- Feed your dog brand-name dog food?
- Take your energetic puppy jogging?
- Have houseplants?
- Allow your dog to ride in your pickup bed?
If so, you may be killing your dog. Read about some of the everyday things that can be dangerous to your dog, and also some tips on how to help keep your dog safe and healthy.
Unhealthy and Dangerous Dog Foods
In this day of fad diets and health consciousness, many of us read food labels in search of the most nutritious products. The fact is, most people fail to do the same when food shopping for Fido. This can be a major mistake, especially since some of the bigger names in dog food (Iams, Purina, Eukanuba, Beneful, etc.) use corn, wheat, and rice as the main ingredients. These ingredients are difficult for dogs to digest and offer very little nutritional value. If that wasn’t bad enough, there have been several pet food recalls due to poisoning, the latest coming in March.
Solutions: Make sure to check the ingredients of your dog’s food before you buy it. Products with chicken or turkey as the first few ingredients are better quality. Try to find brands that use natural ingredients like Innova or California Natural.
Although a nice long jog might seem like the perfect way to burn off your puppy’s energy, too much exercise can be damaging, especially for younger dogs. Exercising your puppy too much too soon can advance the onset of hip dysplasia and other joint problems in some breeds. Too much exercise can also be harmful to older dogs with arthritis.
Solutions: Start off slow with your new puppy. As they grow stronger, the length and intensity of exercise can be increased. In both puppies and older dogs with arthritis, exercise should be brief and gentle. With any pet, regular exercise is the key.
Most dog owners realize that household items like insecticide, bleach, and other products can be hazardous to their dogs. Few, however, are aware of the dangers that their indoor and outdoor plants can pose to their pets. Many types of bulbs, ferns, lilies, flowers, and shrubs contain species that are poisonous to dogs. Dogs who ingest poisonous plants can experience anything from gastrointestinal problems and lethargy to seizures and death.
Solutions: Become familiar with which types of plants are poisonous to dogs. If you have any of these poisonous plants inside or outside of your home, take precautions to ensure that your dog will be safe. Dogs are naturally curious, so pay attention to what they are getting into.
Hazardous Joy Rides
Allowing your dog to roam unrestrained in the bed of your pickup as you drive around town may sound dangerous…it is. But think about how many times you’ve seen a dog in a pickup bed, ears flopping freely in the wind, as his owner barrels down the interstate. Any sudden bumps or turns could send your dog tumbling into oncoming traffic. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 dogs are killed each year by riding unrestrained in the bed of pickup trucks.
Solutions: Placing a shell over your truck bed makes it a much safer ride for your dog. A traveling crate that is securely tethered to the sides of the truck is also a safe alternative. Many cities and counties are implementing laws that prohibit dogs from being unrestrained in pickup beds.
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