Household Items To Keep Away From Pets

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September 5, 2009
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Whether you are traveling or stationary, it is important to restrict your dog’s access to some substances. We’ve written about chemicals in the house that can be poisonous to your pet and you with tips on how to cut down on accidental ingestion. From locking up cabinets that contain car fluids and de-icers to keeping household cleaners in cabinets with the doors closed, we want your pet to stay safe. Here’s a brief recap of items that your pets should not have access to.

Household Items to Keep From Pets

  • Avoid most human medicines, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, antidepressants or other pharmaceuticals. Dogs and cats have different body chemistry, and only your vet can prescribe appropriate medicine for your pet if need be. Make sure your dog does not ingest an organophosphates (OP), carbamate or chlorinated hyrdocarbon (CIHC), which are commonly found in flea and tick collars. Use preventative drops to keep parasites at bay and place it between the shoulder blades so your pet can not lick it.
  • Be careful your dog does not ingest bleach. Even licking some can make it sick. Bleach can burn your pet’s esophagus and stomach lining once in its system. Do not try to induce vomiting if this happens. You can give your pet some milk to dilute the bleach but your pet may not feel good enough to drink anything. Call your vet or the 24 hour emergency vet in your area in case your pet may need medical assistance.
  • Make sure your dog does not ingest caffeine or chocolate. These substances contain methlxanthine alkaloids, and your dog lacks necessary enzymes to break these down, and the substance will continue to accumulate hazardous chemicals if your dog continues to eat chocolate or caffeine.
  • Avoid giving your dog onions and garlic, as they give dogs anemia. When preparing meals it might be best to keep the dog out of the kitchen till you can clean up any pieces that may have fallen on the floor.
  • Vitamins and other items that contain zinc can be dangerous to pets. Zinc is hazardous to dogs and cats, which is found in nuts, bolts and pennies. If swallowed, call your vet immediately as surgery may be needed.
  • Rat poison is also dangerous, even in small doses. If your dog eats rat poison, try to induce vomiting and then give it activated charcoal to soak up the toxins within fifteen minutes. Call your vet as your dog may need extra fluids and to be monitored.

Dogs, more than cats, tend to explore and get to know the world around them by placing items in their mouth and sometimes chewing and swallowing whatever it is they have found. If your dog has a bad habit of picking up everything in his/her mouth, try to teach your dog the command to “drop it” or “trade.” Trading an inappropriate item for an appropriate item like a chew toy or treat is a very gentle and positive way to help your dog understand what’s ok to eat and isn’t. Your dog also needs to know the word, “no” and have some limitations and boundaries to protect him/her from dangerous items. If you are having a hard time, talk to your vet and look for a trainer who understands your dog’s temperament and how it flows with your energy levels.

Image from Dogster.com

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