Household Dangers to Pet Dog Health

One of the most often overlooked hazards to pet dog health exists in the dog’s home. Common household items can harm your dog’s health, but with a few simple precautions on your part, your dog can have a safer, healthier life.

Let common sense be your guide as you look around your home, seeing things from your dog’s perspective. Take the time to pet-proof your home as you would baby-proof it for a young child to help ensure your pet’s good health.

Let’s go room-by-room in your home to see what some common canine household hazards look like and find out how you can help protect your dog from harm.

Garage and Outdoor Hazards

Many people store automotive and lawn and garden chemicals in their garages, garden sheds or outbuildings. Many of these products can be harmful to your dog.

Traditional antifreeze contains a chemical called ethylene glycol, which has a sweet taste that is attractive to dogs. It is also highly toxic: A teaspoonful can kill a 7-pound pet. A better alternative for pet owners is antifreeze that contains propylene glycol because this chemical is safer for dogs and cats.

Lawn and garden chemicals, including products that kill insects, rats and mice, have the potential to harm your dog. Make sure to secure all these products in your garage so your dog can’t accidentally eat any of them and become poisoned.

Kitchen Hazards

Kitchen hazards can include foods and cleaning products. Harmful foods for a dog include chocolate, onions, raisins, avocado or alcohol. Keep a tight lid on your kitchen garbage can so your dog isn’t tempted to begin diving into it in search of tasty treats.

Use caution and common sense when using kitchen cleaning products around your dog. Follow label instructions carefully, and keep your dog away from areas being cleaned until the area has been rinsed free of chemicals and is completely dry.

Bathroom Hazards

Bathroom hazards include human medications, health and beauty aids, and cleaning products.

Human medications are designed for human consumption, and they can make your dog sick if he consumes them accidentally. Keep all medications out of reach of your dog, and contact your veterinarian’s office or animal poison control center in case your pet suffers an accidental overdose.

Health and beauty aids, such as soaps, toothpaste, sunscreens or makeup, need to be stored out of your pet’s reach, too. Leave the toilet seat and lid down if you treat your tank with bowl cleaner to protect your dog from accidentally drinking treated toilet water.

Other Household Hazards

A host of other common household items has the potential to harm a curious dog. Keep your pet away from houseplants, potpourri, mothballs, cigarettes and other tobacco products, coins and batteries. All of these items have the potential to poison your dog if he eats them.

Choking hazards can be posed by buttons, small children’s toys, earrings, rings and hardware such as nails or screws. Pick up any of these items as soon as you drop them to ensure your dog doesn’t choke.

Finally, be on the alert for possible electric shocks or burns if your dog is allowed to chew on power cords. Disguise the cords by hiding them in specially designed conduits that lie along baseboards or thread them through PVC pipe if they run behind sofas and other furniture to discourage your dog from chewing them.