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With so much energy and personality, your pooch might seem indestructible, but many things you store at home could represent a serious danger to your dog. If you’re bringing home a new four-legged friend or just need a refresher on dog-proofing your home, here’s how to ensure that your precious pup stays safe.
Store and dispose of leftovers carefully
Some leftovers can be extremely dangerous to your dog. Make sure that leftovers, including onions, garlic, and grapes, are out of your dog’s reach. Candy bowls on coffee tables may seem safe, but if they contain chocolate, put them out of reach as well. Current research also shows that the artificial sweetener Xylitol is very toxic to dogs. And it’s well known that chicken bones can puncture a dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
When it comes to the above dangers, you need to double-bag leftovers before putting them in the garbage unless you are taking out the garbage immediately. Also make sure you are using a trash can that can’t be easily tipped over by your dog. It’s worth noting that all dog owners need trash cans with secure lids or that are out of reach. If you are saving leftovers, place them in a plastic storage box with a tight lid, and put it in the refrigerator (not on a countertop or other surface accessible to your dog).
Most dogs are not picky eaters, and their eagerness to eat anything may be a source of humor for owners. Still, that propensity to chow down on anything can get dogs in a lot of trouble.
Mouthwash, moth balls and fabric softeners are particularly dangerous. These items need to be kept inaccessible to your dog. One way to keep your dog safe is to put all these toxins in a large plastic container with a sealed lid. Alternatively, you can put a lock or child safety device on your sink cabinet, or store these items in a wall cabinet or on a shelf that is well out of your dog’s reach.
Make sure that your porches and front and back yards are also dog-safe zones. Keep antifreeze, herbicides, and pesticides in a locked cabinet in your garage or inside the house where you store your cleaners.
Fortunately, most products used to eliminate pet odors can also be used as all-purpose cleaners, and these products are generally pet-safe as well. If you’re not sure what to buy, ask your pet store associate what she recommends in the way of a safe cleaner to use around your animal.
Ah, yes, the dreaded doggie toilet sip. Dog toilet drinking might be worse or better than you think, depending on your habits. If you use any of the automatic toilet cleaning products (you know, the stuff that turns your toilet water blue), you absolutely must keep your dog out of the toilet. That stuff could make him sick, though the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) thinks it’s unlikely to kill him.
Similarly, if you flush only periodically to save water, you too need to keep your pup’s head out of the toilet. Keep the toilet seat and lid down when the appliance is not in use. This is particularly a mandate if your dog is small enough to fall in the toilet. Keep the bathroom doors shut as a backup precaution.
If, however, you flush after every use and clean the toilet bowl weekly without leaving chemicals in it, that doggie toilet drink is probably harmless. Some vets even think that steady supply of clean water might be better than what’s in the dog bowl.
In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget there might be hazards lurking in our home that could be dangerous for pets. No one wants to lose their pup to a toxic home cleaner or yard product. A few easy precautions will ensure that your home is dog friendly and safe.
When you bring your dog with you on your travels, you may face certain difficulties. If you’re not properly prepared, you might wind up getting into a mishap, such as losing reservations. Thankfully, by taking the right steps, you and your furry friend can have a fabulous time together.
Plan Your Excursion
While there is always the option for a road trip, going by car for hours or days can be rough on a pet. They need frequent breaks to stretch and relieve themselves. If your intended destination is several hundred miles away or more, it may be better to think of alternatives. You can travel by plane, which is an especially good choice for small dogs, as they can fly in the cabin with you. All you need is a suitable carrier and an airline that is pet-friendly and safe. A newer option is to travel by train, though you’ll need your furry friend’s health records and a carrier that fits in your lap. It may not be as quick as plane travel, but a train ride can be a pleasant means of transportation.
Know Your Destination
Different pets will have various requirements. Some cities across the country have bans on certain breeds, so do your research before you book a trip. Thankfully, there are many towns with less hostile laws regarding larger breeds. Look for destinations that have ample dog parks, low pet deposits, and plenty of pup-friendly cafes.
In the past, one of the more difficult aspects of traveling with an animal companion was finding pet-friendly accommodations. Luckily, a growing number of hotels have caught on to how important our furry friends are and how responsible pet owners can be when it comes to cleaning up. Thankfully, there are plenty of online tools you can use to find the perfect hotel, from dedicated search engines to lists of pet-friendly hotel chains. In fact, these resources not only show hotels that welcome dogs, but they also list the ones that accept your dog’s breed in the area of your selection.
Enjoy the Parks
No matter where you end up, your pup will need to exercise. Going to a dog park is a fun way to ensure that they still get to romp around and socialize while you’re vacationing. Of course, you’ll need to see to their safety before you go. Research the parks ahead of time, and be certain your dog is up to date on their vaccinations to prevent disease and parasites. Make sure your pup’s collar contains an ID tag, and ensure it’s been updated if necessary. Look after your dog closely, and always clean up after them at the park.
There are lots of things for you both to explore in a new area, so get going! Aside from dog parks, check out any local pet-friendly cafes. If the weather is good, you could rent a bike and go for a light ride downtown, or take your dog pup-surfing. After all, what dog doesn’t love swimming? If your pup prefers the water from a distance, take a boat ride together, or walk along the shoreline. You may even be able to find a “doga,” or dog yoga, class that you can enjoy together. This is a new place, so add some new experiences you two will love.
There are many wonderful places you and your dog can explore. With the right planning and preparation, you can ensure you both have fun and stay safe. Traveling with your pet can be an adventure, one that you will remember for years to come.
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It’s no secret that being overweight has serious consequences for your own health. What you might not realize is that dogs also suffer when their waistline is wider than their hips and shoulders. Keep reading for insight on the five most common health problems dogs experience due to chronic obesity and what you can do to help your dog get fit starting today.
1. Breathing problems
Dogs who are forced to carry around excess weight put additional strain on their heart and lungs.
2. Systemic inflammation
Systemic inflammation can cause detrimental health effects and make it difficult for your dog to ward off other health conditions, including reproductive and urinary disorders. The Journal of Nutrition links systemic inflammation to metabolic syndrome.
3. Intervertebral disc disease
Smaller dog breeds, especially those with a long midsection and elongated body such as dachshunds and corgis, are at a higher risk of severe disc extrusion that can lead to long-term mobility issues and may require surgical intervention.
4. Arthritis and hip dysplasia
Joint issues are common in overweight dogs. Large breeds, such as the labrador and boxer, are especially vulnerable. Hip dysplasia and arthritis are painful conditions that can lead to lameness. Boneo offers more about canine obesity and its effects on your dog’s mobility.
Not only do added pounds alter your dog’s quality of life, but they also may reduce their longevity by two years or more, according to the Cummings Veterinary Medicine Center at Tufts University.
While these health problems are dire, the vast majority of dogs will see a significant improvement in symptoms simply by losing a few pounds. But, unlike us, your dog can’t do it on his own. There are many things you can do to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle that will benefit both you and your pet.
Measure your dog’s food to ensure they are being fed the proper amount. It is very common for dogs to be given open access to food. However, just 10 extra bites each day can increase your dog’s weight by one pound each year.
Walk your dog regularly. If it isn’t already, walking your dog should be part of your daily routine. The amount of exercise they need is dependent upon age, breed, and overall temperament. The most active breeds require at least 30 minutes of intense aerobic exercise every 24 hours, so make sure to play with your pet after a stroll through the neighborhood. If you’re going to the dog park for exercise, make sure to bring a portable dog bowl along to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. Always keep your dog on a leash or lead when in public. Choose a leash and collar that’s comfortable for your dog and easy for you to use. Picking the right set will make your walks that much more rewarding.
Create a designated activity space for your dog. If you don’t have a fenced backyard and can’t dedicate time each evening for exercise, give your dog a space where he can run and play. A dog run, which HomeAdvisor notes should be at least 10 feet wide and cover the entire length of your yard, is preferable over a cable run, since an enclosed area allows for freedom of movement.
Talk to your veterinarian to create a weight-loss program. While losing weight seems like a relatively simple process, it isn’t. Dropping pounds is not simply a matter of burning more calories than you take in. Work with your veterinarian to come up with a plan that works for your dog. He or she may suggest a physical exam and blood tests to rule out underlying medical conditions. If your dog is significantly overweight, they may be prescribed nutritional supplements or put on a special diet.
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your dog remains healthy and happy. Managing his weight is one of the most important things you can do to ensure just that.
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