I think it’s safe to say that everyone who reads DogTipper wants their dog to be safe in their home and on the road, whether it’s for a dog walk or a getaway. But our homes and the places we visit with our dogs can be filled with hazardous materials. Today Pet Poison Helpline released its list of the 10 most common toxins that resulted in vet visits and calls to the hotline last year. Please take a moment to read this list, to make a mental check of where any of these substances are in your home so that they’re safe from your pup, and to share this list with fellow dog lovers. Let’s do everything we can to make 2014 a safe and happy year for our pooches!
Dogs: Top 10 Toxins of 2013
- Chocolate: Dark equals dangerous! Bakers and dark chocolate 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; ingestions result in 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 (brodifacoum, bromadiolone, etc.) or brain swelling (bromethalin), 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, is 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 ingests any of these substances, be sure to contact a veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 (in North America). You can also download the Pet Poison Helpline iPhone application with an extensive database of over 200 poisons dangerous to cats and dogs on iTunes for $1.99. Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $39 per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case. For more information, visit www.petpoisonhelpline.com.