The 7 Most Common Household Items Dangerous To Dogs
There are things in every dog owner’s environment that pose serious risk, possible injury and death to their dog.
The problem is that most dog owners don’t even realize it!
#7. Plastic Bags and Plastic Wrap
Just like these items can suffocate your baby, they can also suffocate your dog.
The difference is that we keep these items away from our babies and toddlers, but we don’t really think about the risk that they pose to our dogs.
You unwrap that steak from its plastic wrap and absorbent plastic pad, or you take it from the freezer bag and you toss those items into the trash.
Then your dog wanders past the trash and smells the odor of red meat radiating from the plastic.
Dogs don’t understand what “plastic” is and that it is not actually the steak or meat or fish that was once tucked inside.
Often, they devour the plastic because their nose and senses can literally taste the meat that was once there…
Not only can the plastic suffocate your dog if they inhale it and it gets stuck in their windpipe/esophagus area, plastic can also get stuck in the stomach or intestines requiring surgical removal.
When I throw away plastic from meats and other foods, I take those pieces of garbage outside right away so that there is no opportunity for my dog to make this fatal mistake.
#6. Children’s Toys
Children’s toys come in all shapes and sizes!
And, in my opinion it is nearly impossible to differentiate a child’s toy from a dog toy, especially for your dog!
Typically, children’s toys are the ones made in “pocket size”.
Actually, I LOVED these kinds of toys when I was a child. They were toys I could hide in my palm and in my pockets and take everywhere with me.
The problem happens when a dog steals these toys and begins playing with them, these toys can be tossed and easily choked on. Pieces can also be chewed and ingested causing bowel obstruction.
It is critical to help your children understand that their toys need to be put up in safe places or the dog needs to be shut out of their room, in order to keep everyone safe.
Rocks pose another danger.
Unfortunately I have seen dogs euthanized because they have swallowed rocks on multiple occasions.
Dogs, like people, can suffer from PICA which is characterized by a desire to consume non-nutritive substances.
However, most often this disorder develops from boredom.
People landscape their yards with large, decorative rocks. And a dog left outside for too long can learn to grab, toss and play with those rocks, ultimately consuming them, intentionally or unintentionally.
The first kennel I worked at, on my first day, a 2 year old Labrador Retriever was being euthanized because he had swallowed his 4th large rock. The owners opted for bowel obstruction surgery the first three times, but on the 4th they simply opted to euthanize their dog.
I have never gotten over how sad it is that training and complete avoidance was never used.
Don’t leave your dog outside long enough to figure out how fun it is to play with large rocks.
Sticks are another danger that most dog owner’s don’t realize.
Not only can a dog choke on a stick or pieces of sticks.
Splinters from these sticks, if chewed on, can lodge in the back of the dog’s mouth and throat and cause abscesses!
Don’t play with sticks!
Get your dog an appropriate toy to play with and toss!
#3. Bones, Rawhides and Other Chewable Edibles
Dogs are voracious!
They often think with their stomachs.
An impulsive, ravenous chewer can break and splinter objects made for “chewing” into smaller but still large objects that can easily pose a choking danger.
Unfortunately, I have seen my own dogs chew an item (like a rawhide) swallow and regurgitate it because the object was too big to swallow. This is terrifying.
And, sometimes they can’t easily regurgitate it or bring it back up.
If I allow my dogs to chew on certain items, I make sure they are very large and I take them away when they become too small.
I never want to risk that my dog could choke on something that I had given him to chew on!
#2. Xylitol, Gum, Peanut-butter
Xylitol is toxic to dogs!
How many of you, reading this article have some sugar free gum in your purse?
I bet a few of you have Peanut Butter sweetened with xylitol in your pantry.
A small amount is all it takes to put your dog in a coma or cause death.
30 minutes is all it takes, and in some instances only one piece of gum.
I have outlawed all sugar-free gum or sweeteners in my household.
It simply is not worth the risk.
I’m sticking with sugar!
Balls kill dogs every day!
I see big dogs all the time that are playing with balls that are much too small.
Pick up a tennis ball and put it near your dog’s trachea.
Chances are, if you have a big dog, the tennis ball is just barely bigger than their windpipe or the outside size of their neck.
Now imagine your dog, jumping through the air, mouth open getting ready to snatch the ball out of the sky.
If the dog snatches, and breathes in he can literally suck the ball down into his windpipe.
And, once it is down far enough it will need to be surgically removed, if you can make it to an emergency clinic in time!
Recently, my niece and nephew have become obsessed with baseball and so the backyard is littered with baseballs. I have noticed how dangerous a baseball is without it’s cover! So many strings to choke on or cause an obstruction. (See photo)
Thankfully, in today’s day and age, dog toys and dog balls come in all shapes and sizes.
Big dogs can play with large balls that are too big to cause choking.
I always tell my clients, if in doubt GO BIG!
I would much rather my dog struggle to get the ball in her mouth than risk that she aspirate and die because she accidentally inhaled her favorite toy that was too small!