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Keeping Your Inquisitive Dog Safe From Household Hazards

Dachshund destroying stuffed toy.
One pet insurance company paid out over $4.2 million towards pet bills in one year just for pets that had eaten something they shouldn’t have, showing just how common it is for curious dogs to get themselves into bother around the home. Everything from cleaning products to inconspicuous dog toys can pose a problem around the home. Some things are best left out of the home completely, while other items can be replaced with safer options or stored out of reach.
Reducing the damage
If you’ve got a dog that spends their time mooching around and eating anything that smells remotely nice to them then you know how important it is to keep floors clean and not leave things around that will tempt them. Most dog owners are pretty good at knowing which human foods not to give their pets, but be aware of non-food items around the home. Dogs have been known to eat anything from candles and crayons to baseboards and couches. Keeping things out of the way is the best option, but it’s not always practical. For things like candles, opt for ones made from natural ingredients, such as soy wax and essential oils, which will be less harmful if your dog does eat them. Soy-based scented candles are also better for indoor air quality, as you and your pet won’t breathe in any harmful chemicals when burning them.
Cleaning products and toxic plants
While making some swaps can help to keep your dog safe if they were to ingest it, other common household items should be kept completely out of the way or not in the home at all. Things like household cleaners should be kept high up or in cupboards where dogs can’t get to them instead of on the floor next to the toilet, for example. It only takes a matter of minutes for a dog to chew through a plastic bottle and consume the toxic product inside. Household plants that are poisonous to dogs should ideally not be in the home at all, such as lilies and poinsettias. Opt for plants that are dog-friendly, but remember that your dog may eat them anyway, leaving you with an empty plant pot.

Things that should be safe, but aren’t
There are several things that you’ll probably give your dog without a second thought as it’s designed specifically for them, such as toys and chew treats. However, some of these have a bad reputation for harming dogs and should be avoided or you should monitor your dog while they play with them.  Big dogs can easily swallow small dog toys, often by accident, so pick toys that are the right size for your dog. Be aware of what toys are made of as dogs can chew plastic toys up and eat pieces of them, many of which can be toxic and shouldn’t be consumed.
Dogs are inquisitive creatures and it’s your job to protect them. Keep toxic foods and items away from them to avoid temptation, choose alternative safe options for decorative items and check how dog-friendly their toys really are.

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