Just like babies, dogs, particularly puppies, are curious creatures and can sneak into places you never thought conceivable. That is why it is so important you poison proof your home. The ASPCA reported 167,000 calls related to pet poisonings in 2010, mostly due to common household products that probably exist in your home right now. In fact the Poison Pet Helpline and the ASPCA compose lists of the top poisons lurking in your home that account for the most emergency calls:
- Foods. Although we humans love our chocolate, ingestion can be life threatening to your dog because it contains an ingredient known as theobromine (a relative of caffeine). If you're thinking that sugarless candies and gums might be better, think again - they contain an ingredient known as xylitol, a sweetener that is dangerous to dogs. Other foods to avoid include grapes, raisins, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, yeast dough, garlic and macadamia nuts.
- Insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers . This is especially hazardous in warmer months when we start treating our lawns. Those that contain organophosphates (e.g., disulfoton, often found in rose-care products), can be particularly dangerous.
- Mouse and rat poisons. Unfortunately, as you rid your home of mice and rats with poisons, these can be detrimental to your dog. Poisoning can result in internal bleeding, brain swelling, kidney failure, or even severe vomiting and bloat. It is important to store these baits in places your dog can't reach.
- Human drugs. Never give your dog NSAIDs, including Aleve, Motrin or Advil as these can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers. Of all the calls to Poison Pet Hotline, antidepressants including Prozac, Paxil, Celexa and pain killers are the most frequent cause. Store your medications (even cold medicines, vitamins, and diet pills) away from your dog.
- Household cleaners. Toilet bowel cleaners, lye, drain cleaners, rust removers, and calcium/lime removers can be toxic to your dog.
- Antifreeze. Antifreeze and ice melting products are particularly lethal to pets. Attracted to the sweet taste, dogs can die from kidney failure if they ingest even a small amount.
- Household plants. Many plants(including those that are dead or dried) and even certain parts (leaves, fruits, seeds) can pose serious threats. Other outside dangers may include mushrooms and garden mulch. Poisonous plants include English Ivy, Hemlock, Foxglove, Oleander, Lily and Tulips.
For a complete list of everything that is poisonous to your dog, click here to view free training tip fact sheet. Knowing the dog poisoning symptoms could save your pet's life! It's important to keep their inquisitive paws and noses away.
If you think your dog may have ingested something harmful, don't hesitate, even if he/she has no symptoms. Be sure to take the origin of the poison (plant, medicine bottle, etc) if you know it. Contact your veterinarian immediately or local animal hospital.