November 11, 2014
So you’ve got a scavenger at the end of your leash. You know the type – constantly prying things out of their mouth, frantically shouting, “leave it!” and sometimes letting them win because it’s just not worth it. You’re not alone!
Our pet dogs are naturally scavengers and creatures of opportunity, so expecting them to leave something they think could be delicious means working against biology. Unfortunately, our human world is full of stuff dogs might try to gobble on walks.
Here are ten of the most dangerous:
1. Dead animals: Of course, right? Here in the city we’ve got squirrels, birds, and rats that routinely decide that your walk route is a great place to croak. If these animals have ingested rat poison, your dog might too. There are also all kinds of nasty diseases and parasites that wild animals can pass on to your dog. Yuck.
2. Glass: It seems crazy, but I have actually seen a dog pick up a large piece of glass because it still had some food residue on it… Yeah, terrifying. Luckily I was able to sweep it off her tongue without any damage. Needless to say, glass isn’t just a danger to paws. Watch for sharp cans and tin foil too!
3. Paper towels: Yes, paper towels. Depending on the brand, some paper towels these days are designed to expand and absorb a lot of stuff. Great for your kitchen, possibly a blockage in your dog’s digestive tract.
4. Chicken bones: Cooked chicken bones can splinter and cause painful internal injuries. Not to mention the choking hazard!
5. Gum (even chewed!): Sugar-free gums often contain xylitol as a sweetener. Even a small amount (especially for a small dog) can be very toxic!
6. Sticks: It usually isn’t a big deal, but your dog can be hurt from chomping and chewing on the wrong stick. Check out an earlier post on the topic for more information.
7. Corn cobs: Yep, I know of a dog that swallowed one whole… That surgery is expensive!
8. Floss, string, rubber bands: These can actually tangle around the intestines and cause big problems.
9. Antifreeze: Apparently antifreeze tastes like sugary deliciousness to dogs. Some of the newer formulas are designed to taste bitter, but don’t take a chance with any puddles on the street!
10. And speaking of puddles, water: Standing water outside in puddles or pooled on outdoor furniture can be tainted by other animals and runoff. Lapping up a puddle on the ground is an easy way to contract giardia and ingest pesticide residue.
What’s the worst thing your dog has ever eaten?
Lynda manages our dog walking team at Rover-Time. Her career focus is on dog training and behavior and her approach is based on science, positive reinforcement, and humane methods to improve relationships between humans and their pets. She’s also an assistant trainer at Animal Sense in the evenings and co-parents her own cat and two dogs, Surf and Ryan, with her other half Mary.