Here’s an update on Redmond,thedog who got a little too intimate with a bottle of Gorilla Glueover Labor Day weekend, necessitating a late Saturday-night trip to the emergency animal hospital (read all about thathere).
I’m happy to report that Redmond is A-OK. Miraculously, for whatever reason, he chomped into that glue bottle and caused it to spill some of its contents on my bed and his coat. Apparently put off by the glue’s taste, he didn’t bother to lap any of it up. And that’s a huge relief, because if he had, hewould’ve had to have his stomach surgicallyopened andemptiedat a cost of four to five thousand dollars.
So, was it worth it to travel at lightning speed to the 24-hour emergency animal hospitalfor a series of abdominal radiographs? You bet it was.Besides, the final tab – $345 – was a small price to pay for peace of mind. I feel like framing a printout of one of these intestinalX-ray images,and displaying it as art; the title of this work would be “Portrait of a Dog Having Recently Eaten WellnessVenison & Sweet Potato Formula.”
Now, just to make sure we don’t have a repeat performance of this death-defying stunt, I’m thoroughly checking every corner of my apartment for anything potentially hazardous that might look even remotely inviting to a curious canine.
All this is a good reminder that every once in a while, we dog lovers owe it to our pets and ourselvesto investigate our digs, just to make absolutely sure no corrosive chemical substanceslie in wait to poison playful pups.
According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, whose 24/7 hotlinereceived my frantic call Saturday night, pesticides used by exterminators are a leading cause of accidental pet poisoning. Last year, the hotline received a whopping 29,020frantic callson this subject alone.
So, what to do if, say,roaches have invaded the living space you share with your dogs? Easy: Use greener pest control.
Ecosmart, for instance,is a non-toxic roach killer (it also kills ants, silverfish, fleas, and ticks, among other creepy-crawlies). It’s made of botanical ingredients, including oils of clove, rosemary, peppermint, and thyme. Not surprisingly, thisconcoction smells good when you spray it, like an expensive room perfume. But most important, it’s safe to use in the presence of dogs – even in thekitchen,that favorite hangout of beloved pets and bothersome pests.
Still, Ecosmart is powerful stuff, so take care to open all windows for maximum ventilation, and avoid using it on super-humid and/orrainydays, when the air is heavy and slower to circulate.
If you happen to have cats (or even if you don’t) you should know that catnip – that herb that drives felines wild with delight – is a fine cockroach repellent. It won’t kill the crawlers, but it will deter them from hanging around wherever it’s sprinkled.Or, for a more decorative take, simplyscatter cutecatnip-filled kitty toys wherever you would’ve use a toxic roach trap.
Catnip is completely harmless – it’s actually a species of mint – so ifa dog should happen to ingest it, nothing would happen. In fact, if the catnip-eating canine suffered from an upset stomach, the nip would actually help him feel beter, for mint is a natural digestive aid, and it works on all species, including humans!
Out in the garden, Neem oil is a brilliant, non-toxic substitute for chemical pesticides.This extract of the mahogany treekeeps plants pest-free – and, if mixed in with your dog’s shampoo, will help keep Spot pest-free too, for it kills mosquitoes and fleas. Flea-control and heartworm preventive medications work by introducing poison into your dog’s blood stream; the pest has to take a bite out of your beloved in order to die, and this often causes an itchy, irritating rash at the sting site. Once Neem has been absorbed intoadog’sblood stream via the skin, however, fleas and skeeters givethat dog a wide berth. Something about Neem’s garlicky odor motivates them to stay away.
Household cleaners are another culprit of accidentaldog poisoning – thepoison control hotline’s toxicologists fielded4,143calls on this subject last year alone. When inhaled, chemical cleaning productscan cause serious gastrointestinal distress and irritation to the respiratory tract.
It really pays to use green household cleaners. Besides being easier on canine and human pipes, products byEarth Friendly andPawSafeactually work better at grime removal than those toxic, chemical-laden brands.
Photo Credit: Anneli Adolfsson