A dog is one of the most popular pets in the UK, and if you decide that’s the pet for you, then you’re in for an exciting and rewarding time, with play, exercise, adventure and lots of affection. The other side to that coin is safety: if you take your dog into your home then you are responsible for keeping it safe. You’re also responsible for keeping your home safe from your pet! As the two issues are often linked today we’re taking a look at them both.
The Most Common Problem
It’s worthwhile being familiar with some of the most common canine health issues, if only to recognise when something truly out of the ordinary is happening
Upset stomachs are some of the most common health problems you’ll encounter. If you’re squeamish around diarrhea and vomiting, dogs may be challenging pets for you, but you’ll find it surprisingly easy to get used to the demands of a sick dog, from changing their diet, to keeping specialist cleaning products on hand.
The times to really worry about an upset stomach are when they also lose their appetite, if symptoms persist for three days or more or if you find blood in the vomit or stool: these all indicate more serious problems that need a vet’s attention.
Harmful Household Substances
There are plenty of things you might leave lying casually around your house that a curious dog might sample and regret it, from cleaning products to shoes, to foods that you and I enjoy but are toxic to dogs. The consequences might range from poisoning (which could simply cause a few days of upset stomach or go as far as major organ damage), to physical injuries like scratches on the throat to choking and blockages in the intestine.
Some dogs are keen chewers of furniture, and as well as the costly destruction this can cause, it can lead to pain and injuries as splintered wood scratches and lodges in their gums!
Stopping Chewing and Grazing
It’s important to start as soon as possible training your dog to avoid dangerous choices for their chewing habit. You probably won’t be able to stop them chewing altogether: it’s a very deep seated instinct, and one used to reduce anxiety and boredom. The important thing to do is have toys that they can safely exercise that instinct on and direct their attention away from furniture, rugs and shoes and to those toys every time they start problematic behaviour. It’s also worth trying to find out what exactly is motivating their chewing: if it’s boredom, for example, finding some more stimulating activities for your dog will reduce the unwanted behaviour.
It’s also important for you to keep harmful items out of your dog’s way: keep dangerous kitchen ingredients and cleaning products in cupboards dogs can’t open (equipped with child-safe locks, for example) or on high shelves well out of their way. This combination of tactics should help you keep your home safe for your dog, and from your dog too!