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With so much energy and personality, your pooch might seem indestructible, but many things you store at home could represent a serious danger to your dog. If you’re bringing home a new four-legged friend or just need a refresher on dog-proofing your home, here’s how to ensure that your precious pup stays safe.
Store and dispose of leftovers carefully
Some leftovers can be extremely dangerous to your dog. Make sure that leftovers, including onions, garlic, and grapes, are out of your dog’s reach. Candy bowls on coffee tables may seem safe, but if they contain chocolate, put them out of reach as well. Current research also shows that the artificial sweetener Xylitol is very toxic to dogs. And it’s well known that chicken bones can puncture a dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
When it comes to the above dangers, you need to double-bag leftovers before putting them in the garbage unless you are taking out the garbage immediately. Also make sure you are using a trash can that can’t be easily tipped over by your dog. It’s worth noting that all dog owners need trash cans with secure lids or that are out of reach. If you are saving leftovers, place them in a plastic storage box with a tight lid, and put it in the refrigerator (not on a countertop or other surface accessible to your dog).
Most dogs are not picky eaters, and their eagerness to eat anything may be a source of humor for owners. Still, that propensity to chow down on anything can get dogs in a lot of trouble.
Mouthwash, moth balls and fabric softeners are particularly dangerous. These items need to be kept inaccessible to your dog. One way to keep your dog safe is to put all these toxins in a large plastic container with a sealed lid. Alternatively, you can put a lock or child safety device on your sink cabinet, or store these items in a wall cabinet or on a shelf that is well out of your dog’s reach.
Make sure that your porches and front and back yards are also dog-safe zones. Keep antifreeze, herbicides, and pesticides in a locked cabinet in your garage or inside the house where you store your cleaners.
Fortunately, most products used to eliminate pet odors can also be used as all-purpose cleaners, and these products are generally pet-safe as well. If you’re not sure what to buy, ask your pet store associate what she recommends in the way of a safe cleaner to use around your animal.
Ah, yes, the dreaded doggie toilet sip. Dog toilet drinking might be worse or better than you think, depending on your habits. If you use any of the automatic toilet cleaning products (you know, the stuff that turns your toilet water blue), you absolutely must keep your dog out of the toilet. That stuff could make him sick, though the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) thinks it’s unlikely to kill him.
Similarly, if you flush only periodically to save water, you too need to keep your pup’s head out of the toilet. Keep the toilet seat and lid down when the appliance is not in use. This is particularly a mandate if your dog is small enough to fall in the toilet. Keep the bathroom doors shut as a backup precaution.
If, however, you flush after every use and clean the toilet bowl weekly without leaving chemicals in it, that doggie toilet drink is probably harmless. Some vets even think that steady supply of clean water might be better than what’s in the dog bowl.
In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget there might be hazards lurking in our home that could be dangerous for pets. No one wants to lose their pup to a toxic home cleaner or yard product. A few easy precautions will ensure that your home is dog friendly and safe.