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The inquisitive nature of dogs, especially young puppies and hounds that were bred to follow a scent, can sometimes get them into serious trouble around your home. Dogs love to sniff, explore, chew, and eat or lick things that seem tasty or smell pleasant — including items that are toxic to them. That’s why it’s best to keep all products you wouldn’t want a baby or toddler getting into away from your dog. Below are some common household hazards and suggestions on how to keep your pup from messing with them.

Cleaning products

Cleaning products can be used safely around your dog, but be sure to use them carefully, especially if they contain ammonia or bleach. Ingesting bleach can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe burns to your pup. Be aware of proper ventilation, make sure all caps and lids are on tight, and keep pets away from areas that were recently cleaned until they’ve dried. Store cleaning products out of reach in places such as a cabinet or closet.

This includes: rags or sponges soaked with cleaning fluids, liquid and tablet detergents, polishes.

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Food and garbage

Dog with toilet paper

In addition to foods that are toxic to dogs, an indoor/outdoor garbage or recycling bin can be hazardous — especially when it contains moldy/rotten food or animal bones. Turn your garbage bin lid inside out or upside down over the can to keep your dog from getting into it, or block it with a gate. If your canine is a particularly curious explorer, keep your garbage bins out of reach altogether, such as behind a closed door.

This includes: alcohol, broken glass, raw meat, egg shells, straws, plastic cutlery, peels and rinds, coffee filters and grinds, and any products containing xylitol.

Medications

Prescription and nonprescription medications can be harmful to your dog if ingested, making them very sick. Keep bottles tightly capped and all containers and boxes out of reach.

This includes: pain relievers, cough/flu/cold medicines, sleeping and diet pills, liquid medicines, vitamins and supplements.

Tools

Building a dog house

Your dog won’t know the difference between one of his chew toys and a screwdriver. Chewing or stepping on household tools can cause choking, broken teeth, injury, or lacerations. Tools, especially small parts, are best left in a secure toolbox in the garage or shed.

This includes: hammers, nails, staples, screws, bolts, wires and cords, tacks, paint, poisons and pesticides, batteries, razors, scrapers.

Laundry

Yes, even laundry can be hazardous to your dog — chewing or ingesting items such as socks, underwear, shoelaces, and hosiery can cause choking and/or serious blockages. Keep dirty laundry in hampers and put clean laundry away promptly.

This includes: Dryer sheets, liquid/tablet/powdered detergents, bleach, small accessories like scarves and buttons.

Other items that can be hazardous to dogs include: ice, small children’s toys (i.e. doll shoes, beads), scented candles and lighters or matches, cosmetics and hair dyes, certain types of plants.

This may seem like a lot of things to worry about, but preventing your dog from getting into any of these household hazards could save his life. If you haven’t already, teach him the Leave It! command when you notice him going off to investigate something dangerous. For times when you aren’t at home, be sure all items are securely out of reach before you leave the house. Crate him if necessary, especially if he’s known to counter surf or open doors. If your dog has ingested or become injured by any of these products, seek veterinary attention right away. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.

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