As a pet parent, you want to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your furry companion. Unfortunately, most dogs are curious at heart, which can put them at risk of encountering toxins that can harm them. To help protect your pup, it’s important to be aware of the top toxins that may be lurking in or around your home.
- Foods: It is important to avoid giving dogs certain foods, as some can be very toxic. Chocolate, xylitol, and grapes/raisins should all be avoided, as they can have serious negative health effects. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that is highly toxic to dogs. Sugarless gums and candies containing xylitol can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar or even liver failure. Even small amounts of raisins and grapes can result in kidney failure.
- Rodenticides: Mouse and rat poisons contain a variety of different active chemicals and can be highly toxic to dogs. Depending on the type of poison ingested, it can lead to internal bleeding, brain swelling, kidney failure, or even severe vomiting and bloat.
- Human NSAIDs: Human NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can be dangerous for dogs if ingested. These medications can cause serious stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as potential kidney failure.
- Household Cleaners: Some household products, such as toilet bowl cleaners, lye, drain cleaners, rust removers, and calcium/lime removers, are particularly dangerous for pets due to their highly acidic or alkaline properties. Generally, glass products, spot removers, and most surface cleaners have a wide margin of safety, but it is still necessary to practice caution.
- Antidepressants: Ingestion of antidepressant human drugs, such as Prozac, can cause serious health problems in dogs. Symptoms may include sedation, incoordination, agitation, tremors and seizures.
- Fertilizers: Fertilizers, such as bone meal, blood meal and iron-based products, can be hazardous to dogs if ingested in large quantities. These types of organic fertilizers may be particularly enticing to pets and can cause pancreatitis or form a concretion in the stomach, blocking the gastrointestinal tract.
- ADD/ADHD Medications: Even minimal amounts of these drugs ingested by dogs can cause life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperature and heart problems, underscoring the importance of keeping these human drugs away from pets.
- Veterinary Pain Relievers: Carprofen, often referred to as Rimadyl, is a veterinary-specific, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat osteoarthritis, inflammation, and pain in dogs. However, if ingested in large amounts, it can lead to severe gastric ulceration and acute kidney failure in dogs, stressing the importance of monitoring consumption of veterinary pain relievers.
Enjoy your dog’s companionship and keep them away from the items listed above. If you think your dog may have ingested something harmful, act immediately and contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661.