Common items in and around your home can be lethal to your dog. The ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center gets hundreds of thousands of calls from panicked pet owners each year, and most cases are caused by common items. Here is a list of 10 Household products that can be toxic to your dog.
Plants may add an attractive quality to your home, but that beautiful smell or texture may tempt your pooch to lick or nibble. The Humane Society has a large list of dog-poisoning plants to help owners determine what should and shouldn't go in their house.
While detergents are commonly used in the household, some can cause corrosive injury. Spilled detergents should be promptly cleaned up. Clinical signs of drooling, burns in the mouth, pawing at the mouth, not eating, vomiting, lethargy and difficulty breathing may be seen. Prompt veterinary attention is necessary.
Both dogs and cats can be sickened by batteries, causing ulcers in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. If you notice the remote control has been chewed on, take a close look. If a battery has been punctured, acid can leak and cause severe ulceration. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, newer "disc" shaped batteries can allow an electric current to pass through the tissues of the gastrointestinal track which can even cause perforation of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, or small intestine. Small button-shaped lithium batteries are the most dangerous. In addition, metals in the batteries can cause heavy metal toxicity.
4) Human pharmaceuticals
Pain relievers might benefit us humans, but our four-legged friends are truly a different animal. Acetaminophen in Tylenol and other drugs may interfere with oxygen flow or do irreparable harm to the liver. Never use them, or any human medication, for dogs without veterinary consultation and direction.
Antifreeze that contains ethylene glycol has a sweet taste that attracts animals but is deadly if consumed in even small quantities; one teaspoon can kill a seven-pound cat. The HSUS recommends pet owners use a safe antifreeze in their vehicles. Look for antifreeze that contains propylene glycol, which is safe for animals if ingested in small amounts. Ethylene glycol can also be found in common household products like snow globes, so be sure to keep these things out the reach of animals. Read more about antifreeze hazards »
6) Traps and poisons
Pest control companies frequently use glue traps, live traps and poisons to kill rodents. Even if you would never use such methods to eliminate rodents, your neighbor might. Dogs and cats can be poisoned if they eat a rodent who has been killed by poison (called secondary poisoning).
Tobacco can be toxic to both dogs and cats. Ingestion of nicotine in the tobacco plant or in cigarettes or patches can lead to vomiting, tremors, collapse and death
8) Pesticides and herbicides
The Animal Poison Control Center says that 47 percent of pet poisonings during the months of June, July, and August are due to pesticides and herbicides. It doesn't take much to poison a pet — even walking on a recently treated lawn and licking its paws afterwards can be enough.
9) Veterinary pharmaceuticals
Some pills that veterinarians prescribe for dogs are flavored to make them more palatable and apparently some taste so good that dogs think they are treats. It is important to keep all medication for your dog away in a safe place. If your dog needs medications be sure you understand the dosing schedule and ask any questions you might have about the medication before you leave the veterinarian’s office.
10) Heavy Metals
Zinc and lead are the most common culprits. The most common cause of zinc toxicosis is ingestion of pennies. Pennies minted since 1983 are primarily zinc and some dogs love to ingest coins. Clinical signs are gastrointestinal upset and anemia from red blood cell destruction. Surgery is usually necessary to remove the pennies to prevent further absorption of zinc. The best treatment is prevention so keep your pocket change in a jar out of your dog’s reach. Thankfully, lead toxicosis is becoming less common due to industry safety guidelines. It is no longer a common component of paint but keep in mind that when renovating older homes that lead may be present in paint chips and dust and your dog should be kept away during periods of renovation.
If you think your dog has been poisoned, try to stay calm. It is important to act quickly, but rationally. First, gather up any of the potential poison that remains -- this may be helpful to your veterinarian and any outside experts who assist with the case. If your dog has vomited, collect the sample in case your veterinarian needs to see it.
We hope this list helps you provide a safe home for your four-legged friend. Did we miss something that should be on the list? Please let us know in the comments below.