Vacations and Holidays are a time of celebration and joy for us, but they can offer potential hazards to our pets. A partial list of things potentially dangerous to pets follows:
When ingested, aluminum foil can cut a dog’s intestines, causing internal bleeding and in extreme cases, death.
Bloat (gastric torsion and stomach distension) is a serious life-threatening emergency which must be treated by a qualified veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. Bloat is relatively common among deep-chested or large breeds such as Bassett Hounds, Dobermans, Great Danes or German Shepherds. Many experts believe that feeding a large meal within 2 hours of exercise, severe stress, eating quickly, changes in diet and gas-producing foods may trigger this emergency. Symptoms include: unsuccessful retching, pacing, panting, drooling, an enlarged stomach/torso and or signs of distress.
Bones from steak, veal, pork, turkey, chicken, game birds and ribs can be hazardous. Dispose of all bones carefully in a covered garbage can that your dog cannot open.
Chocolate contains an element toxic to dogs called Theobromine. Even an ounce or two of chocolate can be lethal to a small dog (10 Lbs or less) Larger quantities can poison or kill even a medium or large dog. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include: vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity and seizures. Keep all chocolate in a closed cupboard or another place inaccessible to your dog. Don’t leave boxes of chocolate on tables or counters where an enterprising dog can get at it.
Corn cobs can cause partial or complete intestinal obstruction. Never allow your dog access to corn cobs, dogs have died after eating corn on the cob. Dispose of cobs carefully in a place where you dog cannot get at them. If you put them in a compost pile, bury them.
Never expose your pet to firecracker noise or displays unnecessarily. They can cause tremendous fear to companion animals and in comes cases can result in long time phobias. Keep dogs indoors during fireworks if possible and if you have to walk the animal make sure it is leashed and you hold on to the leash tightly. Dogs can be frightened enough to bolt if they are exposed to the noise of fireworks. Inside, you can mask fireworks noise with ‘white’ noise as from an air conditioner, as well as music, the radio or television.
Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion
A dog’s normal internal body temperature is between 100.5 and 102 degrees F. Leaving a dog in a parked car in the summer (even with the windows cracked) can cause heatstroke within minutes. Heat exhaustion can result in brain damage, heart failure or even death in a short period of time, To cool off an overheated dog, wet the dog’s body and paws with cool water, then fan. If the dog experiences heatstroke or heat exhaustion, he should receive veterinary attention as soon as possible.
Dogs (and cats) can become extremely ill or even die from eating poisonous plants. Keep all unknown types of plants and any plants suspected of being poisonous out of reach of your pets. Spray the plants with Bitter Apple for plants. A list of potentially hazardous plants can be accessed on the web at www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control.