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Every vet in the UK sees an average of 12 cases of toxic ingestion each year, according to the BVA. While you may think the great outdoors is one of the riskiest places to take your dog, statistics show that nine in every 10 pet poisoning cases occur in the home. And some of the biggest dangers are lurking in places you’ve probably never considered, such as your flooring and soft furnishings. Therefore, it’s essential you take precautions to keep your pooch happy and healthy.
Household dust mites
No matter how often you clean your home, you’ll find dust mites lurking in your curtains, on your sofa, in your carpet, and in your bedding. However, as many as 80% of pet hounds are allergic to dust mites. As a result of their allergy, your dog may have watery eyes, hives, and bald patches. Frequent sneezing and excessive licking are also common. These symptoms will need to be assessed by your local vet and treatment options including immunotherapy shots and cortisone cream will be discussed. While there’s no way to eradicate dust mites altogether, you should do all you can to reduce them. This means covering bedding and soft furnishings with covers when they’re not in use, replacing carpet with wooden or tiled flooring, and washing bedding weekly in water that’s 60 degrees Celsius.
Hidden mould spores
Mould in the home occurs when there is too much moisture. It’s common in the winter time when windows and doors are open less often. Sadly, mould isn’t always obvious as it often hides behind bulky pieces of furniture and at the top of window frames. But even when it’s not visible, it can cause problems for your dog. Reactions to fungi in the home can cause allergy-like symptoms and can result in your dog experiencing respiratory difficulty, digestive concerns, and neurological issues. When these symptoms are displayed, be sure to get your dog checked out by a vet as soon as possible. You should also call in a professional to get the mould in your home dealt with.
Chemical cleaning products
The average homeowner spends five hours per week cleaning their home. But, your trusted chemical cleaners pose a risk to your four-legged friend. Products such as bleach, laundry detergent, and toilet cleaner can cause skin burns. Furthermore, if they’re ingested, sickness, foaming at the mouth, ulcers, and lethargy are all common. As you would expect, emergency veterinary treatment is required, in such cases. For optimum safety, use safe and natural cleaners instead, such as lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda.
Bringing outdoor toxins in
When you return home to your pooch, it’s best to take your shoes off and lock them away from your hound. As 95% of Britain’s streets are plastered in chewing gum, it’s all too easy for this to get stuck on your shoes and then transferred to the flooring in your home. But, as gum typically contains xylitol, a sugar substitute which is poisonous to dogs, your dog could be at risk as it can cause hypoglycemia, which should be urgently treated by a vet.
Your dog’s home should be the safest place for them. So, be sure to consider the hidden dangers, including dust mites, mould, cleaning products, and outdoor toxins which could be in your property, before taking steps to remove them. Spring time is the perfect time of year for a ‘Spring-clean’ so whilst you’re doing your annual clear-out over the Bank Holiday weekends, spare a thought for what might be affecting your beloved pet.
Until next time,