Every dog seems to be different but just like having a toddler, they get into all sorts of stuff.

Trash, shoes, hair rubber bands, electrical cords all look like appropriate items to explore or play with to a pet. Pacifiers and underwear are frequent delicacies. All of these things can wreak havoc with the gut and block up the digestive system enough to necessitate surgery on occasion.

Make sure there is no rat or mouse poison hidden somewhere. This is designed to be delicious to omnivores and their sensitive noses WILL find it. This is the most common toxicity I see.

No medications should be within their reach, even in cabinets. Human pain medications are very toxic to dogs and we often can’t tell if pets get into these, how many they ingest because most people don’t inventory their own medications.

Secure trash cans both in the kitchen and bathrooms. Bathroom trash is one of the absolute favorite nasties that dogs can’t resist.

Outside the house, your yard should be secure. Invisible fences are great but your pet must be trained on them and they must be checked frequently for breaks.

Regular fences should be made so that your pet cannot dig under them or squeeze out anywhere. Garden edging can be very sharp and should be considered before letting your pet near it so they don’t cut their paws or foot tendons.

The exceptionally mouthy dogs will have to be watched carefully so they don’t eat rocks or poop if it is present. It is important to go watch your pet out in their yard every so often to make sure they haven’t found some sort of mischief to get into out there.

Other Pets at Home

We all want our pets to be well behaved with others but forcing a dog that is not always friendly with other dogs to “play nice” does not always work out well. Dogfights are scary and can ruin a friendship fast.

Try out a relationship at a neutral site first (this means neither pets’ house) on leash and be prepared to go slow if needed. After this see how it goes in a spacious yard and then in the house if needed.

Do not ask dogs to share toys or food bowls. These are advanced relationship skills and some pets will never be ok sharing. Feed pets separately at first and far apart for a while. If there are confrontations, it is important to make sure that you backup the relationship a little.

There are usually quite a few warning signs that things aren’t going well before an actual fight. Do not leave dogs that have been having trouble alone, there could be big trouble. Everyone should put safety at the top of the priorities.

If your pet can find a good playmate, there can be great benefits. Having a supportive dog friend can give your pet more exercise, interaction skills, and confidence than depending on you alone.

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