We often say that the best medicine is prevention, and that’s a truth that’s just as applicable to pets as it is to people. Here are some of the most common accidents and suggestions on how to avoid dog emergencies.
- Choking: If you can manage to keep small toys, small bones, and garbage from your dog, you can prevent a large number of dog emergencies. If you’re unsure whether a toy is safe for your dog, for example, apply the “Big Mouth Rule.” That is, if an item is too big to fit inside your dog’s mouth, it’s safe enough to play with. Of course, you also have to consider a toy’s sturdiness. If a toy looks like it could be chewed into swallow-able parts, don’t let the dog play with it. The Big Mouth Rule applies to everything inside and outside of your home as well – not just toys. You mustn’t let your dog play with small items of clothing, toiletries, sticks or anything that can be swallowed.
- Poisoning: Poisoning is another common accident that can be prevented with a little diligence. The problem with identifying poisonous hazards is that we’re so used to handling them on a daily basis; we don’t always pay attention to them. Even something as simple as dishwashing detergent and chocolate can be dangerous to a dog, so take the time to keep all cleaning supplies, pest poisons, drainage, and other toxic substances out of your dog’s reach.
- Injuries: We often regard dogs as infallible creatures that are capable of withstanding almost anything. The truth is that dogs are just as vulnerable to injuries as we are. That’s why you must monitor the health of your dog on a regular basis – especially if your dog participates in strenuous activities. Yes – even a dog can strain a muscle, pull a tendon, or suffer from heatstroke.
- Illness: Not all illnesses can be prevented. The ones that can be prevented however often show signs you can use to prevent an emergency situation. Take your dog to the vet the minute that you suspect it might be ill. Some common signs of illness are lethargy, vomiting, coughing, or diarrhea.
Preparing for an emergency situation will make a highly stressful situation much more manageable. That’s why we recommend you have your vet’s number placed in a readily visible location of the home. (An even better location would be on your phone’s speed dial database.) You should also know the exact location of the nearest pet hospital and have a first aid kit in an easily accessible area.
Should your pet’s life depend on your response time, you’ll put it in an extremely dangerous position if you have to run all over the house looking for these items.