Safety Household

Household Items That Can Harm Your Dog

Dogs have a talent for getting into trouble. Whether it’s chewing on your brand new shoes or curling up in your clean laundry after a mud bath, dogs will always find a way to test their owner’s patience. Dogs are naturally curious and experience the world through their powerful sense of smell. This can occasionally get them into trouble as certain dangerous items can seem almost irresistible to dogs and puppies. Dog-proofing your home is essential for your pet’s safety. The following list of common household items should be kept out of your dog’s reach at all times. 

1. Food

Most dogs are experts at scrounging a few scraps from the dinner table. Twitching noses, pleading eyes and marathon staring contests are all powerful weapons that a dog can use to win your leftovers. Whilst the occasional morsel will not usually harm your dog, there are certain foods that should never be given under any circumstances. Chocolate contains a chemical known as theobromine that is highly toxic to dogs. It cannot be broken down or digested and can cause intestinal problems, seizures, tremors and even death. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Other dangerous foods are onions, avocado, tomatoes and raw eggs. 

2. Medications

Both human and animal medication can be dangerous to your pet if they ingest a large amount. Some medications may even have a sugar coating on the outside of the pill making them seem like sweets. Always store pills and other medicines safely out of reach in a medicine cabinet or a first aid kit. Take care when throwing medicines in the garbage if your dog has a habit of stealing food from there. 

3. Fertilisers

Fertiliser available from garden centres often contains added insecticide and herbicide. If your dog spends hours rolling around on freshly fertilised grass, it may cause skin irritation or harm their eyes and nasal passages. Some dogs might even enjoy the taste and eat it straight off the ground. Always use organic fertiliser to be safe. 

4. Insecticide and Rodenticide

Rat, mouse and cockroach poison has a pleasing taste in order to attract whatever type of pest you are dealing with. Unfortunately, it can also attract hungry dogs. The plastic casing around the poison will not be enough to keep out a determined dog. Only place poison in places that your dog cannot access such as behind furniture, in crawl spaces or attics. 

5. Cleaning products

Sweet smelling chemicals such as window cleaner, furniture polish, bathroom cleaner and certain types of chlorine are considered delicious treats to a dog. They will lap up any spilled chemicals or those that are sprayed onto surfaces within reach. Always wipe any excess chemicals from your surfaces immediately and allow the area to dry before letting your dog back into the room. Store all chemicals out of reach in a high cupboard. 

6. Plants

Certain types of plants can be extremely toxic if your dog ingests them. Poinsettias, mistletoe, chrysanthemum and amaryllis can cause fatal poisoning in a relatively short amount of time. Always seek medical help immediately if you think your dog may have eaten any of these.
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7. Cigarettes

Just as in people, second hand cigarette smoking can be extremely dangerous to your pets. If you are a cigarette smoker, you may be unknowingly increasing the risk of some serious health concerns influencing your animals. Because it would take you a longer time to see any issues, the unsafe impacts in animals can be even worse. By the time you observe any symptoms it might be too late. 
Research has found that allergies, skin disease and respiratory issues, in cats and pets, can result from previously smoking. Besides second-hand smoke, the ingestion of nicotine, which can be dangerous in itself, can also take place from cigarette butts, replacement gum, nicotine patches and contaminated drinking water. This is actually termed third hand smoke.