Although dogs have been living with man for thousands of years, always remember that when you share your home with a dog you have taken him into your world. While amongst the most adaptable of creatures, dogs’ natural curiosity and playfulness can get them into serious trouble in a man’s world. It is, therefore, up to you not to take any unnecessary risks with their safety or sense of security.
Dangers in the Home
The word “home” generally conjures up the image of a happy, safe, secure place for family and family pets. Unfortunately, statistics reveal a different story. In fact, most accidents that happen to people happen in their own homes. Sadly, the same is often true for our pets. In order to make your home a secure refuge for both your family and your dogs, it is necessary for you to take steps to make sure that it is so.
Such commonplace actions as loading the washing machine or tumble dryer, opening and closing the refrigerator, closet doors or windows are likely to spark your dogs’ curiosity. Dogs, particularly puppies, are interested in just about everything around them and that could lead them into some dangerous situations. It’s important, therefore, to always look carefully when opening or closing anything in your home. If you are in a hurry, or distracted, you may easily trap your pet somewhere without knowing it. To decrease the chances of this occurring, you should always know where your dog is. Take special care to see where he is before leaving the house.
Around the house and yard, take the same precautions with your dogs as you would if you had small children. Household chemicals-including bleach, disinfectant, and some detergents-can be deadly. Keep these items safely locked up, or put away. And, by all means, keep family members’ medications out of reach.
Something as innocuous as an unsecured garbage pail can be a hazard if your dog can raid it. Small bones lodged in your pet’s throat or improperly disposed of chemicals can have tragic results. The same holds true for fireplaces and wood burning stoves. Many a coat and paw have been singed by stray embers, so be sure to use a good screen and never leave your dogs unsupervised while the fire is going or the coals are hot. The same rules apply to outdoor barbeque grills. These tend to be great temptations for our pets because of the delicious odors that emanate as you grill steaks, hamburgers, and other foods.
Hazards abound in the yard and the garage, too. Potentially harmful chemicals include pesticides, some types of weed killer, paint stripper, and sweet tasting automobile anti-freeze. Even some fertilizers spread on your lawn can pose a threat to your dogs and other neighborhood animals, and there are also certain plants that are poisonous to dogs. If you are unsure as to the safety of the flora and fauna in your yard, consult with your local nursery or garden center. If your dog shows any signs of having been poisoned, get him to the veterinarian immediately.
Finally, keep tools and gardening implements out of reach. Sharp points and razor-sharp edges could do serious damage to your dog.