What to do when your pet eats something they shouldn't
Have you ever been walking your dog when all of a sudden you hear crunching? Or you look down to see them chomping? One of my clients is a Golden Retriever who constantly puts everything in his mouth. All things end up in his mouth; apples or berries falling from trees, mushrooms or plants growing in the ground, and even random pieces of clothing like an abandoned glove! Even when walking my own dogs they are so fast! What I think is a sniff turns into a chomp! Here are some tips for keeping things on the ground out of your dog's mouth.
Keep your eyes on the look out! It's tempting to text or space out on your walk but being engaged and aware of your surroundings will keep your pet safer and increase your bond because you are in the moment with them.
Treat distract. If you know there are temptations on your walk like berries or goose poop have treats handy in your pocket to distract them as they walk through the hazardous area.
Get it out! When, because it will happen, your dog eats something off the ground, quickly open their mouth and do a finger sweep. Sometimes you are able to scoop out whatever is in there. Do use caution and know your dog-if they are food aggressive they may not like your finger in their mouth.
Identify what they ate. If you can! If you can tell what they ate that will help you make decisions on next steps. If it is berry or fruit, you can research what type and understand if it is toxic to your pet or not.
Have your vet info handy. If you are unable to identify what they snarfed down, watch your dog for symptoms of stomach upset and call your veterinarian. They may need to induce vomiting or take an xray if the item that was swallowed is a large item. Most things will pass through on their own or the dog will throw it back up but if you are questioning it at all, call a professional.
Treating an upset belly. If you know what they ate, and have confirmed it is not toxic, the item may still cause some stomach upset. Some essential oils like Digize, Peppermint or Ginger topically applied in small amounts to their belly can help settle their tummy. Make sure you are only using 100% therapeutic grade essential oils like Young Living when using oils with pets. Feeding a bland diet like chicken and rice or pumpkin will sooth an irritated stomach as well.
Energy work and animal communication. Energy work is helpful to soothe upset bellies and communication can explain to them why they should not eat things off the ground and only eat what is given to them by a human.
You are not going to be able to control everything your dog will get into but the above steps will help you be prepared. Don't beat yourself up if they do scarf down something, you are still a good pet parent! If I could list the things my dogs have gotten into, especially when they were puppies or newly adopted it would make you drop your leash!