Seemingly Harmless Substances That Are Poison For Dogs

There are countless items in your house or yard that you may not realize are actually poison for your dog. Some of these toxins lead to severe illness while others lead to a short bout of vomiting and diarrhea. Either way, it’s important to know what your dog shouldn’t be ingesting to help keep your pet healthy and happy.

Over-the-Counter Pain Medications

When you’re suffering from a headache or muscle pain, it’s easy to pop a pill. However, over-the-counter pain medications are designed for humans not dogs. If your dog is in pain, visit the vet, but do not try to reduce the pain with human medications. Common medications that cause problems include:

  • Ibuprofen: As little as 200-milligrams to a medium-sized dog can cause serious and irreversible kidney and stomach damage.
  • Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen affects your dog’s liver and red blood cells, hindering their ability to carry oxygen.
  • Naproxen: Like ibuprofen, naproxen damages your dog’s kidneys by affecting the flow of blood to the kidneys.

Yard and Household Plants

Plants that may look good in your yard or house can cause serious illness to your dog if ingested. Luckily, not all dogs feel the need to eat plants, but if your dog is prone to chew or eat household and yard foliage, it is best to eliminate them. While there are hundreds of toxic plants, some common ones include:

  • Dieffenbachia: The toxic chemicals in dieffenbachia lead to oral irritation and intense burning in the mouth.
  • Azalea: The devastating effects of azalea poisoning can range from vomiting to cardiovascular collapse and even death.
  • Daffodil: Ingesting daffodils can cause vomiting, low blood pressure and tremors.
  • Tulip: Symptoms of tulip poisoning in dogs includes depression, vomiting and diarrhea.

Prescription Medications

As with over-the-counter pain medications, prescription medications can cause serious damaging effects to dogs. Of course, most people don’t choose to give their dog their medication. It is usually a crime of opportunity when pills are left unattended. Make sure to keep all prescription medications away from your dog, whether it is designed for dogs or humans.

  • Dog prescription medications: Just like with humans, dogs can overdose on their own prescription medications. Painkillers and de-wormers are the most common culprits.
  • Flea insecticides: Flea and tick medication designed to go on the skin could cause serious poisoning if ingested, or if you give your pet too much.
  • Antidepressants: Antidepressants are known to increase heart rate and temperature in dogs, leading to seizures.
  • Anti-anxiety/sleep aids: In some cases, these medications cause pets to become sleepy, unsteady and may lead to collapse. Other dogs may become extremely upset and agitated.

Human Food

There’s nothing quite as heartbreaking as a dog begging for food: except a dog who is now seriously ill from eating human food. There are many foods that are harmless or even good for humans but cause serious problems for your pup. It is a good idea to practice complete abstinence for giving your dog any human food because you never know what ingredients may cause problems. Common toxic foods include:

  • Alcohol: Alcohol causes serious problems for your dog, ranging from vomiting to difficulty breathing to death.
  • Grapes: Scientists aren’t sure what exactly, but something in grapes and raisins causes kidney failure in dogs.
  • Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic irritate the gastrointestinal system and damage red blood cells.  
  • Chocolate: Methylxanthines are what makes chocolate dangerous to dogs. They causes vomiting, panting, tremors, seizures and death. These substances are also found in some sodas and coffee.
  • Salt: Foods high in salt like ham are dangerous to your pet because they cause sodium ion poisoning, which leads to vomiting, diarrhea and seizures.

Don’t put your dog in danger. Keep these poisonous substances away from any pet. For more information about keeping your dog healthy, contact a local vet clinic and schedule a wellness exam. 

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