Health & Hygiene

Dog Poisons – Foods & Household Products to Keep Out of Reach

Written by Melissa Keen

You’re probably aware that chocolate is one of many dog poisons, but did you know there are plenty of other household foods and items that are toxic for your dog?

We’ve created a list of toxic everyday items so you know what to keep out of reach.

Household Items That Are Dog Poisons

Chocolate

As already mentioned, chocolate is a well-known toxin to dogs. This is because it contains an ingredient known as methylxanthine. The darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is for your dog. Other toxic foods include avocados, grapes, raisins, nuts, onion, garlic, anything with the sweetener Xylitol, coffee, alcohol and grapes.

Medicine

As with children, you should never give your dog medicine that hasn’t been specifically prescribed for them. Human medication should not be used on animals. If your dog needs medicine, visit your vet.

Cleaning Products

Household cleaning products such as bleach or detergent should always be kept out of reach of animals.

Outdoors

There are a number of plants that are poisonous for dogs. Keep up to date with the list by visiting the Blue Cross website.

As well as plants, pest poisons used to kill rats, mice or weeds are very common causes for poisoning in dogs.

Other gardening products such as fertilizer, cocoa mulch, and compost are unsafe. Compost piles can grow bacteria that, if consumed by a dog, are highly toxic. Don’t compost meat or dairy products.

Garages should be pet-free areas as they can be full of chemicals like antifreeze. Keep all items out of the reach of your pet and clean any spillages.

The most common items to cause poisoning in dogs are human medicines, human food, insecticides and rodenticides, vet medication administered incorrectly, plants, chemicals like antifreeze or pool cleaning chemicals, household cleaners like bleach, heavy metals such as lead paint chips, and fertilizer.

Symptoms of Poisoning in a Dog

Symptoms of poisoning in dogs include digestive upset, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst, excessive urination and hyperactivity/lethargy.

In extreme cases, symptoms include an abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and even death.

What to Do if Your Dog Ingests/Touches Something Poisonous

If your dog is showing symptoms of poisoning, it’s important you take them to the vet immediately. Don’t wait to see if it gets better – the longer you wait, the more likely your dog is to become very sick if they have indeed ingested or touched something toxic. Call ahead so they know to expect you.

It’s handy for your vet to know what your dog has had, how much, and how long ago they had it. If possible, bring the item with you (sealed, of course).

About the author

Melissa Keen