Protecting Your Pooch

Protecting Your Pooch
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Fall 2019 (Florida Coast Magazine) – South Florida is home to many dog owners and animal lovers in general. It is no secret that whether you visit a local restaurant, park, or shopping center, you are more than likely to encounter a furry companion or two. In fact, one of the few dog-friendly beaches in the state of Florida is located right here in our backyard!

Autumn is a great time of year to spend outdoors with your loved ones, both human and canine. Unfortunately, South Florida is also home to some not-so-friendly outdoor adversaries. Various plants, snakes, and frogs are just a few of the dangers our four-legged friends may encounter on any given day.

It isn’t uncommon for dogs to chew on grass or plants for comfort. Dogs will instinctively munch on greenery from time to time to ease their stomach or just to fit their natural diet. You may be surprised by how many trees, shrubs, and plants are actually harmful to your pets. As we know, it only requires taking your eyes off of your animal for a second for an incident to occur. While ingesting certain plants may only cause your animal some discomfort, others can be fatal.

For example, the Oleander shrub is not only toxic for dogs, but for people as well. If ingested, symptoms to watch out for include vomiting, tremors, and seizures. The Sago Palm should also be avoided and is considered one of the most toxic plants for dogs, especially its seeds. Exposure to this plant can cause liver damage and death in some cases.

Bufo Toads are a major enemy for dogs and should always be avoided. Symptoms of Bufo Toad Toxicity can include loss of coordination and convulsions, and can even lead to death if left untreated. Eating the toad isn’t necessary for symptoms to occur; simply coming into contact with one of these toads can spell disaster for your dog. Be sure to rinse your dog’s mouth out horizontally as soon as possible to prevent sending the venom down the throat. After flushing out the mouth, proceed to rinse off the entire body. If treatment is started early enough, your pet should begin recovery within 12 hours of the incident. The best way to prevent any mishaps is to constantly be vigilant of where your dog is putting his or her face when exploring.

Florida is home to a variety of snakes, both harmless and dangerous. A couple of these undesirable reptiles include Coral snakes and Eastern Diamondbacks. Coral snakes can usually be identified by red bands touching yellow bands along its body. Although avoiding contact isn’t completely possible, keeping your dog on a leash is a good way to prevent any unfriendly encounters.

So while you are enjoying the outdoors with your animal this season, make sure to keep an eye out for any potential hazards. Most of us love our pets like family and we want to keep them around for a long time!  

Tips To Keep Your Dog Safe Outdoors:

  1. Keep an eye on your pet at all times. Dogs tend to wander when left unsupervised and can get themselves into trouble.

  2. Try not to let your animal get any foreign objects in his or her mouth that could be toxic or a choking hazard.

  3. Make sure your pet is adequately hydrated, especially during peak sun hours.

  4. At night, walk your dog in well-lit areas.

  5. Avoid grassy areas with signs indicating pesticide treatment.

  6. Regularly check your pet for ticks, especially after leaving areas with long grass.

  7. When at the beach, bacteria found in the sand and water can get into open cuts on your dog’s paws or body. Be mindful and make sure to wash them off thoroughly when leaving.

What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned:

  • Contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital immediately.

  • If possible, take a picture of the plant, snake, or frog to be identified by the doctor.

  • Do NOT induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a professional.

  • For a full list of plants that are dangerous for your pets, visit

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By: Tommy Rozycki on Aug 28, 2019
Tags: pets, Fall Issue 2019, pet safety
Issue: Fall Issue 2019
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