Image via Unsplash


As a dog owner, you understand that your furry companion is a part of the family. You probably go to great lengths to ensure that they stay healthy and happy on a daily basis. Perhaps you feed them the best food you can find, take the time to play with them and get them the exercise they need, and invest in all kinds of products that can increase their comfort.


If with all of this extra care, you could be missing something important. Did you know there are common household items that can prove dangerous to your four-legged friend? Not only that, but they might also be at risk for the highly contagious dog flu. While you can’t live everyday life in fear that something bad might happen, it is essential to learn about potential hazards so you can take practical steps to protect your pup.


Common Poisons


Cleaning products are among the most poisonous things for pets that you can have in your home, especially pest-control products and dishwashing detergent. Look for non-toxic products and DIY solutions on the market that can increase your dog’s safety. Also, keep in mind that certain foods like chocolate, grapes, raisins, and sugar-free gum and candy are particularly toxic for dogs, so be sure to keep them out of reach at all times. Moreover, you will want to lock away all human medications and ensure that the garbage is inaccessible.


If your dog ingests a poisonous substance, remove them from the area, contact the veterinarian or poison control center as soon as possible, and follow the directions you are given.  


Common Choking Hazards


There are also several household choking hazards to be aware of. For example, many children’s toys, especially those with moving parts, can pose a threat to your dog. Even certain dog toys can be dangerous, so be careful with the toys you buy for your pup. And holiday decorations are very attractive to dogs because they’re fun to play with, but they can quickly become a choking hazard. It’s also important to be mindful of any string and yarn products that you have laying around, as they can cause intestinal blockage when swallowed.


Dog Flu (H3N2)


Dogs can get the flu as well, and it’s more common than you might think. The typical form of dog flu is H3N2, and it’s spread much like human flu—through respiratory secretions and contaminated objects and environments. If your pup is showing symptoms like excessive coughing, sneezing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, fever, shortness of breath, and/or lethargy, take them to the vet immediately.


If your dog hasn’t been vaccinated for dog flu and becomes sick, your dog’s veterinarian should be able to guide you through the proper quarantine and treatment protocols. And in the future, get your dog an annual flu vaccine and keep an eye out for any kennels or public places that have had reported cases of the dog flu so that you can avoid them.


Rewarding Your Pup


Finally, it’s essential that your pup learns what to stay away from. While they may always be drawn to certain items in your household, you can minimize the potential for dangerous situations by rewarding your dog with certain behaviors, especially when they refrain from nosing around or playing with something harmful. Along with showing them extra affection when they listen to you, don’t hesitate to reward them treats every now and then!


When it comes to your dog, nothing is more important than taking steps to maintain their health and well-being. A big part of that is knowing how to recognize dangerous household items, as well as illnesses like the dog flu. Along with following the advice discussed here, keep learning about how you can keep your pup safe, and be sure to reward them when they are good!


Linda Robinson is a working mom who enjoys sharpening her photography and French cooking skills in her spare time. Her website,, encourages parents to bring out the best in their kids by encouraging them to chase their dreams.

Keeping Your Dog Safe from Illnesses and Common Household Dangers by Linda Robinson