Our dogs are viable members of the family. Just as we do our best to look out for our children, we need to practice safety precautions for our faithful, fun-loving dogs. Here are ways to reduce the risk of harm to your dog.
- Treat your dog like a toddler. Both are naturally curious and need your guidance to keep them out of harm’s way.
- Demonstrate just how much you love your dog by enrolling in a pet first-aid class. Contact your local humane society or ASPCA shelter for a class in your area.
- Resist the temptation to share your sweet tooth with your dog by giving him some of our chocolate chip cookies and milk. Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant related to caffeine that can create a dangerous reaction in your dog.
- Carob is a much safer sweet treat. As for milk, shy away from serving it, especially to puppies. Their immature digestive systems cannot always properly break down the ingredients.
- Provide your dog with an expandable collar so it doesn’t cut into his skin as he grows. Use harnesses instead of collars for small-necked dogs.
- Memorize this number: (900) 680-0000. It’s the hot line for the National Animal Poison Control Center. You will be billed $45 per case, directly to your phone number, and there is no time limit. Or dial (888) 426-4435 to charge the fee to a major credit card. Whichever phone option you choose, rest assured that this hot line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Call (888) PETS-911—toll free—to contact the national pet emergency hot line, which is staffed by trained professionals.
- Keep poisonous houseplants safely out of your dog’s reach. For a complete list of plants poisonous to pets, check the Web site of the Humane Society of the United States.
- Elevate your shampoo, conditioner, soap, and razor out of paw and nose reach in your shower.
- Keep the lid down to prevent your dog from using the toilet as an auxiliary drinking bowl. The water may look clean, but it can harbor disease-causing bacteria.
- Use safety electrical cords that prevent shocks or sparks if gnawed on.
- Wipe up and flush away any automotive spills immediately. Keep your dogs indoors when you are changing antifreeze. Bring used antifreeze to recycling centers for proper disposal. Make sure your car has no coolant leaks.
Excerpted from 50 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Dog, by Arden Moore.