As dog owners, we must be alert to items that are toxic to our animals in our homes. Regular household items that may not harm us may cause our pets illness and even death. The Human Society and the RSPCA both have comprehensive websites with articles about household toxins. Let's delve into some of them here. We'll look at both non-food and food items.
Obviously, over-the-counter and prescription medications, including vitamins, should be kept well out of reach. Even a very small dose can be lethal. Household cleaners should be stored in cabinets with closed doors. Cleaners containing pine or citrus oils are toxic.Plant food, fertilizers and other garden products are lethal. Do not leave them lying around!
Although every winter we hear the warnings about antifreeze, I feel it should still be addressed. It contains a substance called ethylene glycol, which has a sweet taste. It is very attractive to pets and, even in tiny amounts, is fatal. One teaspoon can kill a several pound dog. Fortunately there are safe alternatives on the market. Look for products that contain propylene glycol.
Other non-edible items to be on guard for are; bleach, detergents, button battery ingestion, moth balls, potpourri oils, fabric softener sheets, batteries in general, cigarettes, pennies and hand and foot warmers. Aluminum foil and cellophane candy wrappers can cause intestinal blockage and vomiting.
Foods and beverages that we may consume everyday could very well harm your dog. Raisins and grapes, for instance, can cause anything from vomiting to deadly kidney failure. Candy and gum containing large amounts of the sweetener xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar resulting in depression, lack of coordination and seizures. Other foods and beverages to watch for include; coffee grounds, alcoholic drinks, onions, onion powder, yeast dough, beans, salt, macadamia nuts, apple seeds, apricot, cherry and peach pits, mushrooms, mustard seeds, rhubarb, and walnuts.
This is by no means a complete list. Check with your vet or Animal Poison Control should you have any doubts about anything. Remember, your dog's life may be at stake!