Do you know what your pets are eating? I know this sounds like a strange question to ask, but as the owner of not one, but two new puppies, this question became a life-or-death scenario last weekend! A $3,000 lesson I never ever want to experience again.
Last Friday, our puppies Teddy and Freddy gnawed on a Sago Palm that was on our patio. They are in their teething stage, so I didn’t think much of it at the time. After discovering that Freddy had thrown up a little while later, I googled the name of the plant, and was SHOCKED at the results! I immediately scooped up the dogs and rushed them to the vet. Three days and three thousand dollars later, the puppies are okay! If we would have waited any longer to bring the dogs to the vet, they probably would have died.
As a result of this major scare, I now watch my dogs like a hawk, especially considering they love to chew pretty much everything they encounter. But even dogs that aren’t in their teething stage are at risk. I’ve spent time sifting through the ASPCA website and other online resources, and have compiled a list of 10 things I didn’t know were toxic to dogs. Some of these were a major shock to me!
10 Things That Are Poisonous For Your Dog (in no particular order)
1. Grapes & Raisins – Grapes and raisins are VERY toxic to dogs! Ingesting even one grape in a small dog and as little as four grapes in a larger dog can cause permanent damage, particularly acute kidney failure! This one was the biggest shock to me…since my dogs love watermelon and bananas, I would have assumed grapes would be fine too. Good thing I’ve never given them any!
2. Onions & Garlic – Although garlic is about five times more toxic than onions, both are bad for your dog (or cat)! They are known to cause damage to red blood cells as well as gastroenteritis (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Onion and garlic poisoning may have a delayed onset, and in many cases, symptoms may not be apparent for a few days (often when it’s too late).
3. Xylitol – Typically found in gum and other candies, Xylitol is estimated to be about 100 times more toxic in dogs than chocolate! If you discover that your dog has eaten a pack of your gum or candy (or even a few pieces), contact your vet immediately! Symptoms of xylitol poisoning are known to show up pretty quickly, often with vomiting, loss of coordination (almost like they are drunk), seizures or tremors.
4. Salt - Salty items, such as a bag of potato chips or even play-dough (especially the homemade kind) are pretty toxic for dogs in large quantities. It can cause salt poisoning, which can result in vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and kidney damage.
5. Sago Palm – Sago Palm is a common indoor and outdoor ornamental palm plant. While it is very pretty, it’s also very deadly to pets and humans! The unfortunate thing is that there are no warning labels on this plant when it is sold in stores. In animals, it causes liver damage. Symptoms may not appear right away, but if you even THINK your pet has ingested Sago Palm, especially the bark or seeds of the plant, get them to a vet ASAP! There is no antidote for the toxin, so the quicker they are able to get to the vet to have their stomach pumped, the better!
6. Chocolate – Pretty much everyone knows that chocolate is bad for dogs, but it’s easy to forget. While a large dog may be fine after eating some M&M’s or hershey’s kisses, smaller dogs don’t fare as well. Also, dogs don’t know how to remove the wrappers, so make sure any candy dishes are out of reach! The tinfoil wrappers from fun-sized candy can cause intestinal blockage or choking.
7. Plants – There are lots of common garden plants that are poisonous for dogs, causing stomach problems or worse. Sure, grass and many other plants are just fine for dogs to eat, but others can be deadly. The best bet is to check your garden or other areas your pets frequent. Examples of toxic plants include daffodils, morning glory, tulips, azalea (VERY toxic!) and cala lilly.
8. Tylenol – Growing up, my family dog often had to take Benadryl due to allergies. While some “people medications” are ok for dogs to take, Tylenol is not one of them! Tylenol in even small amounts can cause permanent liver damage in dogs.
9. Macadamia Nuts – Make sure your dog stays away from anything containing macadamia nuts! Even one cookie can be dangerous. The nuts contain a toxin that will result in swollen limbs, tremors, and damage to your dog’s digestive, nervous and muscle systems.
10. Avocado – Although not necessarily considered “poisonous,” avocado is not good for dogs to eat. It contains a toxin called persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Do you know of any other things that are poisonous to pets? If so, leave me a comment letting me know!