8 Simple Poison Prevention Tips For Dog Owners

Accidental dog poisoning happens every day. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center answered roughly 273,000 calls in 2013 – many of these were dogs. Luckily, there are simple ways to guard your dog from harm, in the same way you would a toddler. Follow these tips to keep your pet safer and your breath easier knowing you are protecting your best friend.

#1 – Baby Locks

These aren’t just for toddlers. They can work really well to keep your dog out of lower cabinets. Not only can it prevent them from being poisoned, but it can also prevent them from getting into food and garbage.

Image source: Toys R Us
Image source: Toys R Us

#2 – Keep bottles Secure

This may seem like a no-brainer, but how many times do you grab a pain killer and then leave it on the counter without thinking? If you have a counter surfer or a little dog that can jump high, they could get that bottle. Remember to put them back in the cabinet and, if your dog goes it on the counter, put a baby lock on it just to be safe.

Image source: @Osseous via Flickr
Image source: @Osseous via Flickr

#3 – Don’t Have it in the House

Your dog can’t be poisoned by it if it’s not there! Don’t by products with xylitol (plenty of other options for example) and opt for fake flowers rather than the real ones (they’re cheaper too!)

Image source: OfficeScapesDirect.com
Image source: OfficeScapesDirect.com

#4 – Spread the Knowledge

Not everyone who visits your home is going to know everything that is poisonous to dogs. Have a list of the most common things people might be tempted to feed your dog – grapes and onions, for example – and post it on the fridge where it’s visible. Also include an emergency number, just in case.

Image source: ASPCA.org
Image source: ASPCA.org

#5 – Leave it!

A “leave it!” cue is one of the most important you can teach your dog – it can save his life if you accidently drop something or you see your dog going after something poisonous. It’s easy to teach – most basic obedience classes have it in their curriculum.

Image source: @MoniqueGidding via Flickr
Image source: @MoniqueGidding via Flickr

#6 – Drop it!

A “drop it” cue is the second most important cue. It’s useful if you are too late and your dog already has it. A dog that has a well-trained drop will even spit out food if you ask. Start with something easier though, like a toy or a stick.

 

Image source: @PaulLong via Flickr
Image source: @PaulLong via Flickr

#7 – Auto Leave-It

If you have little kids, or you drop a lot of stuff on the floor, an auto leave is something you may want to aspire to, though it is a bit more difficult than a regular leave it. Here, you will teach your dog to not pick up/eat anything on the floor unless you have given permission with a cue.

 

Image source: @Shawn Collins via Flickr
Image source: @Shawn Collins via Flickr

#8 – Supervise!

Puppies and troublesome teenager especially can get into trouble faster than you will realize what is going on. Make sure you know where your dog is and what he is doing. If you know he can’t be trusted, block off unsafe areas and kennel your dog when you are not able to watch him.

Image source: @AndyonFlickr via Flickr
Image source: @AndyonFlickr via Flickr

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