March is National Poison Prevention Awareness month. It’s important to recognize the crucial ways to ensure our dogs have safe and happy lives. While it’s not something we like to think about, our pets can suffer poisoning from a variety of items in and around our home. Here are ten tips from vets and specialists discussing what items are poisonous to your dogs and how to keep them safe. Remember, if you ever have an emergency, you can call the 24 hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-764-7661.
1. Pet Poison Prevention Kit
It’s important to make sure every pet owner has a pet poison prevention kit. You might think you are the safest pet owner who would never let anything happen to your dog, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Some of the items in the kit should include liquid dish washing detergent, rubber gloves, hydrogen peroxide, a bulb syringe, saline eye solution, and a tweezer. Remember, being prepared for an accident is better than having nothing ready at all.
2. Poisonous Household Items
Robert from Grady Veterinary Hospital gives an overview of different household goods that can be hazardous to your dog. The three most common cases he has dealt with are chocolate, gum, and grapes or raisins. He also gives an explanation as to why these items are dangerous, explaining how certain ingredients make your animals have a toxic reaction and what the symptoms of the reaction are. You should make a list of these items so you can keep them away from your pet.
3. Unknown Poisons
While there are common known poisons for dogs, such as chocolate, some household items you wouldn’t even think of are necessary to hide from your dog. Coffee and coffee grounds if ingested by dogs can cause a serious reaction. An onion or even onion powder can cause liver damage. Also, goods like fabric softener sheets and batteries are poisonous. Batteries are especially dangerous because if chewed they release battery acid, and dogs love to chew.
4. Poisonous Plants
Household goods and human foods are not the only serious danger to dogs, but so are certain plants. The plants such as sago palm, oleander, azalea, and spring bulbs are all poisonous and should be kept away from your pets. It only takes just one or two leaves to cause poisoning in a dog. Some signs of poisoning include vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, heart arrhythmia, and neurological conditions. Be sure to inspect your entire household because severe ingestion can be fatal.
5. Garden Dangers
It is a given that your dog will be outside throughout their life. Whether it’s in your backyard or going for walks around the neighborhood, your dog still needs to stay safe. Several items used for gardening can be severely dangerous to dogs. Items like fertilizers, mouse and rat poisons, and insecticides can be deadly. This video gives you a good explanation of the steps you should take if gardening products are ingested, which includes calling your vet before treating anything.
6. Is Chocolate Poisonous?
Everyone has heard that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. It’s so common that even if you don’t have a dog, people still know the saying. However, your dog might eat some chocolate crumbs on the floor and still be fine. You may be wondering, why is that? That’s because, as Veterinary toxicologist Dr. Tina Wismer explains, it’s more about the amount ingested rather than the actual chocolate. The combination of the weight of the dog, the amount of chocolate, and the type of chocolate can make a difference.
7. Antifreeze Poisoning
The problem with antifreeze is that to your dog it has a very sweet taste. If spilled or left open and then ingested by your dog, you will need to take immediate action because it can cause critical problems and even death. If you notice a greenish liquid in your driveway, it’s most likely antifreeze. Antifreeze’s active ingredient is ethylene glycol, which is why it has a sweet taste. It’s also found in snow globes. Remember, only three tablespoons can kill a dog. Make sure to watch this video to see how to help a dog with this type of poisoning.
8. Human Medications
Most calls to the Pet Poison Hotline involve dogs who have taken human medication. While you would think human medications are stored away, a lot of the time it’s actually humans giving their dogs the medication without realizing it will have a different effect on the dog than themselves. This is because pets have a different type of metabolism than humans. Accidental poisoning can also occur if you have your pet’s medication stored with your own. Dangerous drugs for your dog include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants, sleep aids, amphetamines, acetaminophen, and naproxen sodium.
9. Six Deadly Foods
Angela found out the hard way when her dog was poisoned by something she never even knew was a poison, grapes. Her dog Rio ate some of the drying grapes on her counter, and soon Rio was suffering from acute kidney failure. Rio survived, she might not have been so lucky. While the damage to dogs can change depending on their breed, weight, and what they eat, six of the most deadly foods for dogs include grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, and macadamia nuts. While chocolate can cause cardiac problems, grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure.
10. Handbag Hazards
You could spend hours dog proofing your entire house, but one thing you might forget to check is your purse. If you come home and leave your purse on the couch, you might not realize that it’s a hazard waiting to happen. Advil, an asthma inhaler, mints and gum, and even birth control are items that you do not want your dog to get a hold of. It’s always safer to hang your purse up where it’s out of reach from your dog because something like sugarless gum, which is likely in your purse, can even cause liver failure.
What are some ways you dog proof your house? Let us know and leave a comment below!