Household Items that Can Kill Your Dog
by Carol Stack Copyright 2006
According to the web site of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the number of pets ingesting household and backyard poisons is increasing. In some cases, such as with polyurethane glue, the increase is dramatic. Since 2002 the number of dogs ingesting this glue has risen 740%.
For some reason dogs and cats are ingesting more poisons than in the past. Perhaps there are more products around that are made with poisonous ingredients, or perhaps with our busy lives we forget to put things away in a safe place. Whatever the reason, there is a significant increase in the number of pets dying each year from poisonous substances.
People love their pets and don't want to see them suffer. There are precautions everyone can take to protect their dog, cat, bird, ferret or whatever from ingesting poisons found inside the home, in the garage, and in the yard.
With the coming of cold weather the number of dogs and cats dying from ingesting antifreeze and ice melts increases. Antifreeze is very toxic and even small amounts can cause kidney damage that is life-threatening.
Most cases of antifreeze poisoning occur right at the animal's own home because the proper storage containers were not used or the antifreeze was not disposed of properly. Keep these things in mind when working with antifreeze:
- Clean up spills immediately
- Check for leaks under your car regularly
- Store anti-freeze in clearly marked containers that are sealed and out of reach of your pets
- Never allow your pet into the area where you are draining radiator fluid from your vehicle
- Consider using products containing propylene glycol, which is a less toxic form of anti-freeze instead of those containing ethylene glycol
If you think your pet has ingested antifreeze contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 immediately.
Ice melts (used in areas where it snows to melt ice) are another cold weather problem for pets. Walking on ice melts that contain ingredients such as calcium chloride and sodium chloride (table salt) can cause skin irritation. If your pet licks their paws and ingests the ice melt they can experience many side affects including drooling, vomiting, decreased muscle function, and in severe cases, seizures, coma and even death.
Again, if you think your pet has come in contact with an ice melt product it is important you contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center right away. There are different treatments for different types of ice melts so it will help if you know the type your pet was exposed to.
To help protect your pet memorize the list of poisonous items found on the ASPCA web site at: http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pro_apcc_poisonsafe. Keep these things out of reach of your pet. Included in this list are things as common as:
- Yeast dough
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Raisins and Grapes
- Citronella Candles
- Diet Pills
- Pain Killers
- Cold Medicines
- Moth Balls
- Fabric Softener Sheets
- Liquid Potpourri
- Rat and Mouse Bait
- Products sweetened with xylitol (includes some sugar-free gum and candy)
Carol Stack has been working with dogs for over three decades. She lives with her husband, 3 kids, 4 dogs, 8 cats and 1 bird (Bob) in California. She and her daughter Christy have created a site especially for dog lovers at: http://www.christysdogportal.com
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