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Hidden Dangers

All owners are anxious to keep their pets safe. The greatest danger is very obvious ­ traffic. However well behaved your dog, always have it on a lead near the road. Train your dog to come when called. This is useful to get it away from potential hazards. Other dangers are unsuspected. Some may even be intended as treats.  




First Aid for Your Dog - Accidents can be prevented

Dogs love to chase sticks. However, catching a stick the wrong way can cause horrific injuries, which can be very difficult to treat. It's best to throw a plastic but indestructible object for your pet ­ but choose one that is too large to swallow.

Bones are not good for dogs. Every year dogs end up in vets' surgeries as a consequence of being given (or finding) a bone. Problems range from a gastrointestinal upset, to life threatening illness if chunks wedge in the gullet or bowel. It is better to give specially designed indestructible chews.


Grass seeds ­ the ones that look like barley ears­ are rarely life threatening, but they commonly enter ears and feet. Check your dog after a walk, and remove them. Trim feathered ears and paws so that long hairs don't trap seeds.

Escalators and balconies

Carry your dog on escalators, as it is easy for its feet to become trapped and appalling injuries may result.

Don't leave balconies or windows unprotected as falls may cause multiple fractures or even kill.

Whenever you see your dog chewing an unidentified item, beware! Every vet knows that peach stones, sweetcorn cobs, fabric, rubber teats from comforters and chunks of toys or balls may cause a potentially fatal bowel blockage. Protect electric cables, especially if you have a puppy, as chewing these can be fatal.


If your pet likes swimming, don't let it go in ponds where algae,­ a blue-green or greenpaint-like scum,­ is growing. Some types produce toxins that can be irritant, or even lethally poisonous.

All owners are anxious to keep their pets safe. The greatest danger is very obvious ­ traffic. However well behaved your dog, always have it on a lead near the road. Train your dog to come when called. This is useful to get it away from potential hazards. Most accidents occur at home


Keep all cleaning and garden chemicals safely shut away and keep your dog out of the way when you are using them. Be especially careful with slug pellets and firelighters, as the chemicals in these are highly toxic. Antifreeze, which unfortunately tastes sweet, isalso poisonous. Rat poison is obviously dangerous,­ and eating dead poisoned rats is another way of swallowing it. Many rat poisons are color coded. I f you know the color of the bait tell the vet. Seek advice even if your pet seems unharmed, as effects may not be immediate.


Like people, dogs are vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. This colorless,odorless gas is present in car exhaust and the fumes of incorrectly maintained fuel-fired heaters. If your dog sleeps next to the boiler, make sure it is regularly serviced. Dogs are also vulnerable to smoke inhalation from house fires.

During and after parties be aware that alcohol, cigarette butts and illegal drugs may harmy our dog

Always read the label before you give your pet any medicines. Never give human medicines to your dog and put medicines away so they don't get chewed. Painkillers like ibuprofen are particularly dangerous. Vitamin and mineral supplements can also be dangerous, particularly iron tablets and products containing zinc.

Batteries of all types are dangerous if swallowed

You are what you eat

Well-meaning attempts to encourage healthy bones in big dogs by giving vitamin or mineral supplements have been linked to problems. Particularly if given in excess, some scientists believe that these may actually cause bone and joint problems. If you have a large or giant breed puppy, such as a Great Dane, discuss a feeding plan with your vet. Surprisingly, chocolate,­ especially high quality chocolate,­ can be toxic in large quantities. Be wary at Christmas when dogs may chew through wrapping. Raisins, if eaten in large quantities, can also cause poisoning.

Why are some common 'harmless' things toxic to dogs?

This is partly because dogs are smaller than people and some are lighter than cats! Hence the relative dose (­ the amount of the drug per pound of bodyweight)­ is high. If you think your dog has eaten something dangerous, contact the vet immediately (phone the emergency number if necessary). Keep any packaging so you can tell the vet exactly what the substance is. Don't try to make your dog sick without asking the vet. If your dog is staggering or convulsing, clear obstacles so it cannot hurt itself, and make the room dark and quiet.


The information on this website is for informational and educational purposes, and to provide you general pet information. It is NOT meant to be a substitute for professional veterinary care.