Protect your dog from diseases and toxins
It is important to take precautions when adopting a pet and the many responsibilities of keeping them safe from disease and potential poisoning is just one of the many things that must be considered in order to keep our pets happy and healthy.
Being proactive can go a long way in keeping your pet safe and minimizing damage in the event of an accident.
When it comes to illnesses, we often think of the obvious ways we can protect them from harm. We believe we keep them safe by keeping the environment in which dogs are kept safe. However, toxins and diseases can be hiding out in places we wouldn't even think of.
Changing seasons and places
In early summer, many car owners change their coolant for their cars. Automobile antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol, can be deadly to animals even in very small doses. With the increasing trend of car owners doing this type of maintenance themselves, it puts our pets at an increased risk of exposure.
Whether through improper disposal or just spilling a small amount, even a few sips of this sweet, sugary substance can be deadly, so don't let your pet drink from gutters or puddles. Be wary of other places this liquid can be found near machinery, some companies, farms, or other places that have heavy equipment that requires a coolant that may leak onto the ground.
Autumn means mushrooms in many parts of the country. Your dog might eat them when he is roaming the backyard or for a walk. In most cases, the dog may not have a reaction or may only experience stomach irritation. However, some types of mushrooms can be fatal.
If mushrooms are common in your area, learn to determine which ones may be harmful to your pet. Check your backyard every couple of days and remove any suspicious mushrooms. Watch your dog in your garden, or while you walk, to make sure he is not eating anything he should not be eating.
In winter, it is common for salt and other anti-ice chemicals to spread on sidewalks and roads. Prolonged contact can lead to a chemical burn on a dog's feet.
To protect your dog's feet, you may want to use foot wax or shoes while walking. Make sure to wipe the dog's feet with a wet towel and check for redness or irritation as soon as you enter the door.
Also, make sure your dog doesn't lick salt or de-icing from its feet before wiping it. If your dog swallows a small amount, he may start to drool and have diarrhea. If they eat more amounts, they may get sicker.
Green isn't always good
Houseplants can liven up a space, promote relaxation, and help clean indoor air. However, there are a number of them that can cause anything from nausea to death in your pet. For example, in some cases, lilies have been shown to be fatal to cats.
It is best to place any potentially harmful houseplants out of your pet's reach. If your pet likes to chew on greenery, you may want to plant some catnip, sweet oats, or mint for them to graze.
Beware of small creatures
Watching a cat's leg and chasing a mouse is as stereotypical as you can get when it comes to feline behavior. But some dogs, especially dogs that have been bred to be "young," can also be seen targeting rodents. Not only are our companions at risk of contracting many of the diseases that these small pests carry, but they may have been poisoned and still carry these toxins before they took effect. Consumption of one of these creatures could cause serious illness or death to your animal.
Many toxins can be found hidden in your bathroom. For example, xylitol is a sugar substitute that can be found in some brands of toothpaste. If ingested, it causes an excess of insulin that presents a number of different issues for pets. It can be fatal even in small amounts. Think twice before you throw the empty tube into the trash.
One pill could be all it takes to cause serious problems for our pets and cats are more likely than dogs to damage their stomachs and kidneys and may lead to coma or even death. If your animal ingested any of these toxins, take them to see the vet right away. Time is of the essence during these types of emergencies.