Dogs are wonderful companions, but they’re also not fussy when it comes to sampling things around the home. It pays to know about pet toxins to keep your home safe for your canine.The Pet Poison Helpline posts lists yearly of common dog poisons that result in emergency calls to them. This list shows the most emergency calls in 2013 for animal poisoning:
- Chocolate: Bakers and dark are the most toxic, and milk chocolate, if ingested in large amounts.
- Xylitol: This sweetener found in sugarless chewing gum and candy, medications and nasal sprays causes a rapid drop in blood sugar and liver failure only in dogs (not cats).
- NSAIDS: ibuprofen, naproxen, etc., found in products like Advil, Motrin and Aleve. Dogs don’t metabolize these drugs well; ingestion causes stomach ulcers and kidney failure.
- Over-the-counter cough, cold and allergy medications: Those that contain acetaminophen or decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, are particularly toxic.
- Rodenticides (mouse poison): These may cause internal bleeding or brain swelling even in small amounts.
- Grapes and raisins: These harmless human foods cause kidney damage in dogs.
- Insect bait stations: These rarely cause poisoning in dogs–the bigger risk is bowel obstruction when dogs swallow the plastic casing.
- Prescription ADD/ADHD medications: These amphetamines such as Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine and Vyvanse can cause tremors, seizures, cardiac problems and death in pets.
- Glucosamine joint supplements: Overdose of tasty products such as Cosequin and Move Free typically only cause diarrhea; however, in rare cases, liver failure can develop.
- Silica gel packets and oxygen absorbers: Silica gel packs, found in new shoes, purses, or backpacks, are rarely a concern. The real threats are the iron-containing oxygen absorbers found in food packages like beef jerky or pet treats, which can cause iron poisoning.
If your dog shows signs of pet poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness or lethargy, get them to your vet or an animal emergency clinic right away. The Pet Poison Helpline (800-218-6680) is another 24/7 resource to help you identify if your dog has pet poisoning. If you know or suspect the substance your dog got into, bring it along.
In any case, acting quickly is your best bet to save your pet from serious harm or even death.