If you’re a dog owner you want to know what poses a threat to your dog. Otherwise you could be putting your pup in danger without even knowing it! Here are 10 hidden dangers to dogs:
1. Know what foods are toxic
Most dog owners know that chocolate is toxic to dogs. However, this is only one of the 13 most toxic foods for dogs, which are avocados, raisins/grapes, currants, walnuts, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, mushrooms, rhubarb leaves, alcohol, tobacco, and human medications. Many dogs may also have allergies to dairy, although a little ice cream is okay for most dogs. Though sugar and fatty foods should always be fed to dogs in moderation, just like with humans.
Another common toxin is xylitol, a sugar-free alternative that’s commonly found in gum and even some peanut butter. It causes the dogs pancreas to overreact and floods their system with insulin, resulting in dangerously low blood sugar levels, liver failure, and even death. Xylitol also causes an insulin spike in humans, but our livers can handle it. So watch out for gum on the sidewalk when walking your dog!
2. Hide houseplants
Houseplants plants can be toxic as well. These include jade plants, azaleas, english ivy, aloe vera, lilies, dieffenbachias, philodendrons, poinsettias, mistletoe, sago palms, oleander, hydrangeas, daffodils, and yew. Make sure any toxic houseplants in your home or garden are completely out of your dog’s reach.
3. Never play fetch on concrete
Dog owners should always play fetch in an open area like a park or back yard. Playing fetch in the street not only teaches pups that this is a fun place to play – it can also seriously scrape up their paws when they slide against the ground.
4. Be careful walking your dog in the winter and summer
The rough texture of deicing salt in the winter hurt can dog’s paws. Avoid areas with deicing salt or consider investing in dog socks.
Similarly, dog’s paws can get hurt from the hot side walk in the summer. Touch the sidewalk with your hand. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Try checking in with your pup, too. They might want to turn around.
Another summer danger is heat stroke, which is especially risky for dogs who are brachycephalic or who have thick coats. To protect your pup(s), avoid vigorous play in the sun and give them plenty of water.
6. Watch out for escalators
Never walk a dog onto an escalator. Their paws can get caught in the metal grate, resulting in appalling injuries that may require surgery.
It’s also important to keep dogs away from balconies and high porches to prevent falls. It’s inadvisable to leash dogs in high places, as dogs have jumped and been asphyxiated by their collars.
7. Be careful choosing dog foods
Grain-free dog foods appeal to many dog owners because they seem more “natural” or more closely resemble the diets of wolves. However, most vets recommend dog food with grains because dogs’ gut biology has evolved differently than that of wolves. Furthermore, wolves indirectly eat grains by eating prey animals like deer.
In addition, if you have a puppy, be sure to feed them puppy-specific dog food, which is higher in protein and calories to help them grow.
8. …And chew toys
Don’t give your dog deer antlers or rawhides. These can cause contamination from bacteria, digestive issues, or even choking. Cooked bones are also a no-no. They can splinter, damaging a dog’s mouth, throat, and intestines.
9. Store household items safely
Most dog owners don’t know this, but common household items can be poisonous to dogs. Pennies, batteries, detergent and dryer sheets, as well as common garden materials like fertilizer and insecticide are all poisonous for dogs.
10. Be careful when swimming
If your dog likes to swim, don’t let them in lakes, streams, or ponds where algae grows. Some produce toxins that can be lethally poisonous.