Getting a new dog can be fun and exciting. Welcoming this new furry family member is a momentous occasion full of joy and new adventures. A new dog also comes with many hopes and dreams for a long and happy life together. To make those dreams come true, new dog owners must know several things about their pups, and what to avoid contact with to keep them safe and healthy. We compiled this comprehensive list of potential hazards your new dog should avoid.
1. Sugary Food
One of the main things your new puppy should avoid contact with is sugary food. Excess sugar can cause an upset stomach, leading to gas, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your dog has eaten sugar and suddenly develops explosive or bloody diarrhea, they need to see a vet right away.
Another reason to avoid giving your dog sugar is that it will quickly cause tooth decay, and a trip to the doggy dentist is expensive. Continued consumption of sugar by dogs can also lead to diabetes and heart disease. Not to mention that any sweets containing chocolate are poisonous to dogs and can be deadly. Food containing sugar can also result in your dog being overweight, which can cause severe issues like hip dysplasia and knee problems.
Dogs need the proper nutrients for good health. If you want to give your dog a sweet treat, try apples, canned pumpkins, carrots, or cucumbers without the skin or seeds. Your dog will get some natural sweetness and the nutrients they need for a balanced diet.
2. Expensive Accessories
You may have seen them. Those fancy dog accessories. Everything from collars to orthopedic beds. Tiffany & Co. sells a dog collar in their signature pale blue color for almost $400. Dior has one for $600, and Ralph Lauren has sweaters for over $100.
Even if you can afford such things, they aren’t necessary. They may even be uncomfortable and downright dangerous to your pet. Expensive, fancy accessories tend to be made with heavy materials and uncomfortable fibers. Just because it looks good doesn’t mean it feels good.
Dogs wear collars 24/7, so they should be breathable and comfy. Dogs are thrilled with the simple things in life. Not to say you can’t buy your pup a sweater, rain protection, or even cute little accessories, but you can get fantastic merchandise from places like PetSmart and Chewy. Purchasing expensive items for your dog is like putting Chanel on a newborn to feed them. It’s going to end up getting ruined quickly.
There’s no need to take out personal loans to accessorize your furry friend. Save that for your human children! Remember that as much as you think of your dog as your baby, this character had your old dusty slipper in his mouth the other night. They will not be impressed with Fendi or Prada.
3. Opportunities For Biting
If your new dog is in the habit of biting, even playful nipping, it should avoid contact with strangers until the dog can stop the practice. Biting is also dangerous for other pets, children, and valuables. You may want to discuss a behavior modification plan with your vet or some professional training.
Invest in plenty of chew toys and dental bones to allow them to chew and bite positively. The last thing you want is to hire a criminal defense lawyer because Rover decided to bite the neighbor. In the meantime, keep them on a short leash, avoid people and dogs when walking, and be careful around any kids or dogs living in your house.
4. Construction Sites
If you have a new dog, avoid contact with construction sites; many unseen hazards lurk. Construction sites are set up to protect humans, not dogs. While we know what warning signs are saying and the meaning of yellow tape and temporary fencing, dogs have no clue. If not leashed, dogs can easily find themselves in a hole, stuck in a mud puddle, or caught in some barbed wire.
There can also be tons of dangerous items like paint, insulation, and other chemicals that can harm your pup. Unfortunately, not all building companies take the disposal of construction waste seriously. Construction sites also contain sharp metal, ragged wood pieces, nails, and often broken glass. There can also be issues with falling debris, dust, and loud noises that may trigger your pet.
5. Rusty Surfaces
Contrary to popular belief, ingesting some rust will not poison your dog or make them seriously ill. It would take a lot of rust-licking even to give a dog diarrhea. That’s not to say they should be doing it, but there’s no need to panic if they have.
What is a cause for concern, however, is if they have punctured their skin on the rusty surface of the object. While the rust itself is not problematic, it’s the dirt and bacteria it can hold. Specifically, Clostridium tetani, also known as tetanus. This dangerous bacteria can enter the bloodstream through a puncture wound.
If a dog cuts itself or steps on a rusty object, the bacteria can end up causing muscle spasms, swelling, drooling, a stiff gait, temperature, and heavy panting. If left untreated, the dog’s entire nervous system can shut down. Luckily, antibiotics will quickly knock the tetanus out if caught early on.
Your best bet is to rid your home and yard of old rusty items, including that old shed or container crate. When walking the dog, be sure to be aware of your surroundings. Avoid abandoned structures, old cars, and other things containing sharp or pointy rusted objects.
6. Busy Roads
Though it’s difficult to avoid contact with busy roads every time you leave the house, when walking your dog, you should try. Especially when it’s a new dog, you’re unsure how it will react. Even if your dog is on a leash, busy roads are full of hazards neither of you can predict or control.
People don’t always obey traffic laws. They speed, make illegal turns, and may not be paying attention. It’s easy to find yourself in a precarious situation, and a scared dog will only add to the danger. Now, throw in the scooters, bikes, emergency vehicles, and construction that busy roads bring, and there’s even more to think about.
Busy roads are also noisy. With a new dog, it’s hard to gauge how it will react to horns, sirens, and other traffic noise. If you need to walk your dog near busy roads, invest in a lead leash with a harness. This will allow you to keep your dog close and have more control over their movement.
You can also consider an LED collar that will allow them to be seen on low-visibility days. If possible, try to walk them on side streets, parks, and other low-traffic areas. If your dog is hit by a car, remaining calm is essential. Likely, the driver’s automobile insurance will not cover the vet bills, but get all their information anyway.
7. Dirty Water
Dogs should avoid contact with dirty water at all costs. Even outside water (like puddles) that appears clean can contain a cavalcade of bugs and bacteria that can make your pet seriously ill with various diseases. One such illness is Giardia. It comes from a parasite common in outdoor water like puddles, ponds, and streams. It contracted by rolling around in the dirt and chewing on contaminated sticks.
Giardia will cause chronic diarrhea and, if left untreated can cause malnutrition, poor coat condition, and in severe cases, even death. Though it’s rare, dogs can transmit Giardia to humans, making them sick as well. The good news is it’s easily treatable, and a vaccine is available.
Another severe side effect of drinking dirty, outside water is Leptospirosis. This bacterial illness is transmitted through the infected urine of other animals. It causes diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding. If left untreated, it can cause kidney failure and death.
Drinking dirty water can expose your dog to environmental dangers like gasoline, oil, pesticides, and blue-green algae. Besides keeping your pup away from puddles and slow-moving bodies of water, keep an eye on your yard. If you notice puddles around your septic tank, you may need septic service. Don’t let your dog near that water, either.
When taking your dog for a walk, have them drink before you leave the house. You may also consider taking a water bottle and a bowl with you. When the dog is outside playing, have an outdoor bowl filled with fresh water. This will help keep them from seeking out contaminated water.
8. Expensive Objects
Your new dog may be the picture of furry cuteness, but we cannot trust these four-legged bandits. They love finding anything they aren’t supposed to have and chewing, drooling on it, dragging it off, and worse. Big dogs come with a whole other set of issues. Think bull in a China shop! Their tails wag, and there goes Grandma’s vase.
There’s no point in getting angry with them because they didn’t do it intentionally. Chewing and digging are just a part of their nature. It’s up to humans to help dogs avoid contact with expensive items. Think of it like baby-proofing.
Put shoes, clothes, jewelry, and coats away from where the dog can get them. Place expensive art and antiques up high or in rooms the dog doesn’t frequent. Give them plenty of toys so they don’t look for ways to amuse themselves.
With new dogs, consider crating them at night or when you’re out. Some people think this is not kind, but it gives the dog a sense of security. You may also want to consider a lovely dog house. Modern structures are pretty comfy, and some even come with solar panels that will keep the house toasty warm.
9. Choking Hazards
Nothing is scarier as a pet owner than seeing your pet suddenly struggling for air. Choking hazards are everywhere for dogs, but it’s easy to help them avoid contact with potential choking dangers. Dogs are curious creatures, and like babies, they investigate by putting objects in their mouths.
Pet owners must be diligent in keeping their space free of hazards. These include plastic bags and wraps, bones, kids’ toy pieces, bread, string, stuffing from pillows, and hard candy. Balls made from fabric and soft rubber can also be dangerous. Tennis balls may be fun, but there are better choices.
When outdoors, keep them away from sticks, twigs, and rocks. You don’t need to be a throat specialist to help a choking dog. If they’re in distress, grab them by the hips and, suspend them in the air, give them a few good shakes. If that doesn’t work, you must perform the Heimlich maneuver. If that doesn’t work, get to a vet immediately.
10. Private Property
Dogs like to wander and explore. It’s just who they are. But to keep everyone safe and happy, it’s best to keep them off private property. This includes every place, from the neighbor’s front yard and businesses to cars and lawn furniture.
Even if it’s in the street, dogs should avoid contact with cars, home storage units, and motor homes. Though your dog means no harm, you never know when someone else will take offense and cause an issue. It’s not worth the headache to let your pup sniff some grass or chase that squirrel.
By all means, please keep your dog from doing its business on private property. It’s just common courtesy to curb and clean up after them. Additionally, if something happens on someone else’s property, you’ll be responsible. Keeping your dog off private property is not only respectful and neighborly, but it can keep you both safe and free of potential arguments and legal action.
Having a dog can be a wonderful experience for a family. Just make sure to exercise responsible ownership in order to keep them safe and healthy. We hope these tips have helped you learn about avoiding contact with danger so you can have a happy and healthy pet!