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5 Lesser Known Household Items That Are Toxic to Dogs

Most owners know of the common dangers to their dogs. Don’t feed them chocolate (No matter how heartbreaking the sad face is). Antifreeze is a huge no-no. Keep the mouse poison out of reach for dogs. However, there are a few rather innocent items out there that may be potentially life threatening

Oxygen absorbers

Those little packets placed in food packages, dog treats, Shoe boxes. They are placed there to absorb moisture and oxygen to keep products fresh. Some of those packets aren’t toxic, but may cause less than pleasant side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting or possibly a bowel obstruction. The toxic packets are the ones that contain iron. Iron has a corrosive effect on the GI tract, vomiting most likely will occur. The dog may vomit it out of his system; however it is always best to consult a professional after ingestion, better to be safe than sorry.

Rottweiler in Garden


Dogs dig. They eat grass and occasionally plants. Some fertilizers smell like a food source to dogs. Elements in fertilizer may be harmful to them. They contain changeable amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. An owner should block off freshly fertilized areas to keep dogs from tasting the new scents. Fertilizer on dogs’ pads should be washed off immediately as it may cause a caustic reaction or be ingested by licking.

Macadamia Nuts

These harmless Hawaiian treats are toxic to dogs, but not deadly. Although the exact toxic triggers haven’t been established, Macadamia nuts have been known to cause weakness in a dogs hind quarters, apparent pain, and fever. Symptoms usually subside within forty-eight hours.

Human Medication

Whether it is prescription medication or over the counter, a dogs physical make up is very different from a humans. Dosage of human medication may have a potentially life threatening impact if given to a dog. Discuss with a respected veterinarian before giving a dog any seemingly harmless medication such as Benadryl. The popular over the counter allergy medicine is often recommended between owners for nervous dogs who need to relax. Overdosing could cause damage to the central nervous system or organ failure.


There are five hundred and fifty nine plants listed on the toxic list through the ASPCA. The toxicity level of the plants depends on the dog. Every dog is different, some may have no reaction at all, where as another may begin convulsing as soon as the toxic substance has hit their system.

If an owner has found that their dog has ingested some potentially poisonous item they should call their veterinarian or the Pet Poison Hotline. If there are any of the ingested items left, save it. The vet may need to know exactly what they are dealing with.

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Written by Renee Moen
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