Eight top safety tips for dog owners

Eight top safety tips for dog owners

Health & Safety

There is always a lot to think about when it comes to keeping your dog safe, and dogs do have a certain propensity to get into trouble at every available opportunity! Particularly if you own a very lively, intelligent and inquisitive dog such as a Labrador Retriever or Jack Russell Terrier, the chances are that you often find that you have your hands full, and will spend a lot of time second-guessing what your dog might be trying to get into next!

An article about how to keep dogs safe, risks to look out for or potential hazards to inquisitive dogs could soon run into a document longer than the average novel, and there really is no simple solution or definitive guide to the hazards, risks or obstacles that your dog is most likely to run into regularly. However, a good place to start is with this list of eight often overlooked safety tips for dog owners.

Electrical cords

Most of us prefer not to look at the back of the TV, as it often resembles a spaghetti-junction style tangle of cables, cords and wires! However, loose cables, unplugged appliances and trailing wires can be appealing to the mischievous dog that is looking for trouble, and dogs will often enjoy chewing on wires and cables- even live ones! Try to keep electrical wires and cables tidy and either tacked up to the wall, covered, or boxed in to discourage your dog.

Hair bands, string and wire

Hair bands, wool, string, rope, wire and anything else that is thin and pliable may prove to be just as much of a source of entertainment to your dog as electrical cords are, and with devastating results.
While the humble hair band or a ball of string is hardly likely to electrocute your dog, they are very easy to ingest, and may lead to internal blockages that can prove to be life threatening. Keep them out of reach!


A huge range of plants and flowers are potentially poisonous to dogs, and to add to this confusion, different parts of different plants can cause different reactions! With some plants, the flowers may be toxic but the branches are fine, or the roots are poisonous but not the leaves... It really is a minefield. If you are thinking of adding any plants to your home or garden, check and double-check that they are safe for dogs first.

Hot weather

We all know what it is like to be out of puff and overheating during hot weather, but hot weather and heatstroke can be particularly dangerous for your dog. As well as having a thick, heavy fur coat (unless you have a hairless dog like the Chinese Crested - which in their turn are susceptible to sunburn!) dogs do not sweat like people do, and may find it harder to maintain their body temperature and stay cool enough. Keep an eye out for your dog’s comfort in hot weather!

Water and water bowls

Water bowls should be washed daily and the water within them replaced, but what happens if your dog manages to knock over their water bowl while you are out? Try to provide two water bowls for your dog, and keep them in different areas of the home, so that if one gets tipped over or polluted, there is another bowl available to your dog.


Chocolate may seem like one of the most harmless foodstuffs to humans, but it can be very toxic to dogs. Never give your dog chocolate of any kind- this includes chocolate bars, chocolate drinks, chocolate cake and anything else you can think of. If your dog helps themselves to a chocolate biscuit or a small chunk of chocolate, this will probably not be the end of the world, but in some cases, even a small quantity of chocolate can make your dog quite sick

Cigarette butts

Nicotine is highly toxic to pets, and the concentration of nicotine in the end of a cigarette butt is much higher than it is in the inhaled vapour of a cigarette. Nicotine is not palatable to dogs and so they will not usually eat cigarette butts, but if your dog is particularly mouthy, or you own a young puppy, you may find that they will pick up cigarette butts that they find when out and about and then eat them before they give any thought to what they are tasting!

Nails, pins and tacks

Drawing pins, carpet tacks, dressmakers pins and needles can all prove dangerous to dogs, particularly if they are stood on! It is not unheard of for a dog to stand heavily on a pin or needle and the pin or needle become so deeply embedded into the paw that it cannot be seen with the naked eye, leading to serious pain and limping that may, to the owner, appear without cause.

Never leave anything small and sharp like this lying about or in a place that they may fall down to ground level, and think about anything that your dog might have stood on if they suddenly begin to limp without an obvious reason.

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