Avoiding Substances Toxic to Your Dog


This week is National Animal Poison Prevention Week, focusing attention on a topic that’s important to every dog lover. Knowing what to look out for and what to avoid with your dog is essential, especially as you start to enjoy the spring weather and take your dog to parks and public places where you might not be aware of what your dog might come in contact with.

Bark Busters, the world’s largest dog training company, has come up with a great list of tips for items you must keep an eye out for…and keep your dog away from:

  • Toxic foods include chocolate, avocado, onions and garlic, raisins and grapes, alcoholic drinks, caffeinated beverages, macadamia nuts, and chewing gum with xylitol.
  • Many plants (even dead or dried) are toxic to pets. In some cases, only certain parts of the plant are dangerous (leaves, fruit, seeds). Be aware of the toxic plants that grow in your home and surroundings (both cultivated and wild), and keep your pets away from them or remove them entirely.
  • Other toxins found outside include mushrooms and garden mulch.
  • This tip is especially important as we hit these spring months: Keep your pets off lawns or gardens that have been treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides. If your dog has come in contact with treated lawns (or has walked on snow or ice treated with ice-melt), wipe his feet clean as soon as you get home to avoid the possibility of him licking his paws and ingesting the poison. Store all chemicals in cabinets and other places your pet can’t reach.
  • Real danger to pets continues from antifreeze/coolant, even though animal-friendly products are now available (usually made with propylene glycol, not ethylene glycol). Always wipe up antifreeze leaks or spills of any size. Attracted to the sweet taste, pets can die from kidney failure if they ingest even a small amount of this very toxic material.
  • Store poisonous baits to rid your home of pests (rodents, snails, insects, etc.) in places that your pooch cannot access. Like antifreeze, some baits smell sweet but are very toxic to pets, causing severe internal bleeding.
  • Other household items poisonous to pets include household cleaners (the fumes can be noxious) and heavy metals such as lead, found in paint chips and linoleum.
  • Consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any vitamin, herbal supplement or medication made for humans. Even small doses of medications of any kind–whether for humans or pets–can be lethal to pets. Keep all medicines well out of your dog’s reach.

Tomorrow we’ll share some signs of poisoning that you should learn so you’ll quickly recognize them and be able to seek medical attention for your dog.

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits DogTipper.com, CatTipper.com, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.