Poison Proof your Pets

Many people wrongly assume that if a food is fine for us to eat and enjoy then it’s O.K to share it with our pets too.

While cats and dogs will and can eat a variety of foods, some contain toxins that can cause severe illness and even death in some cases.

Foods to keep your pets away from include:

  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Fatty foods such as bacon and Gravy
  • Preserved meats such as ham, salami etc
  • Avocados
  • Spoiled or mouldy foods
  • Green potatoes and potato peels
  • Yeast dough
  • Sugar Free lollies and Gum
  • Nutmeg
  • Alchohol
  • Human medications – of any sort

And its not just foods that you need to be careful about.

There can be lots of other hazards around the home that can poison your pets.

These include:

  • Ethylene Glycol – or antifreeze. Cats especially are attracted to its sweet taste
  • Household glue – dogs love to chew on tubes and some can actually be tasty so beware of leaving any type of glue in handy reach
  • Garden Fertilisers such as Blood and Bone and garden insecticides that contain organophosphates
  • Snail or rat and mouse baits of any kind. They will most certainly kill your pet!
  • Car batteries or batteries of any kind – Dogs love to chew on these and they can cause serious harm if ingested

And by the way – make sure you let the kids know about dangerous foods too. You don’t want them sneaking in a few chocolates or lollies to their special friends behind your back!

Which shampoo?

With all the different shampoos for pets available on the market – it can be difficult to know which one to choose.

Quite simply, if your pet has no skin or coat problems – any reputable brand of pet shampoo will do just fine.

There are some great Natural (soap free) pet Shampoos available which are mild and kind to the skin. They smell good too!

On the other hand, if your pet’s coat is smelly or the skin is dry, itchy, greasy or scaly, you may need a medicated shampoo.

In this instance – a specific shampoo needs to be used.

For example:

  • Greasy or scaly skin could indicate a bacterial or yeast infection so you’d need a shampoo that treats both bacteria and yeast.
  • If the skin is “pimply” or has scaly rings this could indicate a bacterial infection.
  • For dry, scaly skin that flakes off (dandruff) a shampoo that helps remove these scales would be recommended
  • For itchy skin with no apparent other problems – a soothing oatmeal based shampoo would be ideal.

Naturally, if your pet has a skin problem, it’s always best to see your vet first. There could be other causes of skin problems which should be ruled out first.

Ear problems can be dangerous

Sore ears can be caused by a number of different conditions most of which can’t be treated just by applying some generic ear dops or waiting for mother nature to take over.

Common causes of sore ears include:

  • Bacterial, fungal or yeast infections
  • Foreign bodies such as Grasseeds
  • Trauma – such as a ruptured ear drum

If the cause is a foreign body then it must be removed quickly to avoid further damage and possible infection.

If the cause is a bacteria, fungal or yeast infection then the specific micro – organism needs to be identified so that the right medication can be applied. This is generally discovered by taking a swab from the ear which is examined under a microscope or sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Generic ear cleaners generally don’t contain therapeutic levels of antibiotics or antifungals so their effect is limited.

Make no mistake, ear infections can be terribly painful and can cause your dog to react – sometimes even aggressively when touched in that area.

We’ve seen dogs with grasseeds in their ear being treated for days and even weeks with ear drops and of course – with no improvement

So please avoid the pain – see your vet if your dog is showing signs of an ear problem.

Over the counter ear cleaning solutions are generally quite acceptable as a preventative measure to keep your dog’s ears clean when there’s not an existing problem.