For your dog, a daily walk is an adventure. Often the adventure will lead your dog to things to explore, pick up, drink or eat. Some of these things could be unexpectedly harmful. It's amazing to see what a dog will consider worthy of snacking on. Some things are obvious. Once while on a dog walk we came across a sandwich that someone had abandoned on the road. As soon as my furry friend saw that (smelled it?) his face lit up that it was the most wonderful thing he ever encountered. It took all my strength, and promises of treats when we got home, to keep him from gobbling it up. Letting him eat it would not have been wise since there could contain food items or ingredients that could make him sick.
It's best to be alert during walks to prevent you dog from ingesting hazardous items. Some things to look out for:
Rocks? Yes, rocks. Some dogs like to eat them. Maybe it's their texture, crunchiness, or perhaps they smell or taste good, but if they are swallowed they can cause a variety of internal upsets. Smaller stones and pebbles might pass right through but you will need to spend the next day or two searching through their poop to make sure it has passed. Larger stones and rocks could cause internal injury and blockage that would require emergency surgery. Dangerous and painful to your dog and damaging to your wallet. It's best to make sure your dog avoids them.
Some dogs actually view poop as a treat. Whether it be their own or some that has been left on the side of the road, you should be aware that your dog may find it appetising.While eating their own poop is not dangerous to your dog, only distasteful to humans, eating poop from unknown origin could be since it may contain parasites and/or bacteria that could make them sick.
Some dogs find cigarette butts enticing and enjoy chewing on them. Cigarette butts contain nicotine which is highly toxic to dogs. If you notice your dog has found one and is chewing, get it away from them as quickly as possible. When retrieving it is not successful, and it has already been swallowed, make sure they don't have access to any others. Signs of nicotine poisoning includes vomiting and diarrhea, so be on the lookout for these sympthoms or other abnormal behavior. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog is showing any adverse reactions.
Puddles of Water
Puddles of water may look inviting to a thirsty dog. Well it's only water, right? It's water but the problem is you don't know what could be in that water. Puddles from melting snow could contain sodium chloride, the ingredient in many types of ice melt. Sodium chloride is highly toxic to dogs. Puddles in the street could also contain traces of gasoline or oil as well as many other nasty ingredients. Best to steer your dog away from the puddles and be sure to bring along water for long walks, especially on hot days.
Staying alert and watching your dog on walks is the best way to keep them safe. Has your dog ever ate, or tried to eat, anything unusual on a walk?