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Common Household Poisons

Apr 16, 2015

Onion & Garlic

We all want the best for the four-legged members in our family.  It’s always heartbreaking to see someone you love not feeling well, and it’s even harder when they can’t tell us what’s hurting them.  Sometimes, the answer is right in front of us.  There are everyday toxins in our Minnesota homes that can cause both mild and severe symptoms in dogs.  Symptoms can range from excessive drooling, to seizures and even death.  If you take a look around, you’d be surprised at how many things in your home are a potential hazard for your pup.

Chocolate- contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which are toxic to dogs.  The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is.

Grapes & raisins- some dogs may not have any symptoms if ingested, but other dogs may experience lethargy, dehydration and even kidney failure. I’ve had friends and family laugh about how funny it is to watch their pet roll a grape across the floor, but a trip to the emergency vet does not sound funny to me.

Onion & Garlic- the onion doesn’t have to be raw. It can be cooked, fried, sautéed or hidden amongst other tasty items. A little bit goes a long way, and can cause a lot of damage in a little time.  Onion and garlic attack the red blood cells, which can turn into a whole lot of other problems related to anemia and low oxygen. 

Avocado­- contrary to popular belief, avocado is not toxic to dogs.  However, Avocado causes high risk of obstruction, due to the size of its seed.

Ethanol- is an alcohol used as a solvent in medications or in your favorite cocktail.   It’s also found in mouthwash, dyes, paints, disinfectants, rotten apples & unbaked bread dough containing yeast.

Hops- a plant used when home brewing beer.  Spent hops are commonly used as a plant fertilizer.  Both raw & spent hops are toxic to dogs.  Home brewing is a growing trend, as is hops poisoning in dogs. The primary symptom noticed is the rapid increase of body temperature. 

Bread dough- Just as it does in the oven, bread dough expands in a dog’s stomach.  Expanding bread dough commonly results in a bloated stomach.  When a dog’s stomach has bloated, it runs the risk of GDV (gastric dilatation volvulus), or a twisted stomach.  This is life threatening and can cause death in a matter of a couple of hours.  Bread dough also contains yeast.  In a warm stomach, yeast will multiply and produce alcohol, running the same risks as ethanol poisoning.

In addition to foods, many plants and household cleaners are also toxic to your pets.  Make sure to keep items that can be ingested out of their reach so your pup can live a long and healthy life!