When a dog comes to live in your home, and your heart, you soon learn to modify the way you live. Basically, you’re seeking to minimise risk and keep your friend safe. Just like human children, dogs are inquisitive. Puppies, like children, need to learn what’s safe and what isn’t. It’s your job to protect him from harm.
Many common household products are highly toxic if swallowed. Cleaning fluids, drain unblockers, oven cleaners - even soap and shampoos can contain toxins. Human medications and vitamin pills can also be toxic if eaten in excess.
I don’t use weed killers on my land. We allow the weeds to live, or we pull them out. Chemical companies often claim that their particular brand is safe for dogs – but I’ve seen birds lying dead after these very same chemicals have been used. I don’t trust them.
To be honest, I don’t really want to use toxic chemicals to clean my floors – no matter how effective they are. Instead, I put a few drops of lavender oil in warm water and clean the floor with that. This way, I know that if my dog rests his beautiful head on my lavender-cleaned floor, he’s not going to be breathing in any carcinogens.
The first stage of first aid is … prevention. Keep all chemicals, pills, and other household products out of reach. Place them high up, or in cupboards that your dog cannot open. Treat everything as if it were the most attractive fluffy slipper, just waiting to be chewed. Keep it out of reach.
You may find it necessary to use poisons to rid your home of unwanted rodents and insects. Think of your dog when you put these down. Put them somewhere where your dog can never reach them. The best way to keep pests out of the home, by the way, is to seal all the entry points.
So, there are several types of poisons:
1. Medications such as painkillers, heart tablets and sedatives.
2. Garden pesticides such as weed killers and slug pellets.
3. Household chemicals such as mouse poisons, bleach and antifreeze.
4. Plants such as deadly nightshade, foxglove, rhododendron, laburnum, bracken, and bulbs such as daffodil and snowdrop.
If your dog has eaten something toxic and you want to stop him absorbing it, you can:
1. Induce vomiting by putting kitchen salt in the mouth or back of the tongue. This should not be done if the dog has swallowed something corrosive, if it was swallowed more than four hours ago, or if the dog is fitting.
2. If the poison is on the dog’s coat, wash him or put an Elizabethan collar on him to stop him licking.
3. Use activated charcoal to stop your dog absorbing further poison.
4. Get your dog straight to the vet – immediately.
If your dog is bleeding externally, put pressure directly on the wound to stop the flow, either using a finger or hand, or a clean towel or cloth. It may be appropriate to put a bandage around the puncture. Get him straight to the vet.
If your dog has been burnt or scalded, you need to cool him with water whilst at the same time keeping him warm with a blanket. He may be in shock. Don’t use creams or powders. Take him to the vet.
Dogs have always loved chasing sticks, but it’s not uncommon for them to end up with the stick damaging their throats. Stick injuries can cause very serious problems, so even though your dog loves to chase sticks, it would be best not to encourage this game.
If a ball is too small for a dog, it can get stuck in his throat and lead to suffocation. You can try to pull the ball out with your hand, but if this doesn’t work, a corkscrew can be carefully inserted into the ball and pulled out. Be careful!
If your dog has a fit, put him in a quiet and darkened room and, if necessary, make sure that there’s nothing in his mouth to prevent him breathing. Most dogs will come out of a fit within a few minutes, but if it continues for much longer, call the vet. Watching a dog fitting can be very distressing, so try to stay calm.
It’s never a good idea to allow a dog to run around in the heat, and you should never leave a dog in a hot car – this is like cooking him in an oven. The symptoms of heat stroke include heavy panting, drooling, restlessness, collapse and even coma and death. If your dog shows these symptoms, cool him down by placing a cold wet blanket over him. Don’t immerse him in cold water as this could cause shock.
The energy healing system called AnimalLinks says that you should run a small piece of tissue under a cold tap and place it on his back, above his abdomen. Tap gently on his head and chest (sternum). This will quickly re-hydrate the dog.
This is an abnormally low body temperature and requires that you warm the dog up. You can use massage, a blanket, a hot water bottle, a hairdryer, and a heat lamp.
Ill-Health & Disease
A to Z