Did you know that there are substances in your home that are poisonous to your pet? You can easily find all of these products in stores. In fact, pet owners buy and use them regularly. But by reading labels; keeping informed of what substances are dangerous; and keeping these products out of your pet's reach, you can substantially reduce the chances that your dog or cat will become poisoned.
Flea and tick control products can cause serious toxic reactions when misused. This includes shampoos, sprays, dips and formulas that treat the environment. Symptoms of poisoning may appear 1 to 6 hours after exposure and include muscle tremors, vomiting, excessive salivation and difficulty in breathing. Make sure to follow manufacturer's instructions when using flea and tick control products on your pets. Never use a formula that's meant for dogs on your cat, and vice versa.
Rodent killers are also toxic to dogs and cats, especially if your pet has been exposed on more than one occasion. Pets who eat rats and mice who have ingested rodenticide can also be affected. Symptoms may develop 1 to 5 days after ingestion and include weakness, weak pulse and internal bleeding.
Over-the-counter drugs also pose a threat to your pet. The painkiller acetaminophen, to which cats are especially sensitive, can cause liver failure within 1 to 3 days. A toxic reaction to the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen can cause vomiting and loss of muscle coordination. High doses can be fatal. And aspirin can be dangerous if ingested, depending on the dosage and your pet's species.
Do not keep plants in your home that could be poisonous to your pet. English ivy, for example, may cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and coma. After ingesting just a nibble of a tiger lily, a pet can start vomiting within minutes. If not treated, kidney damage can occur in 12 hours. Many other plants can cause harm to your animal companion if eaten. Toxicity varies between species, so check with your veterinarian if you are not sure if a particular plant is safe or not.
Be cautious of small toys, plastic, balls, and electric outlets and cords, all of which can create a choking hazard. Plastic bags interest dogs and should be kept up high. Basically you would take the same precautions as you would with a 2 year old child.
Certain human foods can also be toxic to dogs and cats if eaten in large quantities. Chocolate, for example, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors and seizure-like activity within one to four hours of eating. Onions can cause toxic reactions, too.
In most cases of household poisoning, early detection and treatment increase the chances of complete recovery. If you think your pet may have been poisoned, note what he has eaten and how much, the estimated time of ingestion and any problems he is experiencing. Immediately call your veterinarian.
Protecting your animal companion from the dangers she could face outdoors begins in your own backyard. Could your pet be facing enemy territory everytime she steps outside? By taking the following simple, but important, precautions, you can ensure that your backyard is always a safe haven.
The first line of defense is an escape-proof fence. It should be high and sturdy. If there are any gaps under your gates or hedges, you may need to use fine wire-mesh at ground level to keep your dog from crawling or digging his way out.
Letting your Bulldog explore outdoors is recommended only if you are there to supervise her in a well-fenced-in area. A sudden loud noise, or simply seeing a dog walk by, may cause her to bolt-which could end in heartbreak, especially if you live near a busy road or highway.
You'll also need to conduct a plant check. Many garden plants and trees can be harmful to pets if ingested. Some of these include holly, rhododendron, lily-of-the-valley, yew, clematis, ivy, columbine and hemlock. Some species may be more, or less, toxic to dogs than cats, so it's a good idea to find out if a tree or flower is safe for your pet before you plant it. Also remember to keep flower bulbs out of reach of curious dogs. ANTI FREEZE IS DEADLY BUT TASTES GOOD TO DOGS!!!!!
To prevent your pet from eating something she shouldn't, make sure your garbage cans are secured with tamper-proof lids. It's a good idea to keep them in a cupboard or shed. Insecticides and rodenticides should be kept in a locked shed or garage; this goes for paint, oil, gasoline, other dangerous chemicals and sharp tools as well. And remember to use common sense if you have just applied weed killer to your lawn or other toxic chemical or fertilizer to the plants in your garden. Your pet could be exposed to these potentially harmful substances simply by walking through an area where these products have been applied and then licking his paws.
And antifreeze, while essential to a car's cooling system, may be very dangerous to your pets if they are exposed to it. Be sure to clean up any spills from your vehicle immediately, and consider switching to a propylene glycol-based antifreeze such as Prestone Low Tox, which provides an added margin of safety for pets and wildlife. Prestone Low Tox is significantly less toxic than conventional ethylene glycol antifreeze, but remember - no antifreeze is absolutely safe. As with any household chemical, safe use and disposal of antifreeze is essential.
If you suspect your dog or cat has ingested poisonous plant material, antifreeze, insecticide or other dangerous chemicals, call your veterinarian. Insect and Reptile Stings and Bites
While the great outdoors can mean great fun for your pet, there's always the chance that he may come into contact with critters whose sting is worse than their buzz-namely, bees, hornets, wasps and other insects. Voted most likely to get bitten are curious puppies engaged in play-hunting. Luckily, the stings of these insects are seldom dangerous, but they may cause pain and swelling.
If your pet has been stung by a bee, you'll need to remove the stinger. The site of the sting will probably be red and swollen, and if you look closely you should find the splinter-like stinger. You can remove it with a pair of tweezers. A magnifying glass may make the job easier. Once you have removed the stinger, bathe the area with a weak solution of baking soda and water. Apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling and dull the pain. Apply the cold compress frequently for at least five minutes at a time. If your pet has been stung by a bee,wasp or hornet, Experts recommend a dab of milk of magnesia or a thin layer of aloe vera gel to calm irritated skin.
Although poisonous spiders have a hard time biting through the coats of dogs with thick fur, dogs with short hair and who live in tropical and desert climates are susceptible to spider bites and scorpion stings. The venom injected can be very dangerous to your pet and requires immediate veterinary attention. When you call your pet's doctor, describe as best as possible the type of creature that your pet encountered. Remember, correct identification will help your veterinarian diagnose and provide successful treatment. Snake bites can especially be deadly, try to keep the dog cool and lay him down, if possible it would help the vet to know what kind of snake bite the dog (of course don't put yourself in danger trying to find out) and don't waste time getting to the vet. Time is critical in snake bites. Snake bite deaths amoung dogs are less than 20% when you get to a vets within 30 minutes of the bite.