Your dog is more than just a pet, he is a companion, a confidante and a family member. Part of being a responsible pet owner is keeping your dog safe from hazards that may be present in the everyday environment. Here are the four top perils to your dog’s health and what you can do to prevent them from hurting your best buddy.
Pup in Peril: Top 4 Threats to Your Dog’s Health
Heartworms are parasites that infest a dog’s heart and can cause death. The larva of the heartworm is carried in blood that is transmitted by mosquito bites. Talk to your veterinarian about medications that can prevent heartworm and keep your dog from an early death.
Hundreds of dogs are injured or killed from ingesting poisons that are found in or around the average home. Any substance that could pose a poisoning hazard for your dog should be kept in a closed cabinet or on a high shelf. Here are just a few of the common substances that can be a poison hazard for your dog:
• Food scraps that can be contaminated
• Certain plants, such as azalea, mistletoe, philodendron and others
• Human medications
• Cleaning products
Thousands of dogs are injured or killed in vehicle accidents each year. You can prevent your dog from vehicle dangers by ensuring that he is always on leash or in an enclosed area. Constructing a fence around your back yard is a good way to provide a place for your dog to run and enjoy the outdoors. You can find a number of different types of fencing at home stores.
Another peril that claims thousands of dogs each year is heatstroke. When temperatures rise above 90 degrees, the climate can be as hazardous to dogs as they are to people. Dogs do not have sweat glands and can only cool themselves by panting. However, when their internal body temperature rises above 103, they cannot pant enough to provide sufficient cooling.
Having a short nose, being obese, or having heart or lung problems can increase the risk of hyperthermia to the animal. Symptoms of overheating include black, tarry stools, reddened gums, rapid heartbeat, vomiting or collapse. If your dog shows these symptoms, provide cooling and take him to an emergency vet immediately. Always make sure your dog is kept in an area with good ventilation. Provide shade and water when he is outdoors. Never, ever leave your dog in a hot car, not even for a short time.
If you take care of these four items, you will be assured that your dog will be around for a long time to share good times with you.