We’ve all had that dog that will literally eat anything – food item or not. It’s important to remember that there are many things that are toxic to dogs. That goes for both your rambunctious puppy or your older explorer looking to expand his palate. Most are aware of common rat baits and chocolates. But below you’ll find some of the lesser-known examples of items found in many homes.
1. Apple Seeds
An apple a day keeps the doctor away – for us. But they might actually call for a visit to your veterinarian sooner rather than later. Luckily, it’s not the entire apple that causes problems for our four-legged friends. Apple seeds are the culprits, as they release cyanide when digested. Although cyanide is a naturally occurring chemical, its ingestion is toxic. So next time you share an apple with your pup, make sure you core it first.
Chamomile is another reminder that not all foods healthy for humans share the same benefits for our dogs. Ingestion of this popular gardening plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea and allergic reactions. While it will most likely cause minor contact dermatitis if our dogs are rummaging through the long stems, long-term ingestion can cause bleeding problems.
Hops are finding their way into our homes more often than before. With home brewing on the rise, they’re becoming more of a concern. If we aren’t careful, this can pose a serious threat to our furry friends. Hops consumption can cause malignant hypothermia, tachycardia, vomiting, and abnormal clotting. Dog left untreated can pass in as little as 6 hours. If you think your dog has gotten into your hops, be sure to get your dog to a veterinarian immediately.
4. Unbaked Bread Dough
While not actually toxic to dogs itself, unbaked bread dough is cause for concern when eaten. The dough will expand in the stomach and intestines, causing bloat and gastric-dilitation volvolvus. The toxicity comes from the alcohol that is released when the yeast from the dough begins fermenting inside the digestive tract. This is quickly released into the blood stream, causing alcohol poisoning. Both GDV and alcohol poisoning can result in death, so it’s important to get your pet to the hospital as soon as you think he’s eaten some unbaked bread dough.
5. Moldy Food – Mycotoxins
Do you keep your moldy food? If you’re like most people, you throw it away. The majority of us wouldn’t give moldy food to our dogs intentionally, but how many of us have come home to the trash turned over and Fido finishing off your leftovers? The dangers to our pets are similar to the dangers consuming moldy food pose to us. Mycotoxins are just that – toxins. Vomiting and disorientation are early signs of mold toxicity, but left untreated, tremors, seizures and secondary hyperthermia can result. It’s important to make sure our pets can’t get into our trash for a number of reasons, but this is likely one of the most important ones.
6. Hand Sanitizer
Fortunately, most dogs don’t find any hand sanitizers particularly tasty, but in case you’ve got a brave soul or a teething puppy, it’s important to keep this in mind. The ethanol in hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning if ingested. While licking your freshly sanitized hands might not cause any issues, consumption of large quantities will lead to a trip to the veterinarian.
Although not seemingly palatable to us, we all know that kids and, not so surprisingly, dogs, like eating glue. Certain types of wood, construction, and high-strength glues can create large foreign bodies in the intestinal tract that require surgery to remove. Along with the general irritation glue can cause, intestinal obstruction can lead to serious difficulties down the road without treatment. Obstructions are not always easy to identify, so if you think your pup has been having a little too much fun with arts and crafts lately, watch out for vomiting, anorexia and bloated stomach.
8. NSAIDs – both human and veterinary
NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can cause very serious damage to our pets. While many of us are aware that giving our dogs human medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen is dangerous, most of us don’t consider an overdose of medications prescribed by your veterinarian.
Veterinary NSAIDs include Rimadyl, Deramaxx, and Metacam. Most medications made for dogs are beef and chicken flavored to make them more enticing to our pets. These flavors often do their jobs and make medications seem a lot more like treats. While a treat overdose might just cause an upset tummy and some diarrhea, NSAID overdose is a very serious problem. NSAID toxicity can cause acute kidney failure, severe gastric ulceration, seizures, and death.
Keep all medications out of your pet’s reach and make sure all vials are closed properly. If you think your dog has ingested anything that might be dangerous to his or her health, contact your veterinarian immediately. Even if you aren’t sure, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Remember, time is often of the essence in these situations, and if anything occurs after-hours and you are unable to reach an emergency veterinary hospital, you can contact the Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435.
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