How to Keep Your Dog Safe, Indoors and Out
Whether you keep Fido indoors, outdoors, or a bit of both, you need to look out for common household items that could be dangerous to him or her. Before bringing a dog into your home, be sure to prepare the spaces where it will be by removing these common items.
Keeping Your Dog Safe Indoors
Inside your home, you don’t have to worry about weather, but there are many household items that could be dangerous to your dog if not put out of reach. These are items that may be perfectly safe for humans but are not good for animals.
Here are a few examples:
- Certain foods — Most people know that there are some foods that are safe (and even nutritious) for humans but that are toxic to dogs. Coffee, grapes, chocolate, garlic, and sugar are just a few such foods. They should be stored in places that your dog can’t reach them and quickly picked up off the floor if dropped. If you’re not sure whether your pup can safely consume something, ask your veterinarian.
- Toys — If you have a child, or are a child at heart, you may possess toys with small parts that could be choking hazards if they fall into the wrong mouth. Store your toys where Fido can’t get them, and instead put doggy toys around the house to keep your pup entertained.
- Holiday lights — That Christmas tree you have, decked with holiday lights, could be a choking hazard. This applies to holiday lights strung outdoors as well. Keep your pet away from your festive decorations.
- String, dental floss, and similar substances — These can cause intestinal blockage if consumed. Keep them away from your dog, and keep an eye on your dog’s play habits as well. Once a toy gets deconstructed to its parts, like string, toss it in the trash.
- Cleaners and medicines — Store these safely out of reach of your furry friend.
Keeping Your Dog Safe Outdoors
The outdoors has its own share of hazards. Here are a few notable ones to keep in mind so that you know you’re doing everything you can to keep your dog safe.
- Weather — Most places in the U.S. experience a fluctuation in seasons. When it gets cold, remember that your dog’s furry coat isn’t invincible. Snow and rain, not to mention freezing temperatures and wind, can make a dog too cold. Dogs can also easily overheat in the summertime. When the weather gets extreme, limit your pup’s time outdoors.
- Garbage bin — Keep your dog away from your garbage bin. All that decomposed food can make your pup sick. And don’t forget that garbage bins are indoors as well as outdoors! Outfit yours with lids.
- Certain plants — Some plants can be poisonous to dogs, whether they are naturally growing or planted in your garden. Educate yourself on the plants your dog should avoid, and eliminate the toxic ones.
- Sticks — When you think of playing fetch, you may think of sticks; however, sticks can be dangerous to your pup. Broken and small sticks can cause a dog to choke. Remove any sticks from your yard, and replace them with chew toys. This applies to bones as well.
- Lawn-care chemicals — Keep Fido away whenever you spray your lawn or garden, and let the chemicals set before letting him back into the yard.
- The outside world — Be sure your property has a fence that is high enough that Fido can’t jump over it, and regularly do checks to make sure that there aren’t any openings. Whenever your dog is outside of your enclosed yard, keep it on a leash. This ensures you have control over your dog’s behavior and safety!
Bringing a dog home and making sure it has a happy life is a big responsibility. Knowing how to keep your dog safe makes its life and yours a lot easier. Print out these lists, and hang them in prominent places, so everyone in your family knows what they can do to make sure Fido stays happy, healthy, and strong.
The Team @ Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital
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