Our mostly good dog

Monday, June 4, 2012

Helicopter parenting-onions.

I never realized how many human foods are toxic to dogs. Over the weekend while we were house sitting for Nate’s sister again, the dogs got into the pantry, and we woke up to onion skins all over the kitchen. I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but a few weeks ago, a friend of ours mentioned that onions are super bad for your pup. Being the worrier that I am, I immediately got online and looked up exactly HOW bad onions are. It turns out, especially in larger quantities, onions can attack red blood cells and cause anemia. The effects are slow to show up, and sometimes you notice too late. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, disinterest in food, and can cause death if it goes untreated.

My first reaction was to freak out, naturally. I called Nate’s sister to see if she remembered having any onions in the first place, no answer. My second call was to the vet to gauge the seriousness. Articles online have a propensity to go right to the extreme and make me more worried than necessary. The vets recommendation was bring them in right away to induce vomiting to see if they can analyze the vomit and find any onions in their system (the sooner you do this the better.) The second route they would take is to do a blood test to check the red blood cells. Neither of these options inspired me to be less worried.

Eventually we heard back from Nate’s sister. She could only recall having 1 onion, if any at all. She also mentioned that if they had found an onion, they probably wouldn’t have eaten the whole thing, but played with it, meaning we still would have found at least part of the onion. I started to calm at this point, realizing that only 2 out of the 3 dogs would probably eat the onion, and only because they thought that the other dog would find it appealing. I had almost completely calmed at this point, and we decided to wait it out and see how they acted the rest of the day.

The dogs seemed fine the rest of Saturday and Sunday, but I can’t help but still worry about our goofy dog. It doesn’t help that when I let him out after the onion fiasco, I caught him with his nose in a fertilizer bag. I caught him early enough that he didn’t eat any, but still. I swear sometimes he does the dumbest things. But then again, dogs can’t exactly read warning labels. I am sure he is fine, but then again, I am the worrier, so I get to continue running through all the terrible scenarios in my head…..

 I was thinking about it yesterday though and as a kid, our dog would get into all sorts of crazy things. He ate a whole raw turkey once, Christmas ornaments, miscellaneous vegetables out of our garden, cat poop, and many other things he shouldn’t. But this dog lived until a ripe old age of 12, which for a bigger dog (80lbs) is really good. It makes me wonder if, similar to how people are with their kids now, if we worry too much, and try so hard to protect our pets/kids that we almost make it worse. I also wonder if, with age, we start realizing that things aren’t as dire as we make them feel in our head. I am sure that if my mother had been in the same situation with the onions, she would have started worrying if there was any sign of a problem, instead of going from 0-frantic in less than 60 seconds.

 Perhaps with time I will be less of a “helicopter parent” and learn that our dog is going to eat weird shit his whole life, and most of the time he’ll probably rid himself of it from one end or the other and be fine. Until then, I will continue stalking http://www.itsahuskything.com/ to find out what other freaks like me are spazzing out about.


  1. Do dogs get onion breath?

    What a weirdo. He must take after his Dad. Glad all is well you little worry wart.

    1. Sadly enough that's what I checked for! ha ha One day I won't be such a spazz, I swear!