10 Ways to Dog-Proof Your Home and Avoid an Emergency Vet Visit

Aimee Gilbreath is the executive director of the Found Animals Foundation

1. Don’t overdo it with dog products

When administering pet products such as flea or tick medication, more is not better. In addition, only use products intended for dogs. Don’t use a cat product on a dog or vice versa. Things that are okay for one species may not be okay for another.

2. Put a lid on your medications

Keep your medications, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs out of your dog’s reach. Ibuprofen, vitamin C, prenatal vitamins, Tylenol, antidepressants, heart medication, sleep aids, and beta blockers (just to name a few), are all hazards to your dog.

3. Lock up household cleaners

These should be kept out of reach of your pets at all times — and don’t put them under the kitchen sink. Cleaners such as bleach can result in stomach and respiratory tract problems.

4. Keep pennies out of reach

If swallowed, pennies can cause zinc poisoning, leading to severe anemia and weakness in dogs. Pennies made before the 1980s have much higher zinc levels than more current pennies. Keep your purse out of reach and spare change out of the couch cushions.

5. Avoid hazardous plants

Certain plants can be hazardous, including spring flowers like daffodils, lilies, and azaleas. The common household and office plant known as dumb cane can be lethal even in small doses. Wild mushrooms and the mold that grows on black walnuts can cause poisoning as well.

6. Be pet-safe with fertilizer and insecticides

Chemicals such as weed killer and snail and slug bait can cause problems including upset stomach and even death. Discuss pet-safe options with your yard professional or local garden center. Always hose down your driveway if you spill a potentially toxic chemical.

7. Be careful with pest control

Traps set out for mice, rats, or any other pest should always be placed out of reach of your pet.

8. Watch for harmful critters

Warm weather brings out all kinds of critters, including several that may be poisonous to your pet, including some snakes, frogs, toads, insects, and scorpions. Know the local species that could be harmful to your pet.

9. Be cautious with home-improvement items

Home improvement products such as paint and solvents can be toxic to your dog, causing severe irritation and burns. Keep all these types of products lidded and properly stored when not in use.

10. Keep “people food” for people

Easter is right around the corner, and better weather means more chances for gatherings. Make sure your guests know that many treats that are delicious and nutritious for humans can be harmful to your dog. To name a few, grapes, currants, and raisins are toxic and can cause kidney failure in some cases. Sugar substitute xylitol is toxic even in small amounts and can lead to liver failure. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, overheating, and vomiting. Even vegetables that seem harmless, like onions, chives, and garlic, can cause anemia or death.

Always have a dog first-aid kit on hand for accidents. Basic supplies should include a pet first-aid manual, emergency numbers to nearest veterinarian and emergency animal clinic, updated paperwork and records, a current photo of your pet, gauze pads and rolls, adhesive tape, antiseptic, cotton balls and swabs, hydrogen peroxide, saline solution, ice pack, scissors and tweezers, a pet carrier, leash, muzzle, can of wet food, and towels.

In any situation, if you are unsure of what to do, consult your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 462-4435

20140722_124454Featured Dog: Jessie

Jessie is a senior guy; we have no idea why he ended up at the shelter. He was a stray and no one has come looking for him. He is a bit grey around the muzzle, moves a little slower because of some stiffness in his legs and seems to have trouble hearing. He is still full of love and would rather be in a warm home than in a shelter setting with noise and hard floors. He loves stuffed animals and will follow you all around the yard. He is looking for a place to spend his remaining golden years.

Other Available Dogs:

Spicie- Female 1 year old. Black wire haired. Small friendly and playful

Jackson- Male 1 year old. black/white pit blend. Very easy going and loving.

Milo 7-24-14 005Featured Cat: Milo

Milo is an adventurous and adorable little kitten. He is a love bug and happy to be held in your arms and will purr like crazy, that is unless there is something new that needs to be explored, then he’ll patiently wait to be put down and he’s off and running! He’s playful and inventive.  He’s a fun little boy who will be your favorite kitten forever. He is all kitten and just a delight to be with!

Other Available Cats:

Purdy is 5-6 years old. Grey tiger. Friendly knows her name and will come to you when called.

Tuesday Morning- Less than 1 year old Female black and white. Friendly and loves attention. Talkative

Ava- 4 years old. Medium hair very friendly and quiet. Needs a quiet home as the only cat.

Sarah-  Less than 1 year old Female. Orange Marmalade Friendly

All animals will be spayed or neutered prior to leaving shelter and receive 1 year rabies vaccination and city license. Ages are approximated.

The City of Mesquite Animal Shelter located at 795 Hardy Way is open for adoptions from 11am until 1 pm, Monday through Saturday, Sunday 1pm -3pm. Please call 702-346-7415 during these hours to speak to the front desk. Animal Control may be reached by phone or voicemail at 702-346-5268 .

The animals submitted to the media may have changes so please visit our Petfinder website for a current listing and more detailed information on the animals. www.mesquiteanimalshelter.petfinder.com.