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Household Dog Poisons to Avoid

Monday, 21 January 2013  |  Kate

As responsible dog owners it is important to understand which foods and products in your home are not safe for your dog to consume. There are a lot of them so it can be a little tricky to remember them all, luckily we've knocked up a handy little guide of what to keep out of reach of your dog.

Human Medication: Our medication is designed specifically for us not dogs so it can be extremely harmful to our pets where they might be beneficial to us. Even small amounts of medicines designed for humans can be lethal for dogs and cats.

Many medicines such as paracetamol can result in death if ingested by dogs so make sure all pharmaceuticals are locked away safe from your pets.

Dog Chocolate My Itchy Dog BlogMainstream flea and tick products: Some well-known flea and tick products are actually vials of liquid pesticides and have been found to cause itching, rashes, diarrhoea and vomiting, typically affecting smaller dogs.

Some of these products have also been found to contain chemicals that are detrimental to a dog's health. Alternative flea and tick treatments like Billy No Mates and Billy No Mates Tincture are effective and completely natural.

Human foods: There are many foods that we love but are actually dangerous for dogs and we know it's hard to remember them all so we've compiled a list for you. In a lot of cases it comes down to a certain food item containing a substance that is poisonous to dogs.
  • Alcohol - Signs that a dog has consumed alcohol are similar to ours: drunken behaviour, vomiting, coma and, in extreme cases, can result in death.
  • Avocado - These fruits contain Persin, a substance that can poison dogs and cause diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Chocolate - Contains the infamous theobromine, relative to us, dogs metabolise theobromine much more slowly which is why is doesn't take much to poison a dog. The darker the chocolate the higher the theobromine content and therefore the higher chance that it will poison a dog. Vomiting, diarrhoea, and hyperactivity are common signs that a dog has ingested chocolate. Next over time a dog's heart rate will increase as more of the theobromine is absorbed which can lead to restlessness, arrhythmia, twitching, panting or urination. If ingested by dogs in large quantities chocolate can easily cause death.
  • Cooked Bones - When bones are cooked they could splinter so should not be given to dogs. These splinters can cause major digestive problems and can puncture the intestinal tract if swallowed by dogs. Small bones (cooked or uncooked) should also be avoided as they can splinter. Larger uncooked bones are generally fine to give to your dog. Raw chicken bones are fine as the chickens are 6-8 weeks old so they have soft bones.
  • Grapes and Raisins - These have both been found to cause renal failure in dogs but experts are not sure why.
  • Macadamia Nuts - After eating these nuts dogs can develop a toxic reaction called macadamia nut toxicosis. A variety of symptoms can take effect within the next twelve hours including vomiting, hyperthermia, an elevated heart rate and ataxia. If your dog manages to eat some macadamia nuts call your vet immediately and try to work out how many have been eaten.
  • Onions - Known to cause anaemia in dogs, so avoid these.
  • Xylitol - This is a sweetener that is found in things like sweets and sugar-free chewing gum. When consumed by dogs it rapidly decreases blood pressure which can cause seizures.
Antifreeze: Extremely poisonous to both dogs and cats, and because it can be found in most households it is also one of the most common causes of poisonings in pets. Antifreeze contains a lethal toxin called ethylene glycol and is usually lapped up by dogs and cats when it has leaked from car radiators.

It has a sweet taste so dogs are able to consume a lot of it before its palatability decreases. Cats can't taste sweetness but might still drink it if they're thirsty so make sure to check your car radiator for leakages if you have a car.

Chemicals: As well as antifreeze, other chemicals can be poisonous to dogs and result in death. Paint thinners, pool chemicals and other household chemicals can cause upset stomachs, chemical burns and depression. If you use bleach products in your toilet don't allow your dog to have access to your bathroom. Drinking bleach from toilets is a very common cause of poisoning in dogs.

Rat and Mouse Poisons: The types of poison vary and so will the effects on your dog but none will be beneficial. Most rodenticides can cause significant health risks if ingested by dogs.

Plants: There are many types of plant that can be fatal to dogs when consumed. A standard rule of thumb is to place plants out of reach of dogs to avoid accidental poisoning. Dogs Trust have compiled a list of plants that are poisonous to dogs here.