Avoid The Doggy ER With These Eight Tips About Inappropriate Eating

If you have a dog, it's inevitable that it will try to eat something it shouldn't at some time or another. This can result in health problems or even lethal complications for your pet, so follow these tips to keep your pooch out of the doggy ER.

Keep Your House Tidy

Dogs are like perpetual toddlers, in that they explore the world with their mouths. If you leave a lot of your belongings at their level, it's like asking them to give them a chew.

Ask your vet, and they can probably tell you some crazy things they've seen dogs eat, from pantyhose to furniture, and even eating too much dog food can be deadly as it can cause bloat. Keep shoes, toys, and dog kibble put away, and you can avoid both losing valuable items and having your dog ingest something that will necessitate a trip to the ER.

Watch Food in Multi-dog Households

Even if you keep your dog food under lock and key, if you have multiple dogs in your home, one may steal food from the others. Watch your dogs when they eat, and keep free feeders (dogs that eat whenever they like throughout the day) separated from kibble gobblers when food is out.

Contain Your Dog

Containing your dog can go a long way in preventing accidental ingestion of dangerous items. When you're not home or able to watch your pup, try using a crate, a safe room, or an area fenced off with a baby gate to limit your dog's access to taboo items. An outdoor dog run is another option.

Muzzle Your Dog

If you're not able to contain your dog, consider muzzling inappropriate chewers. Many people think of muzzles as just protection from biting, but a good basket muzzle (not the wrap-style that should only be used for a few minutes at the vet's office) lets your dog pant and drink water without destroying your home and its digestive system.

Keep Your Yard Dog-Friendly

If you leave your dog unattended in your yard, make sure the outdoor space is dog friendly. This means eliminating toxic plants, garden chemicals, automotive products, trash, recycling, rodent/insect bait, and food-scented items like barbecue brushes and drip trays.

Think about creating a designated area filled with sand and toys where your dog is allowed to dig. Make sure fencing is adequate and all electrical cords are out of reach.

Give Vet-approved Chew Toys

You can quell the desire to chew inappropriate objects by offering vet-approved chew toys to your dog. Rubber toys stuffed with peanut butter, antlers, nylon fake bones, or real bones (no chicken or fish bones) that don't splinter are ideal. On hot summer days, a block of ice filled with dog toys is another alternative.

Provide Sufficient Exercise

Tired dogs are often less likely to get into trouble. Give your dog sufficient daily exercise, and it may be too tired to eat the wrong thing.

Mind Your Dog on Walks

Walking your dog on a leash ensures you'll see what it puts in its mouth. If you let your dog off the leash, keep it in eyesight. Teach the "Leave it!" command for when it's tempted to eat garbage, road kill, or other forbidden stuff.

In spite of all your good care, your dog may still eat something dangerous. If your dog shows any of the following signs of bloat or intestinal blockage, get it to the emergency vet right away:

  • excessive vomiting
  • unproductive retching
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting or diarrhea with blood
  • lethargy
  • grossly expanded stomach
  • abdominal pain
  • disinterest in food
  • straining to defecate
  • biting at the stomach or at you when you pick it up

Getting your dog to the vet immediately can help you find out what's going on and potentially even save your pet's life.

To learn more, contact a veterinary clinic like River View Veterinary Service LLC