Safety Tips for Your Pet

Saftey Tips and Hazardous Foods and Materials for your pet to avoid:

  • If ingested, anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) can be lethal (even in small quantities).
  • When ingested, aluminum foil can cut a dog's intestines, causing internal bleeding and possibly death.
  • Plastic Food Wrap can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Pets will eat plastic wrap trying to get the food contents.
  • Bones from steak, veal, pork, turkey, or chicken, as well as ribs, can be hazardous to your dog and are not recommended.
  • Chocolate contains a toxic element known as theobromine. Even an ounce or two of chocolate can be lethal to a small dog (<10 pounds). Larger quantities of chocolate can poison or even kill a medium or large dog. Dark and unsweetened baking chocolates are especially dangerous. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include: vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.
  • Corn cobs can cause partial or complete intestinal obstruction and should never be offered to a pet.
  • Other toxic foods include: grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts and sugar-free candy/gum. Seek veterinary care for your pet if any of these items have been ingested.
  • Toxic plants. The Humane Society of the United States lists poisonous household plants on their website,
  • Electrical cords can be fatal if chewed through by a dog or cat. New pet owners should cover cords and place them out of reach of a new pet until the owner is aware of the pet's chewing preferences.
  • Fireworks can cause a pet long term phobias. The noise and/or the display of fireworks can expose your pet to fear.
  • Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can occur when leaving a dog in a parked car in the summer even for a few minutes (even with the windows cracked). Heat exhaustion can also be caused by over-exercising a dog during hot weather or just prolonged exposure to excessively hot weather without shelter. Heat stroke or exhaustion can result in brain damage, heart failure, or death. If you believe your dog has over heated, cool him/her with a cool water bath, apply rubbing alcohol to paws and turn a fan on your pet. Seek immediate veterinary care.
  • Hypothermia occurs when a dog's internal temperature drops below 96 degrees F. This can happen by being exposed to cold weather for long periods of time, or getting cold and wet at the same time. Small and short- haired dogs should wear sweaters when taken for walks during cold winter weather. Any signs that a dog is cold (shivering) should signal the owner to bring him indoors immediately.
  • Stomach distension and gastric torsion are what the veterinary profession refers to as bloat. It is a serious, life-threatening emergency which must be treated right away. Bloat is relatively common among large and deep-chested breeds such as Basset Hounds, Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Great Danes. Many experts believe that feeding a large meal within two hours of exercise or severe stress may trigger this emergency. Eating quickly, change in diet, and gas-producing foods may also contribute to this serious condition. Symptoms of bloat include: unsuccessful retching, pacing, panting, drooling, an enlarged stomach/torso, and/or various signs of distress/pain.