Household Poisons That Can Harm Your Dog
Common Household Poisons for Dogs
There are thousands of reported cases of pet poisoning in the US annually Most of these cases are caused by household items that are typically considered harmless.
Just because some household substances are safe to you doesn’t mean it won’t harm your dog. Ideally, the most dangerous home substances for your furry friends could be foods, medications, plants, or chemicals that seem so harmless to you.
Dog poisoning symptoms may include cardiac and respiratory distress, neurological distress, gastrointestinal distress, coma, and even death.
However, the severity of the poison will depend on the type of toxin ingested or inhaled, the dog’s size and age, and other factors. Let’s look at the typical household dog poison to avoid:
1. Human Food
Does your furry friend usually sit pretty while begging for food you are eating? Well, you should think twice before extending the food to the dog.
Although denying him the delicacy may seem cruel; you are actually saving his life. Some food types like chocolate, garlic, onions, and a horde of beverages that are safe for you can be very dangerous for your puppy. Some of the specific food and beverage types that your dog should never ingest include:
- Chocolate– hard to imagine your favorite chocolate bar can harm your dog, right? Well, chocolate presents a severe threat to the health and life of dogs. Chocolate has a substance called methylxanthines, or theobromine which causes vomiting when a dog ingests in small doses. However, if your furry friend takes large quantities of the product, it may kill him. The type of chocolate, age, and size of the dog may influence the toxicity levels. Typically, the darker chocolates are more dangerous than white or milk ones. Coffee and caffeine have the same effects when ingested by dogs.
- Grapes and Raisins – grapes can induce kidney failures in your furry friend. Even when ingested in small numbers, grapes can still cause serious health problems. According to the American kennel club, research is yet to establish the exact substance in the fruit that causes the poisoning.
- Avocado– avocados are nutritious to humans but dangerous to dogs. The fruit contains a substance called persin that causes serious poisoning in dogs. Persin is a fungal toxin that causes vomiting, myocardial damage, and diarrhea. Besides, the avocado flesh has a high-fat content, leading to gastrointestinal upsets and pancreatitis in dogs. The stone at the center of the avocado fruit may also cause choking.
- Macadamia nuts-your dog should not ingest macadamia nuts at all. The nuts cause severe poisonings characterized by weakness, hyperthermia, vomiting, overheating, depression, and death if no action is taken urgently. Macadamia nuts properties may also be found in baked goods such as muffins, cookies, or cakes. Therefore, you should not feed your dog with any baked food bought from stores unless you are absolutely sure of their ingredients.
- Alcohol– are you in a cheery mood and thinking of sharing a sip of your favorite drink with your furry friend? Well DONT. Alcohol poisoning occurs when a dog ingests any substance that contains ethanol or methanol. The dog’s gastrointestinal tract rapidly absorbs alcohol, and toxicity can occur in less than 30 minutes. Similarly, rubbing alcohol, antifreeze, or fermented bread on the dog’s skin can result in alcohol poisoning. Most cases of alcohol poisoning in dogs occur when the pet ingests drinks that are left unattended or from spills not wiped. Just like in humans, the toxicity level will depend on the amount the dog consumes and the type of drink in question. The health and weight of the dog will also influence the toxicity levels of the alcohol consumed.
2. Drugs and Medications
It is not a good idea to leave your medications lying about in places where your dog can easily reach.
Over the counter medicines that contain naproxen, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen can cause severe poisoning when ingested by the dog.
Additionally, prescription medications for people can also harm your dog.
These drugs, that are life-saving for humans but can causes significant damages in dogs, include:
- Pain and anti-inflammatory medications- these drugs may cause kidney failure and stomach ulcers in dogs.
- Blood pressure medications.
- Antidepressants- these medications may trigger vomiting and serotonin syndrome in dogs.
Most common veterinary medications like flea and tick treatments cause poisoning should a dog ingest them. Although they are intended to help them, thousands of pets are unintentionally poisoned by OTC veterinary products each year. Some of the commonly reported poisoning incidences result from the ingestion of painkillers and dewormers. The problem typically occurs if the dog ingests them accidentally or when excessive amounts are administered to cause an overdose. Before you use any vet medications, ensure you seek advice from your vet about the safety of the OTC products.
Unfortunately, the baits that you use to get rid of pesky rodents can be death traps for your pets. Many rodenticides are sweet-smelling and tasty to lure the dog easily. However, if ingested by your furry friends, they may cause severe health problems. Besides, your dog can also eat a poisoned rodent, which indirectly exposes him to the toxin.
3. Cleaning Substances
You need to be cognizant of the risks that some cleaning substances pose on the dog. Just as these cleaners, popularly used on cages, eating bowls, and toys, can poison people, they can also cause dog poisoning. Common cleaning substances to watch out include:
Bleach presents a severe poisoning risk for your dog. When cleaning your dog’s cage or toy using the product, ensure you dilute it properly. You should also thoroughly rinse and air out the equipment to prevent poisoning.
Besides, should the odor of bleach be too strong, open the windows or use an ideal fan to air the room.
Carpet Fresheners and Shampoo
Carpet deodorizing products can cause significant harm to the dog should he come into contact, ingest, or inhale them in large quantities.
The freshly applied powder can specifically cause skin irritation in dogs. Minor ingestions of the products can result in mild stomach upsets.
Similarly, if small amounts are inhaled, it may result in mild respiratory irritation like coughing, runny nose, or sneezing.
But if the product is ingested or inhaled in large quantities, it may cause adverse effects in dogs and other home pets.
Likewise, carpet shampoos can also cause skin irritation and stomach upsets in dogs.
Consequently, you should let the carpet dry first before you allow the dog into the area.
Grout sealers are highly toxic to most home pets, including your dog. The product contains alkaline properties like cationic that may cause severe poisoning characterized by esophageal ulcers, drooling, or vomiting. Before you use any sealer, check the ingredients of the brand. Should your dog ingest the product, call your veterinarian immediately.
Toilet Cleaning Tablets
Should your furry friend drink diluted water containing cleaning tablets in the toilet bowl, expect him to suffer from mild to serious stomach upsets. Drinking stagnant toilet water may also result in bacterial related gastrointestinal problems. Therefore, it is a good idea to discourage your furry friend from imbibing from the toilet bowl.
4. Household Plants
They may be lush and beautiful, but not all household plants are pet friendly. Some plant species are dangerous to the dog to cause fatalities if ingested. Ideally, the plants are known by names and you must familiarize yourself with them. These plants include:
The lily family of plants is extensive, and some members can harm your dog or cat. Some of the lily family members that are highly toxic to the dog include the Peace Lily. When the dog ingests the plant, it will experience vomiting and swallowing problems because of irritated lips.
While aloe vera is an ideal plant for humans due to its many medicinal properties, it has the opposite effects on dogs. Although the plant’s gel cannot harm dogs when ingested, the other parts are particularly toxic.
Ivy plant radiates irresistible beauty that livens every living space. But the plant is quite harmful to your pet dog. Should your dog ingest the plant, he may experience rash and breathing problems. In worse cases, ivy poisonings lead to coma and paralysis.
Jade is also known as dwarf rubber plant, baby jade, Chinese/ Japanese rubber plant, or crassula ovate plant. Whatever name you prefer, do keep the plant as far away from your pet as possible. If your dog ingests this plant, it will result in severe poisoning characterized by depression, slow heart rate, vomiting, and brain incoordination. The other plants that should never find a place in a household with dogs include:
- Dumb cane
- Elephant ear
- Pathos/devil’s ivy
- ZZ plant
- Asparagus fern
According to the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society, the cases of dog and cat home poisoning are on the rise. Ensuring your dog lives in a safe environment is at the heart of excellent husbandry. Therefore, you should guarantee your pet doesn’t access the common household poisons discussed in this article. Should the dog ingest poison, notify your vet immediately. Your furry friend has the best chance of survival if he gets immediate help.