Hidden Dangers for Your Pet

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‘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.