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For the Love of the Dog

Your Dog Just Ate WHAT? Some Common Household Substances that are a Danger!

Dogs are very curious animals and natural scavengers. They can get into and eat just about anything. However, there are many toxic substances found in your home that could potentially kill your dog. The following is a list of ten common household substances that you should make sure to keep out of your dog’s reach. For a more specific and complete list, please see – Poisonous or Toxic to our Dogs and Pets

1) Antifreeze: Many people do not realize it, but common antifreeze kills many pets each year. It smells and tastes very sweet to your dog and is very appealing to him. Ethylene glycol is toxic however, and each winter, many animals are killed by it. Symptoms of toxicity include seizures, vomiting, stumbling and lethargy leading to kidney failure. Make sure to keep your antifreeze out of your dog’s reach. If you suspect that your dog has ingested antifreeze, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

2) Chocolate: Chocolate contains a substance called the obromine which is toxic to dogs. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate is especially dangerous. While it usually takes a somewhat large amount of chocolate to kill a dog, poisoning and death does occur with smaller amounts ingested. Signs of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, and increased activity. This can progress to seizures and unusual heart rhythms. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate.

3) Bleach: As you might imagine, household bleach is toxic to dogs. Keep all products containing bleach out of your dog’s reach. Symptoms of bleach poisoning include drooling, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Do NOT induce vomiting if you suspect your dog has ingested bleach and contact your veterinarian immediately.

4) Tylenol: As little as two regular strength Tylenol tablets can kill a small dog. Dogs lack the proper liver enzymes to break down acetaminophen. Signs of toxicity include drooling, lethargy, and abdominal pain. If you suspect your dog has ingested Tylenol, call your veterinarian immediately.

5) Watch Batteries: If your dog ingests a watch battery, it can cause a potentially fatal ulceration in the stomach within 12 hours. All other alkaline batteries are toxic to dogs as well. Symptoms of toxicity include drooling, lack of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy. If you suspect your dog has ingested a watch battery, contact your vet immediately.

6) Moth Balls: Moth balls are very dangerous to dogs. They contain an insecticide that causes central nervous system excitement and seizures. When metabolized, ingestion of moth balls can lead to liver failure. Symptoms of poisoning by moth balls include vomiting and seizures. If your dog has consumed moth balls, do NOT induce vomiting. Seek veterinary care immediately.

7) Fabric Softeners and other detergents: All sorts of household detergents are toxic to dogs at one level or another, but fabric softeners fall into the highly toxic category. Signs of toxicity include vomiting, lethargy, burns to the mouth, drooling, muscle weakness, and even coma. Do NOT induce vomiting if your dog has ingested any detergent. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

8) Mouthwash: Mouthwash can contain boric acid which is highly toxic to dogs. Symptoms of poisoning by mouthwash include vomiting, drooling, seizures, and coma. You should take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if you suspect poisoning by mouthwash or other household item containing boric acid like contact lens solution or denture cleaner.

9) Peach Pits: With most fruits, the pits and the seeds are toxic to dogs. Signs of poisoning include drooling, vomiting, and lethargy. If you suspect your dog has eaten a peach pit or the pit or seeds of any fruit, take him to the veterinarian immediately.

10) Household Plants: Many common and popular household plants are highly toxic to dogs. A partial list of toxic plants includes poinsettias, lilies, ferns, devil’s ivy, aloe, and ivy. Symptoms of poisoning due to ingestion of toxic plants include vomiting and central nervous system excitement. Many of these plants are fatal if ingested. Please contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten a toxic houseplant. For a more complete list of toxic plants, please see – Poisonous or Toxic to our Dogs and Pets

Be Prepared
Keep the telephone number of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center – (888) 426-4435. as well as that of your local veterinarian, in a prominent location.

Invest in an emergency first-aid kit for your pet. The kit should contain:
– a fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)
– a turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe (to administer peroxide)
– saline eye solution
– artificial tear gel (to lubricate eyes after flushing)
– mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (for bathing an animal after skin contamination)
– forceps (to remove stingers)
– a muzzle (to protect against fear- or excitement-induced biting)
– a can of your pet’s favorite wet food
-a pet carrier

With care diligence on our part, we can help prevent our dogs from getting into substances that are toxic to them. Do YOU know what to do if you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic? Check out – What to Do if You Suspect Your Dog or Pet Has Been Poisoned.

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