Potential Dangers for your Dog in the Home
Dangerous situations in and around your home include plants, drugs, chemicals, gardening and lawn care supplies, car care supplies, and insecticide baits to name a few. Actual report of dogs getting seriously ill from eating plants are relatively rare compared to reports of poisoning from household products or drugs.
* Pet poisoning by household drugs is very common. It is responsible for 75 percent of toxin exposure and carries a 20 percent fatality rate. As little as two regular-strength Tylenol, especially in small dogs, can cause severe toxicity. Signs include salivating, vomiting, and weakness. Aspirin and other human non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers can be toxic to dogs.
* Many household chemicals can also be harmful if consumed by a dog. Most cleansing materials can cause stomach upset and vomiting if they are eaten. Dishwasher detergent can produce burns in the mouth.
* Dogs often vomit after chewing on plants, but only severe or persistent vomiting is a danger sign. The best advice is to always consult your vet if concerned. Plants to be aware of especially for puppies, include outdoor Taxus (Japanese yew), which contains a potentially fatal toxin that can cause sudden death from heart failure. Rhododendrons and nightshades may also be toxic.
* Aspirin and other over-the-counter human pain medications can cause severe persistent vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and loss of appetite.
* In a 10-pound dog one regular strength (200 mg) ibuprofen can cause bleeding ulcers of the stomach and intestines. Signs include vomiting up blood. The stool usually has a foul odor and may be dark and tarry because it contains digested blood.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
* When using household chemicals, it’s best to keep your dog out of the room. Keep dogs away from fresh paint, varnish, or stains until they have dried completely. Outside, keep dogs off lawns treated with insecticides and/.or week killers until they are completely dry.
* Keep your home as safe as possible by storing medications for all family members and pets in high closed cabinets, well out of reach.
Many insecticides meant to kill fleas and ticks contain organophosphates and carbonates that are toxic to a dogs nervous system. Signs of toxicity include salivation, tearing eyes, urination and defecation. Be sure to read the label and follow all directions carefully. In addition many new baits (to kill rats, mice, ants, and roaches) contain peanut butter and jelly and sugar. They smell sweet and taste good but cause internal bleeding that can be fatal. Place these baits so they are inaccessible to your dog and record the date you put the bait out. Rat poison is rarely fatal as long as you get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.