous and comforting. You know about the veterinary bills and the daily exercise routines many dogs need for good health, but keeping your dog safe extends beyond the obvious. Dangers for your dog are an uncomfortable reality. They concern more immediate risks to your dog’s health, some you know and others you may not. Here are 4 common household dangers for your dog, and how to avoid their pitfalls.
1. Moving Vehicles
Let’s get one of the more obvious dangers for your dog out of the way. Moving vehicles of all kinds pose a hidden but very serious risk to your canine companion. Although other pets are susceptible to this threat, dogs are especially vulnerable to moving vehicles harming or killing them because of dogs’ frequent visits to the great outdoors. The risk of being struck by vehicles rises or falls with factors such as your nearness to heavily traveled roads, whether any physical barriers or restraints exist to prevent roads from becoming part of your dog’s play area, and what breed of dog you own.
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To minimize the risk of your dog being struck by moving vehicles, avoid locating a play area near heavily traveled roads. If this is impractical, consider erecting a sturdy fence around your yard. As a last resort, try tethering your dog for a short time to a comfortably long line. While not ideal, this final measure may be still be preferable to watching your dog learn the hard way on the road.
2. Poor Air Quality
At times, you may notice your dog has watery eyes or trouble breathing. Apart from serious medical conditions needing a veterinarian’s attention, dogs with symptoms like these may be suffering from allergies related to indoor air pollution. The culprits are typically pollen, mold, smoke, dust, and microbes, which are more concentrated indoors. The best solution may be a simple one: Change your air filter frequently, and keep your home clean and well-ventilated. That will remove the dangers for your dog.
3. Plants and Vegetation
If you have owned a dog for more than a week or two, you have probably discovered the canine’s unwelcome propensity to ingest plant matter. Assuming there is no realistic way to prevent your dog from eating your plants, the thought that munching on the wrong plant might kill Fido should instill in you a bit of fear. Common household flora like philodendron, dumb cane, the ZZ plant, corn plant, and elephant ear all pose serious health hazards to your dog. There are many others, so be sure to do your research before lacing your home with these toxic plants.
4. People Food
Dogs can seem to have bigger appetites than us and are often more than happy to help themselves to our leftovers. No big deal, right? Surprisingly, human favorites can be a dog’s nightmare to digest. The classic example of this is chocolate, which is highly toxic to dogs, especially in its more concentrated, darker forms. Less familiar toxic foods include grapes, raisins, and any consumable containing Xylitol, a sweetener used in toothpaste, gum, candy, and baking products.
Of course, how toxic these foods will be to your dog again depends on several factors, such as your dog’s weight, age, health, breed, and how much food is consumed. Avoid having them around just to be safe.
Moving vehicles, poor air quality, toxic plants, and human food pose some of the most significant, if less obvious, household dangers to your beloved canine. Fortunately, minimizing or eliminating these dangers is usually not too challenging. Education is the key, along with a little day-to-day vigilance.
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