Dog Tip: Toilet Water Drinking -- How to Prevent It
The following advice has been adapted from an ASPCA News Alert submitted by PAW volunteer Liz Dietz.
When a dog's thirsty, he'll drink from whatever source he can find, including that large porcelain bowl in your bathroom. According to veterinarians at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), "eau de toilette" can irritate a pet's gastrointestinal tract -- particularly if you use drop-in cleaning tablets in the tank, which contain corrosive agents that can cause vomiting and nausea.
The APCC's Dr. Jill A. Richardson handled the case of a thirsty golden retriever who returned from a long walk with his owner and, after emptying his regular bowl, went on to the next available water source -- the toilet. There was a cleaning tablet in the bowl. "In this case," said Richardson, "the dog was completely normal, so we recommended a very small amount of milk and water to dilute the effects still further."
The easiest way to prevent this from happening to your dog or cat is to simply keep the lid down on all the toilets in the house. Another technique used by the Dog Tips editor is to close bathroom and powder room doors, which will prevent dogs and cats from not only drinking toilet water, but from slipping into sinks, tubs and toilet bowls.
Also, never allow pets access to areas in which cleaning agents are used or stored. And close the doors of dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers and other appliances and cabinets.
In addition, make sure to keep your pet's water bowl filled with fresh, clean water, and that your pet has access to the bowl. Some people keep water bowls in several places in their homes. And when your dog exercises in your fenced yard, especially on warm days, place a bowl of water outside as well.
If you suspect that your animal companion has gotten into any potentially toxic substance, call your veterinarian or the APCC's 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP. For more information on poison prevention, visit www.apcc.aspca.org.
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