Poison Prevention Month: Keeping your Dog Safe from Poisons

We are continuing our focus on poison prevention for our pets this month.  In our previous blog, we focused on items that are toxic to cats. In this blog, we will focus on things around the house that are toxic for dogs. It’s important to know the similarities and the differences so that you will know how to keep your dog safe from common household poisons.


In the kitchen: Most everyone knows that chocolate is very dangerous for dogs along with grapes, raisins, onions and garlic.  Other items that many families have in their kitchens are avocados in any form whether whole, or as guacamole along with the pit found in the avocado. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and energy drinks as well as alcoholic beverages are also toxic for dogs.  Unlike cats, dogs do not possess the agility for quickly and quietly leaping onto kitchen counters, but many do jump up and place their front paws on the counter when they’re lured by yummy smells. It is very important to keep any kind of toxic food well out of his reach.  It’s also important to secure your garbage can so that  your dog will not be tempted to rummage through it and get something he shouldn’t have.

Around the house: Many people don’t realize that other common household items such as cleaners, detergents and medicines are also toxic for dogs. Many dogs like to drink from the toilet, which can be a good place to be exposed to toxins if you use an adhesive toilet bowl cleaner or happen to leave some in the toilet while you clean. Laundry and dishwasher detergents are also toxic for dogs, so keeping those items well out of reach is very important. Over-the-counter medications are also very dangerous for dogs.  Many dogs are prone to chewing, even as they get older, and it’s not difficult for a larger dog to chew into a bottle of Tylenol or Ibuprofen or even stronger medications such as anti-depressants. All of these are dangerous for your dog.

In the yard: There are a number of plants that are also toxic, but some of the more common ones we see in our area are tulips, hydrangea, azalea and ivy.  All types of lilies are also toxic to dogs. The ASPCA offers a comprehensive list of toxic (and non-toxic) plants that you can check out here.


Common symptoms of illness are:

Vomiting or diarrhea

Irregular heartbeat

Dilated pupils

Difficulty breathing

Pale gums

Swollen abdomen

Muscle tremors

Bloody/painful urination or defecation

Bleeding from any orifice

If you suspect that your dog has gotten into something toxic, call your vet or a local emergency vet clinic right away.  The sooner you provide medical attention for your dog, the better.

We hope you have found this information helpful and encourage you to do a thorough check of your home to ensure you have all poisons safely out of the reach of your dog.

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