So, the big day is almost here! You’re almost ready to bring your puppy home!
The whole family is excited about your new furry buddy. You’ve done all the shopping, and you have all the snacks, and treats, and chew toys, and a little dog bed, just for her.
And, of course, you’ve puppy-proofed your house, to make sure that your new little friend is safe, and doesn’t get into any trouble.
But, before you bring the little guy home, make sure that you haven’t missed any of these “hidden puppy hazards” that could spell danger or injury to the newest member of your household.
Let’s look at at three lesser-known hazards and talk about what you can do about them.
1) Xylitol Poisoning
Many people have never heard of xylitol, but it is appearing in more and more ingredient lists in everything from chapstick to brownie mix.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener known as a sugar alcohol.
It tastes sweet to humans, as well as dogs, and is a popular alternative to sugar, because it does not have a bitter aftertaste that many other sweeteners have.
Unfortunately, while harmless to humans, xylitol is toxic to dogs.
When humans ingest xylitol, it does not affect their insulin production, and their blood sugar is unaffected.
When a dog ingests xylitol, its pancreas releases massive amounts of insulin into the bloodstream. This can cause the dog to go into insulin shock. Without emergency treatment, the dog will also suffer severe liver damage, and will die within twenty four hours.
There is no antidote to xylitol poisoning, so it is extremely important to take your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect that he has ingested xylitol. Even as little as one or two sticks of gum can be fatal to a small dog. You may want to rub some molasses or maple syrup on the dog’s gums in order to counteract the severe drop in blood sugar. Do not pour anything into the dog’s mouth.
With emergency intervention, your pet has a chance of survival, but xylitol poisoning is very serious. So it is very important that you do what you can to prevent it from occurring at all.
As tempting as it may be, you should not give “people food” to your puppy.
The digestive systems of dogs and people are very different. What humans can safely digest is sometimes very toxic to dogs.
Imagine how you would feel if you accidentally poisoned your dog, by giving him something that you thought was safe, but it contained xylitol.
Consider avoiding the purchase of products that contain xylitol. This way, even if someone in the family makes a mistake, and leaves a bag or purse lying around, and the dog gets into it, he will not ingest xylitol.
2) Dangerous Plants
Some house plants contain chemical compounds that are toxic to dogs.
These kinds of plants are especially dangerous to puppies, because they like to chew on everything.
Here are some examples of plants that contain toxins which make them dangerous to puppies.
This plant is extremely poisonous to dogs. Fortunately, it is coarse and difficult to chew on, and most dogs will leave it alone.
If you have a puppy that chews on everything, though, he might chew on the sago palm, and the results could be fatal.
If you have an outside flower garden, you may have a plot of daffodils. These plants, especially the bulbs, are dangerous to dogs. You should not let dogs eat them, or dig around among them, for fear of them eating a bulb.
This plant is one of the easiest houseplants to raise. That is the reason for its strange name. Unfortunately, if your dog eats it, it can cause severe irritation to the mouth and throat. In severe cases, the irritation and inflammation can lead to the complete closing of the throat, which is life-threatening.
Everyone knows that puppies love to chew.
And they often chew things that they shouldn’t. Do not leave batteries lying around, because your puppy may think that they are a tasty snack.
Also, keep electronic devices away from your puppy, because if a puppy chews them and the batteries come out, they may chew the batteries, too. They might even eat them.
If a puppy eats batteries, a number of bad things can happen.
Batteries have corrosive chemicals. If these chemicals are released into the dog’s body, they can cause severe burns and ulcerations in the mouth, throat, or digestive tract. Even if the batteries do not leak, they may cause electrical currents to pass through the internal organs of the dog, causing burns, ulcers, or other issues.
Keep batteries and electrical devices away from your puppy. If you suspect that your puppy has eaten a battery, take her to the vet immediately.
Now that you know about these three hidden dangers to your puppy, you can do what it takes to keep your fuzzy new friend safe and happy for years to come. Enjoy getting to know your new puppy’s unique personality!