Dangers for Dogs, Diary of a Dog Rescuer

Alas rescue is not all freedom rides and fun at the park. I can’t even begin to say how gutted I was when I learned that Sugarman, one of my former bulldog rescues recently drowned in a swimming pool. The adopters were out of town and he and another dog (also adopted from me)  were being looked after by a family member. It was a tragic, tragic accident and we are all heartbroken. What’s surprising is that I’ve since learned many people have lost dogs this.

The late, great Sugarman

The late, great Sugarman

So, it got me thinking about the dangers for dogs and other pets in and around our homes.

Dangers for Dogs

Swimming Pools

Obviously a pool should be fenced. That said, there are amazing homes out there who have unfenced pools and dogs and all is fine. Just don’t take it for granted that the dog will never go near it. Especially is you are out of town and someone else is watching them.

Plants and Flowers

There are many that are poisonous to dogs/cats/horses.  Lilies, for example are extremely toxic to cats. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite. According to the ASPCA, kidney failure can happen within 36-72 hours so get them to a vet ASAP! For dogs the list includes Oleander, Daffodils and Tulips.  For a complete list go to: ASPCA.org.


Most people know that chocolate, grapes/raising and avocados are toxic to dogs. But leftover Thanksgiving dinner often causes pancreatitis. You think you’re doing your dog a favor by giving them turkey but the salt and richness plays havoc with their stomachs. Also, one of the most devastating is Xylitol – an artificial sweetener present in many foods – including baked goods, toothpaste, desserts and sugar free gums. It’s now even in some Peanut Butter. It takes only a tiny quantity to kill so my advice would be to not even have products containing it in your house or purse.

Household Items

Batteries, Swiffer fluid, elastic bands, cotton swabs, socks, kids toys, cup of coffee! There are so many, it’s enough to give you a panic attack.  Use common sense. If your dog can swallow it, they can possibly choke on it, so keep it out of their reach.

Holiday Decor

We’ve all heard stories of cats or dogs pulling down Christmas trees because the tinsel was just to irresistible. Especially to cats! Keep dogs out of tree water and away from Christmas lights. Emergency surgery to remove them is not what you want for you or your dog.  Styrofoam, spoiled hard boiled eggs, turkey bones, deflated balloons, ribbons and, last but not least, fireworks.

Of course accidents can happen, however vigilant we are. But it’s good to be reminded to not take their safety for granted.