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My dogs are curious, especially when it comes to food. If something smells good, they’ll eat it! They don’t realize the household hazards they eat, could potentially cause them to become sick.
Many of our household ingredients can become an unrecognized danger for our dogs. If Ruby sees a box and can get into it to eat it, she will!
Dogs react to food and medicine completely different than we do as humans. Also dogs are smaller than humans, so what’s okay for us, may not be okay for them. Medication or certain foods for us can be highly toxic for dogs.
Below are some household hazards to keep your pets safe. A few simple precautions can save your pets life.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet
It’s pretty widely known that you should not give your pets human table scraps. A lot of these table scraps can cause digestive upsets. Some ingredients can be toxic to dogs like these:
- Alcoholic beverages – Alcohol is poisonous to dogs. It can cause liver and kidney damage just as it can for humans. It can cause acidosis in dogs that may end in cardiac arrest.
- Avocado – That big seed in the center is a choking hazard.
- Chocolate ( All Forms ) – All forms of Chocolate is dangerous for our pets. Generally the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is for dogs. Baker’s chocolate contains the highest substance of methylxanthine. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, excessive urination and in severe cases abnormal heart beats, tremors and even seizures.
- Coffee ( All Forms) – Even non-caffeinated coffee has some caffeine in it. It is a toxic danger to your dogs.
- Fatty Foods – Fatty foods can cause gastric distress. Dogs are simply not capable of digesting fatty foods.
- Macadamia Nuts – These are extremely poisonous for dogs. You’ll find Macadamia Nuts in cookies, candy and just plain. All of it should be avoided.
- Moldy or Spoiled Food – This is a given. If you wouldn’t eat it, your dog shouldn’t either.
- Onions or Onion Powder, Onion Salt – Pay particular to ingredients when giving your dog meats. Onions can kill blood cells, which results in Heinz Body Anemia. This is life-treating for your dogs.
- Raisins and Grapes – Grapes have sometimes been recommended as treats. However, there have been serious reports of kidney damage from eating grapes in dogs. Raisins are also toxic to dogs.
- Salt – Highly toxic for dogs. Can cause excessive thirst, urination, and seizures.
- Yeast Dough – This can cause bacterial poisonings in dogs.
- Garlic – Garlic is not as damaging as Onions, but it can be just as damaging.
- Any products sweetened with Xylitol – products such as gum, commercial baked items, and even a common sugar free sweetener can cause life-threatening liver damage in dogs.
Warm Weather Hazards for Your Pets
We live outdoors in the spring and summer months. Ruby and Callie are usually right their beside me when I’m gardening or simply enjoying being outside.
I’m always extra careful during those summer months when I’m working with yard supplies. Or the beginning of fall when the spiders and insects start to show up around the house. We have slugs in the Pacific Northwest. Big ones! They can easily find their way into the house.
Any outdoor chemical is dangerous for your dogs. Antifreeze in particular. It’s best to store all chemicals out of reach of the dogs.
Some of the biggest hazards for your pets are:
- Animal Toxins
- Toads – Toad poisoning is a real thing! You’ll want to keep your dog from being exposed to the toxins that toads carry. Even licking a toad can cause your dog to be exposed too poisoning.
- Insects – Most bugs are harmful for your dogs to eat.
- Spiders – Black widow spiders are in every state. Being bitten by a spider is highly toxic for a dog causing cramping, tumors, drooling and vomiting.
- Snakes and Scorpions – Highly poisonous for dogs.
- Blue-green Algae in Ponds – There have been many cases of reported death to dogs for drinking and walking in a pond or lake covered in blue-green algae. Keep your dog away if you ever see this in your lake.
- Citronella Candles – Citronella can cause stomach irrational and possible vomiting in dogs.
- Cocoa Mulch – Just like chocolate, highly toxic for dogs.
- Compost Piles – Gardners love compost piles. Dogs are always attracted to the smell of the compost! However, eating some compost can make your dog sick in as little as 30 minutes. Compost can cause agitation, panting, drooling, vomiting, tremors and seizures.
- Fertilizers – Eating fertilizer can lead to serious poisoning in dogs. Seek a Veterinarian immediately if your dog ingest fertilizer.
- Certain Flea Products – Common signs of flea control toxicity are diarrhea, difficulty breathing, vomiting, drooling, muscle tremors, weakness and falling over. The active ingredients in flea products are chemicals and overdosing your dog can have serious consequences.
- Outdoor Plants and Plant Bulbs – See this complete list of toxic plants.
- Swimming Pool Treatment Supplies – Just like antifreeze a dog will be attracted and want to lick the pool treatments. These are corrosive and dangerous for dogs.
- Fly Bait containing Methomyl – The trap can cause a blockage. Ingesting the plastic or chemicals can cause vomiting, upset stomach and distress.
- Slug and Snail Bait containing Metaldehyde – Metaldehyde in slug bait is offend sold for fuel in camp fires. This highly toxic substance can make your dog sick in a matter of 30 minutes. Highly toxic, you’ll want to get to a Veterinarian right away.
Medications to Avoid
Because our dogs are much smaller than us humans, you should never give your dogs or cats medicine meant for people unless you’ve been told to do so by your Veterinarian.
Many over the counter drugs are toxic for dogs and cause gastric distress. Just like with kids, you’ll never want to leave your medicine bottles laying around. Ruby and Callie are so curious, they’d think it was a cookie and try to open the caps.
Medications can be particularly harmful to our pets interfering with oxygen flow and doing irreparable harm to the liver or kidneys.
Never use human medication without veterinary consultation and directions for your dog.
- Pain Killers
- Cold Medicines
- Anti-Cancer Drugs
- Diet Pills
Cold Weather Hazards
Antifreeze is one of the most dangerous for our dogs. Keeping this put up will prevent your dog from being in distress and possibly having a seizure or worse.
- Antifreeze – Can cause seizures or death. It also smells sweet, so dogs want to drink it.
- Liquid Potpourri – Can cause a dog to become disoriented and possible death.
- Ice Melt – This is usually picked up on the paws from walking on driveways. Licking it can lead to poisoning.
- Rodent Bait – This can lead to a painful death.
Common Household Hazards
Occasionally I use dryer sheets at my house. I used to keep them on the bottom shelf because I only use them when I run out of Downey.
However, after hearing about a friends dog who not only ate a fabric softener sheet, but wound up having to have surgery because it got stuck, I now keep them on the very top shelf.
These common household items are very dangerous for our dogs. They can have ulcerous and fatal consequences for our dogs:
- Fabric Softener Sheets – I’ve heard of some people using them to control pet hair. However, the chemicals in the fabric softener sheets are dangerous for dogs. Ingesting them can cause a potential blockage.
- Mothballs – These are as dangerous as Moth/Mice traps.
- Post 1982 Pennies – They contain a high concentration of Zinc.
Holiday Hazards to Avoid
- Christmas Tree Water – it may contain fertilizers or bacteria which can upset the stomach
- Electrical Cords
- Ribbons or Tinsel – it can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction.
- Glass Ornaments – Glass ornaments or Christmas decorations can cause severe blockage or distress. Click here for a full list of household items to look out for.
Non-Toxic Substances for Dogs and Cats
It’s not secret dogs will eat or drink anything. Even non-toxic substances can cause mild to serious upsets in dogs.
Some common household items can cause more than a little intestinal or gastric upset.
- Water based paints – Can irritate your dogs mucous membranes. These can cause vomiting and nausea.
- Toilet Bowl Water – Toilets that use toilet cleaners are potentially hazardous to dogs.
- Silica Gel – If eaten Silica Gel can cause gatrointenstaonil upset. Vomiting if ingested or seizures.
- Poinsettia – These plants can be mildly toxic to dogs. Click here for a complete list of dangerous plants.
- Cat Litter – What dog doesn’t love a treat out of the cat litter box. The good news is that a little bit isn’t going to hurt them. However, eaten in large quantities it can potentially cause a blockage.
- Glue Traps – Glue Traps contain chemicals which can cause gastric upset.
- Glow Sticks or Jewelry – These contain DBP, Dibutyl Phathalate. This can cause drooling, gagging and vomiting in dogs.
What to Do in an Emergency
If your dog eats something it shouldn’t time is of the essence.
Call your Veterinarian as well as a Pet Poison Hotline Number immediately.
Be prepared with the following information:
- What did your dog eat?
- How long ago did he or she eat it?
- And finally how much of it did they eat?
- If possible, bag and bring what they ate with you, especially a container if you have it.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centers hotline number is: 1-888-426-4435.
The Pet Poison Helpline Number is: 1-800-213-6680. This Hotline does charge callers for information.
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