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Poison Control For Dogs

Within your home and property, toxic substances abound to beckon a dog’s indiscriminate palate. Teething puppies, bored and lonely canines and dogs with the munchies will nosh on any curious object that catches their eye, landing them in a heap of trouble in the veterinary emergency hospital. Here are ten dog toxins to be aware of that lurk within nearly every household.

Poison Control For Dogs

What is Poisonous to Dogs?

Find below an overview of the most common dog toxins including what to do in case of such an emergency. Learn to recognize the symptoms of a poisoned dog here:

Antifreeze Poisoning in Dogs

Dogs and cats alike are drawn to the sweet flavor notes of antifreeze. Ethylene glycol is the toxic ingredient of antifreeze, and the result of a dog lapping the substance results in rapidly developing kidney failure. Signs of antifreeze toxicity in dogs include drooling, vomiting, staggering, depression, excessive urination, seizure activity, a drunken demeanor, appetite loss and dehydration. Immediate veterinary emergency care is imperative. Find out more about antifreeze poisoning in dogs here.

Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

Chocolate contains theobromide, an ingredient that is toxic to dogs. All chocolate contains this substance, but baking chocolate contains the highest concentration. Signs of theobromide toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, elevated heart rate and seizure activity. Chocolate ingestion can result in death in some dogs. If your dog has consumed chocolate in any form, seek veterinary attention.

Rat Poison in Dogs – Rodenticide

Anticoagulants that are contained in many rodent poisons deplete the body of vitamin K, which plays an important role in blood clotting. The rat or mouse that ingests the poison hemorrhages to death. Some symptoms of anticoagulant rodenticide toxicity in dogs may include vomiting, blood in the vomitus, nosebleeds, bleedings gums, bruises and respiratory difficulty. If you observe any of these symptoms in your dog or suspect that your dog has ingested rodenticide, immediate veterinary intervention and treatment is crucial to avert a deadly hemorrhage.

What Human Foods are Toxic to Dogs

There are numerous foods that you should not enjoy with your dog. For example, most nuts are toxic to dogs, resulting in tremors, increased body temperature, vomiting, weakness and lethargy when eaten. Ingesting alliums, which include onions, garlic, scallions, chives, shallots and leeks, pose the detrimental effect of toxic anemia in dogs. The actual toxin that is contained in grapes and raisins remains a mystery, but consumption of these fruits can result in renal failure in your dog. Caffeinated beverages can result in an increased heart rate, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, an elevated body, seizure activity and death. Alcoholic beverage consumption can result in central nervous system depression, respiratory distress, muscle tremors, vomiting, diminished coordination and death. If your dog has snuck a snack of any of these substances, seek veterinary care at once to prevent fatal consequences.

Poisonous Plants for Dogs

The brightly colored petals of blooms that sway in the breeze may be attractive to some dogs, but many flowers and plants can be toxic when ingested. Depending on the plant in question, stems, leaves or flowers may be toxic. Some common garden plants that are toxic to dogs include rhododendron, azalea, English ivy, yew, lilies, foxgloves and wisteria. If your dog likes to dig for buried treasures, be aware that most flower bulbs are toxic to dogs when consumed. Symptoms of plant toxicity vary and may include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, excessive salivation, respiratory difficulty, muscle tremors and seizure activity. If you suspect that your dog has consumed any plant material, seek prompt veterinary attention.

What else is Toxic to Dogs?

Household Cleaning Products

Many household cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals that are toxic to dogs. Some of these products, such as toilet bowl cleaners, contain caustic agents. Whether your dog just discovered the toilet bowl and perceived it to be a super-sized water dish or has fought an epic battle with a bottle of bleach or surface cleaner, observe for signs of excessive drooling, oral ulcerations, vomiting, increased water intake, increased urination, decreased appetite, seizure activity or muscle tremors. Bring your dog to a veterinarian at once for treatment.

Wild Mushrooms

There are many different varieties of mushrooms that grow wild in backyards, in parks and on hiking trails for dogs to find. The toxic effects of these deadly discoveries range from gastrointestinal upset to cellular destruction. Because there are so many different poisonous mushrooms and a variety of toxins that they contain, the symptoms of wild mushroom toxicity vary. Some of the most common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and seizure activity. If you suspect that your dog has eaten a wild mushroom, seek immediate veterinary attention. If possible, bring along any uneaten portions of the mushroom.


Refrain from sharing any pain relievers, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen, from your own medicine cabinet with your achy dog. Use caution when handling your own prescription drugs, including blood pressure medications and antidepressants, so that your dog does not have an opportunity to gobble a pill that was dropped on the floor. Do not leave any human or veterinary medication bottles or tubes within the dog’s reach. Symptoms of medication toxicity depend upon the drug that was consumed. If you suspect that your dog ingested any medication, contact your veterinarian at once.

Metal Objects

When a dog ingests such metal objects as coins, mechanical nuts and bolts and galvanized metal hardware pieces, deadly zinc poisoning can result. Keep in mind that zinc is also found in some topical creams and ointments. Signs of zinc poisoning include pale mucous membranes, increased heart and respiratory rates, weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite and collapse. Death will result without immediate veterinary intervention and treatment.

Lawn, Garden and Pool Maintenance Products

Fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, swimming pool chemicals and cocoa mulch all contain various toxic ingredients that can adversely affect your dog in a number of ways. Cocoa mulch contains theobromide, the same toxic component that is found in chocolate. Keep all lawn, garden and swimming pool chemical products safely stowed out of your dog’s reach, keep your dog sequestered indoors while treating your property and remove your shoes before entering the home after the chemical applications. Allow the applied lawn and garden products to dry thoroughly before allowing your dog to venture outdoors. If you suspect that your dog has consumed cocoa mulch or any lawn maintenance, garden care or pool maintenance product, contact your veterinarian at once. Find out more about poisonous plants for dogs.

Keep three essential things in mind when it comes to toxicity in dogs. Store all toxic substances securely out of your dog’s reach, and supervise your dog’s activity when you let it outdoors. Secondly, keep the Pet Poison Helpline ’s telephone number on your refrigerator and in the emergency numbers section of your cellular phone’s list of contacts. Lastly, never make an attempt to induce vomiting in your dog without consulting with your veterinarian first. Toxins that are caustic in nature can inflict more damage to your dog if they are vomited.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the toxins that are harmful to your pets. This proactive effort will help you to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your canine companion. To protect your feline friend, find out more about poison control for cats.