Hidden Dangers for Your Pet

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Golden Retriever

‘Cuz You Love Them, You Should Know

As pet owners, we are responsible for the well being of our beloved fur babies. Like children, they depend on us to protect them from the dangers they are unaware of or do not understand. Owning a pet can be tricky. Some dangers are obvious, such as traffic and bad weather, while others are hidden or confusing. What is safe for a human may not be the case for your dog. I have noted some hidden dangers you may not have considered.

Golden Retriever

A small dog should never be left outside unattended, even in a fenced yard. Small pets look like FOOD to large birds of prey. Red hawks have been known to carry off small dogs and cats right here in Geauga County with less than happy endings. Pets are also subject to other wild animal attacks such as coyotes, fox, and other dogs themselves, to name a few.

Our pets depend on us to provide a proper diet for them. While some food can be shared, some can be toxic.

 Common foods that are harmful to pets include:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Coffee, caffeine
  3. Alcohol
  4. Xylitol
  5. Grapes
  6. Raisins
  7. Avocados
  8. Macadamia nuts
  9. Onions
  10. Garlic
  11. Chives
  12. Milk
  13. Raw or under-cooked meat
  14. Raw eggs
  15. Yeast dough

These foods are very harmful to dogs and should be avoided. I know some look harmless and, yes, you probably have fed your pet some of them without incident, but toxicity varies depending on your pet’s size and breed as well as other factors. Some of you may be wondering what is Xylitol? Xylitol is a sugar substitute used in many food products claiming to be ”diet” “lite” or “sugar free”. It increases insulin production in dogs leading to possible liver failure.

 Warning signs of possible toxic poisoning

  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Loss of Consciousness

 If you think your dog may have ingested something toxic, seek emergency care immediately.

Another surprising no-no pertains to travel. When traveling with your pet, never leave them in the car with the windows up. A car’s interior can heat up quickly, and your dog can easily become over heated.    As a rule of thumb, anything over 50 degrees, I crack the windows. Anything over 70 degrees, I leave the A/C on or leave them at home. Look for that parking spot in the shade, and do not be gone too long as this will stress your pet out. Also, when traveling out of the area bring your own water. Some pets will not drink unfamiliar water and may become dehydrated.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Being a responsible pet owner is sometimes confusing.  Disaster can come from the most unexpected places, but a little knowledge can go a long way in protecting your beloved pets. They love you, love them back!

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Michelle "Shell" Toth is a lifelong resident of Geauga County and is the owner of Shell's Dog Design in Newbury. She is a member of the International Professional Groomers, Inc. and has 30 years of experience in the pet care industry. Shell's Dog Design is committed to responsible pet care solutions and has a pet style for every lifestyle.

12 COMMENTS

  1. While I agree with most of your list I’m curious about the raw meat & eggs. As we prepare to welcome a new GSD puppy I’ve been reading about Raw Feeding. The digestive system of dogs is different than ours, and in the wild they survived on raw meat (prey – bones and all), eggs and anything they can find. In my research I’m hearing of dogs that live longer & are healthier when fed raw with the thought being today’s grain kibble is related to diabetes, cancer and other k-9 health concerns. Any thoughts?

  2. While I agree with most of your list I’m curious about the raw meat & eggs. As we prepare to welcome a new GSD puppy I’ve been reading about Raw Feeding. The digestive system of dogs is different than ours, and in the wild they survived on raw meat (prey – bones and all), eggs and anything they can find. In my research I’m hearing of dogs that live longer & are healthier when fed raw with the thought being today’s grain kibble is related to diabetes, cancer and other k-9 health concerns. Any thoughts?

  3. Cindi, there is a lot of information on raw feeding out there, and we actually have several customers who use a raw diet. There are also many wonderful grain free foods/treats out there, if you are just trying to avoid the grains. Our puppies are on grain free diets. Regarding the article, another suggestion is that there are harnesses you can purchase for your dog when they are riding in the car. Then you don’t have to worry about them jumping in your lap while you are driving! :)

  4. Wow you guys are up early today…..Cindi according to my experience and information I’ve collected: Eggs pose potential problems. First is Salmonella and E coli which can cause food poisioning. Secondly there is an enzyme in raw eggs that interferes with the absorption of vitamin B which can cause skin and coat problems. Next raw meat and fish like raw eggs can contain bacteria that causes food poisoning. Also certain fish contain a parasite that causes “fish disease” that if not treated is fatal. Lean cooked meat can be healthy, be sure to remove all visible fat, including the skin on poultry.There is some controversy about raw feeding and I encourage you to continue researching and finding the path that is right for you. There is so much infomation that can not be covered in a small article. Connie my intent is not to knock raw feeders but to inform about the potential dangers to the less experienced dog owner. Thanks for reading guys:)

  5. MrsK the dangers not considered in this article will be addressed in the future (this is the first of a series of potential dangers)…..My intent is to deliver useful information to our readership but I’m writting an article that has a target of 500 words or less not a complete book. I do research the information and I am prepared to defend or debate my content. While some parts of my article are drawn from pure first hand experience such as the dangers of animals of prey, I can site my references. Don’t give up on me, I have many more articles to write on the hidden dangers of pet ownership.

  6. I would like to mention a danger to pet owners of small dogs. Make sure you keep them on a leash at all times and are with them when you take them outside. Red tailed hawks and owls will swoop down and take them away. I have a toy poodle, and when we first got her we took her out unleashed. Then I remembered a story about a hawk grabbing a small dog. I put her on a leash, and that very night an owl swooped down at us. Thank God she was leashed.

  7. Good info, but don’t forget about all the food 7 treat recalls & stuff from China.
    I wonder about the raw items on your list, I know people who feed nothing but raw diets to their dogs & they have very healthy animals!

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