When it comes to family, we want what is best for them. We want them to live a long life and be healthy and happy. We often feel the same for our dogs. They are - after all - our family. They infinitely increase the quality of our lives and they love us more than we could ever deserve. They are our children.
Like children, they get themselves into mischief. We've all had that moment when we walk into our home - excited to see our furry friend - only to find trash strewn about the place. You give the culprit the stink-eye as you clean up his mess but eventually, you're overcome by his cuteness and all is forgiven.
What was in the trash, though? Was there anything toxic that could make your dog sick? What if he's eaten something poisonous?
First, we should educate ourselves as to what substances could potentially be toxic to dogs. Knowledge is power and sometimes it's the difference between life or death.
Here are some known - and unknown - things that could harm your baby:
- Chocolate - Contains theobromine. Dogs can't metabolize it the way that humans do which causes it to build up in their system becoming toxic.
- Plants - Research whether or not your houseplants could potentially harm your dog.
- Medications - A dogs metabolism is completely different from ours. The effect is unpredictable.
- Xylitol - A sweetener found in many foods (candy, gum, and diet foods) which can cause liver failure for dogs.
- Avocado - They contain persin which - in large amounts - can poison your dog.
- Alcohol - It takes a very small amount of alcohol to poison your dog. The smaller the dog, the less alcohol it takes.
- Onions and garlic - Kills red blood cells and causes anemia.
- Caffeine - Can be fatal. Please dispose of your coffee grounds carefully so your pet doesn't mistake them for a trash treat.
- Grapes and raisins - These cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Macadamia nuts - It takes as little as 6 nuts to make your dog sick.
These are just a few of the things that can harm your dog. Taking some time to research canine poisons could save your best friend from a tragic situation.
What happens if your dog does eat something poisonous?
The first step is to call Animal Poison Control. Why? Because inducing vomiting in some situations can cause more injury to your fur baby. You want to make sure you are administering the best care possible until you can get him to a vet or animal hospital.
The second step - if instructed to induce vomiting - is to make sure you do so in a way that is safe for your dog. Many people use methods that cause more physical harm; even though they believe they're helping.
Kits are available for purchase in the case of an emergency. These are specially designed for these exact situations and will save your dog from further discomfort and come with easy-to-follow instructions to ensure correct administration.
It is always better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it. Our dogs depend on us to look after them. We owe it to them so never let them down.