Common Household Poisons and Toxins for Dogs

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    We often think about our homes as being the safest place for our pets but in reality, our homes hold so many products that can injure them. Our homes contain numerous amounts of products and foods that are poisinous or toxic to dogs and it’s important to know which these are and how to keep them away from your pets. Some of these poisons and toxins may surprise you.

    1. Insecticides

    Nowadays, there are numerous natural alternatives to standard insecticides but there are still plenty that are poisonous to dogs. These include insecticides of various forms including sprays, traps, and pellets. If you’re looking for natural alternatives, we suggest brands like Wondercide. If you’re going to use insecticides that are toxic to your pets, only use them in areas that your pets 100% cannot reach but it’s better to be safe than sorry and opt for the safer alternatives. 

    2. Rodenticides

     Rats aren’t the only creatures that might fall victim to rodenticides. They contain ingredients that may attract your pets but the anticoagulants or phosphorus might have deadly effects. If you have a rodent problem, an option that is safe for your pets and humane for the rodents are humane traps that involve trapping and releasing the rodent elsewhere.

    3. Cleaning Products

    Photo Credit: Grove Co.

    We usually keep our cleaning products such as bleach, window cleaner, and floor cleaner under our kitchen or bathroom sinks which makes them easy access for pets. Just like insecticides, there are now more natural cleaning products available that may not be as toxic to your pets but there are some products that you just can’t get around (unless you have a natural alternative to bleach). We suggest keeping your cleaning products either up high or use a child lock on your cabinets.

    4. Plants

    Plants can be extremely beneficial in a home and also be perfect decor inside the home and out. But, there are many common plants that are toxic to dogs that most people don’t realize. Some dogs will completely ignore any plants but many might want to chew on ones that are lower to the ground. It’s important to know which plants are toxic so you can either keep them out of your home or out of reach of your dogs. Some of the most common household plants that are toxic include Peace Lily, Alocasia and Pothos. There’s a variety of outdoor and vegetation plants that should be avoided in areas that your dog has access too as well including English Ivy, Azalea and Sago Palms. You can view a list of toxic and non-toxic plants from the ASPCA here.

    5. Detergent

    The majority of detergents used are toxic to dogs even though they don’t often appear on the standard lists of poisonous household items for dogs. Household detergents usually contain  ionic and anionic surfactants which both can result in dogs becoming very ill. Luckily there are now many brands that are pet-safe including Seventh Generation, Dropps and Ecos Pet Laundry Detergent.

    6. Fertilizer

    When ingested or applied to the skin and mucous membranes of our pets, fertilizers used in our gardens can be extremely toxic. Fertilizers are frequently mixed with substances that are more harmful than the fertilizers themselves and  some products types can be fatal if consumed. There aren’t any fertizlier products made that are safe for pets so if you use them, keep dogs away from them.

    7. Yeast Dough

    When a dog eats yeast dough, it can continue to rise, ferment and release gas. As the gas continues to bu7ild up, it will cause bloating and severe pain. This gas can cause the intestines to twist resulting in fatal conditions such as gastro-dilation volvulus aka bloat. Yeast also produces ethanol and can actually cause the same reaction in dogs that alcohol does. 

    8. Xylitol

    In many  products, such as sugar-free gum, toothpaste, and sugar-free peanut butter, xylitol is used to replace sugar which has a molecular structure that is very similar to sugar. Due to this, it causes the same insulin release in dogs as sugar. Insulin promotes the storage of glucose, a sugar and an result in dangerously low blood sugar levels. Dogs are much more sensitive to this change than humans. Xylitol has also been linked to acute liver failure or disease in dogs. Always check ingredients of certain human foods before giving them to your dog to make sure they don’t contain xylitol.

    9. Grapes and Raisins

    Grapes are a known toxic food for dogs but many pet parents don’t know that. Many fruits are food for dogs but grapes are not one of them. It’s unknown what in grapes is actually toxic but they can cause kidney damage or failure. And yes, this includes raisans as well.

    10. Anti-Freeze

    Anti-freeze is an incredibly common product that causes toxicity in dogs. It’s found in most households in the garage but it’s not the fact that it’s common that makes the amount of poisonings so high. Anti-freeze contains an ingredient that makes it smell and taste sweet. Dogs will either get it off the shelves, when it spills or when it leaks out of parked cars. Dogs that have consumed very small amounts of antifreeze may survive, but they will develop kidney failure within days of ingestion. Many dogs who have been poisoned by antifreeze die from kidney damage. Keep an eye out for any leaks your car may have and clean them up immediately if your pets have access to the parked cars. Keep bottles of antifreeze as high as you can and ensure the lids are always secured.

    11. Alcohol

    Alcohol may be a fun time for many adults and while dogs who ingest it may also act tipsy, what happens inside of them is much more toxic. Even ingesting small quantities can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death. If you’re interested in partaking in a night of drinking with your dog, you’re in luck beause there’s even wine and beer for dogs now! 

    12. Chocolate, Coffee, and Tea

    Caffeine and theobromine in chocolate, coffee, and tea cause toxicosis, which can lead to seizures and death. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate contain the most theobromine, while white chocolate contains the least.

    If your dog has ingested a toxic produc or food, call the Pet Poison Hotline or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline and your vet for further steps.

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