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Dog Safety and First Aid

Hints & Tips

Accidents happen all too easily, but with care you can keep your dog safe. Below are some of the steps you can take to try and avoid accidents. Use your common sense and think of your dog as a very lively toddler running around your home, fascinated by and wanting to play with everything!

Look around your home, possibly on all fours! Be aware of anything which may pose a danger to your dog and wherever possible put it out of reach or in a safe container - electric cables, medicines, disinfectants, bleach, cleaners, paint/paint stripper, mouthwash, soap, even cosmetics. Remember that stairs and stairwells are potential hazards too. Aim to make your house pet-proof!

Unfortunately, people are often unwittingly the cause of injury to dogs. Many have sustained broken legs by getting under their owner's feet, children cause injuries if their play becomes a bit rough - they should be shown how to handle dogs properly. Chocolate in any sort of quantity is poisonous to dogs, so make sure they can't get their paws on it!

Outside the home the garden, shed and garage can be dangerous places for dogs. Keep insecticides, slug pellets, weed-killers, petrol, paint, cleaning fluids and sharp tools out of reach. Ideally, stop your dog from gaining access to the shed or garage at all.

Be aware that many garden plants and shrubs are poisonous, so to avoid temptation do not have them in your garden. The plants to be avoided include: foxgloves, lily-of-the-valley, deadly nightshade, rhododendron, laburnum, hemlock, daffodil bulbs, monkshood, ivy, rhubarb, mistletoe, yew and holly. This is just an example of some of the plants that you are most likely to come across. There are a number of other plants that are poisonous or have poisonous berries. Good gardening books will tell you which these are or you could ask for help at a garden centre.

If you think your dog has swallowed something poisonous, quickly phone the vet for advice. Be ready to explain in detail what has happened. Do not do anything unless your vet has specifically told you to do so. If your dog has eaten something, it would be useful to take a sample or the container with you to the vets.

As with humans, shock can be a major problem so try and keep an injured dog as warm as possible with a blanket whilst taking it to the vets.