How to protect your dog from danger and illness

When we think of illnesses or dangers that can affect our dogs, it’s not normally viruses or household items that come to mind. However, these are the biggest things that can cause your dog harm, and it’s important to prepare your home ahead of getting a dog to make sure it’s a safe and welcoming environment. Below, we’ve listed the top things that are dangers to your dogs and how you can protect them from these dangers.

 

Illnesses

 

Did you know that dogs can get the flu? It’s known as the dog flu (or H3N2), and symptoms include coughing, sneezing, anorexia, fever and malaise (or general discomfort). It’s a contagious respiratory disease and can be passed from one dog to another very easily. Dogs can also get the flu from humans, so if you’re sick, try not to cough around your dog, or have a close friend take care of them for you.

 

While it’s important to exercise your dog regularly and go to the dog park, owners should stay alert at all times and also watch for signs of aggressiveness (from other dogs or your dog) and sick dogs. There is a vaccine you can give your dog for the flu, but it’s important that you speak to your vet first.

 

Poisons

 

There are various things that are poisonous to your dog. These are usually everyday things you wouldn’t think twice about such as plantsor types of food. Starting in the kitchen, here are a list of food items that could make your dog very sick if they ingest it: chocolate, coffee, grapes, macadamia nuts, garlic, onions, alcohol, avocados, chicken bones and raw meat. Make sure that you keep these foods hidden away and out of reach of your pup.

 

Then come cleaning agents that you keep around your house. The following chemicals are poisonous to your dog and should never be left out: insecticides, fertilizer, heavy metals, cleaning products, detergents, de-icers and antifreeze. Other random items you may have laying around your house that you should keep away from your pup include: fabric softener sheets, batteries, toys and rawhide dog chews.

 

Choking hazards

 

As a dog owner, you know your dog likes to explore with his mouth, and that can sometimes lead your companion to pick up something that’s a choking hazard. When picking out toys or bones for your dog, be sure to choose some that your dog can’t choke on. We recommend avoiding rubber or plastic balls that can’t fit past your dog’s front teeth, cooked bones, gristle, sticks, chew toys that can’t break into pieces, children’s toys, rocks, plastic wrap, bread and hard candy. Dogs can also choke on their own leashes, so it’s important to choose a leash that’s that is comfortable for him and easy for you to use when you’re taking him on walks outside.

 

Fires

 

Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that more than 500,000 pets are affected by home fires each year? If a fire breaks out in your home, does your dog have a safe escape route to safety? Practice safety drills at home and discuss which one of your family members is responsible for evacuating your dog from the home. You and your family’s safety come first, so practice these drills to help you think fast if a fire does occur. When you leave your dog home alone, make sure to keep them near the front of your house, where firefighters can easily find them. If you have a puppy, make sure to keep them in a crate or behind a doggy door to ensure they don’t chew on an electrical cord and accidentally start a fire.

It’s important to protect your pup from dangers in and outside of your home. With these tips, you’ll be sure to keep your pet safe and make your home a pet-friendly environment.

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