I was in Decatur several weeks ago with a new Home Dog Training client and his two year old Brittany Spaniel named Margaret.  Margaret was experiencing some bad behavior issues that were beginning to escalate and cause issues with my client and his family.  We took care of those problems rather quickly and my client was very pleased with what he had learned and the results we achieved.  One of the issues we addresses was Margaret’s stealing stuff and counter surfing.  Some of the things that she had been “getting into” could have been hazardous to her health.  Although we had fixed the stealing and counter surfing, I still wanted to discuss how my client could assure that Margaret was going to be safe and healthy in their home. What are the things that he should watch out for to keep his dog safe and well?  I am sure he don’t want something that he or one of his family members “left out after the game” to make Margaret sick.

All dogs, but especially are super inquisitive creatures.  This is why Robin and I always tell our clients not only to know and be vigilant about potential poisons in and around the home, but also to learn to recognize the signs indicating a dog has eaten something poisonous.  Most importantly they should know what they should do when this happens. We are always reminding our clients that just because something is safe for them, it may be deadly for their dog or puppy.

We are always sharing these safety tips about poisons and toxic things with our clients:

  • Dangerous foods for dogs and puppies can be chocolate, avocado, onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks, macadamia nuts, and chewing gum or candy containing xylitol (a sweetener that is safe for humans but toxic for dogs).
  • Our clients must remember that antifreeze/coolant, even though is may clearly state that it is safe around animals, may not be safe.  Always wipe up antifreeze leaks or spills of any size. Dogs are attracted to the sweet taste and can die from kidney failure if they sip even a small amount of this highly toxic substance.
  • Keep poisonous baits such as rat poisoning in places that your dog cannot reach.  Much like antifreeze, some of these things smell sweet but are very toxic to dogs, causing severe internal bleeding.
  • Keep your household cleaners away from your dogs (the fumes can be noxious). Also watch out for heavy metals (such as lead) found in paint chips and linoleum.
  • Check with your vet  before you give your dog any vitamin, herbal supplement or medication made for humans.  Even small doses of medications of any kind-whether for humans or pets-can make your dog very, very sick.  Keep all your human medicines well out of your dog’s reach.
  • Many plants, dead and alive, can be very poisonous to your dog. Google about the types of toxic plants that may grow in your home and your neighborhood (both cultivated and wild), and keep your pets away from them or just pull them out and throw them away.
  • Keep your dog off lawns or gardens that have been treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides. Luckily, most of the services that do this will leave a warning sign or flag for your education.   If your dog has walked on treated lawns, clean his feet clean as soon as you get home so he won’t lick his paws and get sick.
  • Other toxic substances found outside include mushrooms and some types of garden mulch.
  • Consult with your vet for a detailed listing of all potentially poisonous items, substances and plants found around your home.

Possible Warning Signs Your Dog is Poisoned:

  • Your dog is throwing up or not eating
  • Difficult or shallow breathing
  • A lot of drooling
  • A change in his normal heart rate
  • A high fever
  • Hyperactivity or being lethargic
  • Unusual level of thirst or hunger
  • Dilated pupils
  • When he is walking, he is stumbling or staggering
  • Any signs of seizures or just general shaking
  • He is unconscious

Call your vet NOW if you have any inkling that your dog may be poisoned.  Take what you think he may have eaten if the vet tells you to come to the hospital. This can help the veterinarian know how best to treat your pet.

Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 or (770) 718-7716 if you need any dog training help.  We are blessed to have been your local dog training experts for over fifteen years.  We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.