Keep Your Dog Healthy and Safe - Dangerous Plants and Substances

Plants can be dangerous to dogs. Cactus, for example. A dog running past a cactus may injure an eye on the thorns, or species of cactus like cholla that drop segments to the ground can cause a painful wound to a dog's paws. Many other plants have spines or thorns as well. Transplant these types of plants to the front yard, or at least put a fence around them so your dog will not come in contact with the thorns.

Many people are not aware that ingesting certain common plants can be harmful to a dog, including vegetable stalks. Why would your dog want to eat the landscaping, you ask? Because it's there.

Berries, leaves, seeds, bark, twigs, foliage or in some cases the entire plant can be toxic. If your dog should ingest these, he may become ill with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, convulsions; the end result could be the death of your pet. Common plants such as oleander, azalea, hyacinth, mountain laurel and morning glory can all be extremely dangerous. Here's a surprise: the tomato plant can be toxic, too; after all, it is a member of the nightshade family. Some dogs love the sweet tomato fruit; be careful he does not get a hold of the plant itself.

Observing your dog in the backyard and training him not to go into certain areas can help, but you may need to install additional fencing to block access. If you are unsure whether a plant is toxic to animals, take it to your local nursery and ask them.

Poisons, Fertilizers, and Weed Killers

It may seem obvious that you cannot set out things like rodent poison, ant bait, or other deadly substances in a yard where a dog will be, but nonetheless every year dogs are killed because of their owners' failure to observe this simple rule. This is a tragic shame. You also need to be careful about such things as fertilizers and weed killers. With some products, it is recommend that you wait several days after applying these substances before letting your dog back on the lawn. Check the warning labels on the product or go to the manufacturer's website for more information. If you have a pest control professional spray outside, or inside for that matter, ask him how long you should wait before letting your dog around the area that has been sprayed.

Just as you did inside, look around your yard for any other dangers. Keep charcoal stored out of reach of dogs. Make sure paint or other chemicals are kept up or in a secure storage shed. Get rid of mousetraps or similar items that could injure a curious pup's nose or paws.
If the worst still happens and you suspect your dog may have gotten into something toxic or poisonous, call your vet immediately. If it is the weekend or at night, there are 24 Hour Emergency Animal Clinics in most cities you can contact. Keep the phone number handy. Here are other options:

Animal Poison Control Center of the ASPCA 888-426-4435 (888-4ANI-HELP) --24 hour veterinary diagnostic and treatment recommendations.

Animal Poison Hotline 888-232-8870 --staffed 24 hours a day by veterinarians and experts on toxicology and pharmacology

Remember, time is of the essence. Don't wait and hope your dog simply throws up whatever he ate or gets better. Call a veterinary professional for immediate help.
Don't let your dog get hurt by dangerous plants or substances.

About The Author

Dee Power is the co-author of several nonfiction books including "The Publishing Primer: A Blueprint for an Author's Success," "58 Ways to Find Money for Your Business, " Inside Secrets to Venture Capital" and "Attracting Capital From Angels,"
Free report on Dog Friendly Vacations Just go to Rose and Kate's website. Rose is an Irish Setter and Kate's an English Springer Spaniel. Rose and Kate also blog.
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