Today I received a message from one of our followers asking me to do a blog as a reminder about safely storing medication. She wrote that “one of my clients this week had to take their puppy to the vets because she got hold of a packet of lbuprofen. She spent the night at the vets & came home with meds, but the long term damage is unknown as yet.”
How could I say no?
When we have a baby or young child, it’s drummed in to us that we should always do a mini risk assessment in every room that child may go in to. You wouldn’t leave a bottle of bleach or detergent where a toddler could get it, nor a bottle of alcohol that could be mistaken for pop or juice and we definitely know anything that looks like sweeties may as well have a flashing neon sign saying “eat me” on it! For this reason, the message about safe storage of medicines has filtered through to us as parents.
But its not only children who fall into the category of needing to be protected from their own inquisitive nature. The same is true for dog-owners. Often, babies and children may have long since grown up and/or moved out and as such, all those safeguards about medications and dangerous substances may have slipped our minds too.
It’s important to remember that dogs, as well as young children, learn by touch, smell and taste so invariably a new thing is shoved in the mouth and chewed, licked or swallowed as one of their best testing methods and what might be safe for us is very often anything but for our dogs.
Please consider the kind of things you regularly leave lying about the home or in your garden. The oddest of things can be a hazard:-
Toilet Cleaning Brush
ANYTHING in a squeezey tube
Dog Food in sacks
Food from the cupboards/fridge need a lock if you live with a safe-cracker!
All these things should be safely out of the reach of little fingers, tongues, muzzles, paws, claws and fur-coated Houdinis! If things cannot be put up high (perhaps if you have a counter-surfer who explores all surfaces) then pop them in a cupboard and apply a cupboard lock to the outside – they are readily available on the internet or in mother and baby shops. The one below is a multi lock that fixes to everything including cupboards and fridges to stop your furry thief helping himself to the contents of your fridge! I do know of a friend who had to buy one of these after her Jack Russell broke into a cupboard and licked clean the entire contents of a deep fat fryer!
Above all, please don’t stop thinking about what you have around just because the kids are grown or because your dog is no longer a puppy. Dogs do the strangest things out of the blue when the fancy takes them and as this lady found out, even a packet of Ibuprofen can seem mighty attractive if they are left unsupervised.
If they do manage to come across something they shouldn’t, here’s our poisoning blog with the actions you need to take IMMEDIATELY.