Every year hundreds, if not thousands, of our beloved pets get poisoned by common items lying around the house. This is based on the statistics gathered by the Animal Poison Control Center which operates around the clock. In an effort to let pet owners, veterinarians, and shelters know of such poisons, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals releases a Top Toxins list every year. This is meant to educate people and help keep our dogs, cats, and other animals safe. The top three toxins in 2017 were human prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and food (mostly xylitol, an artificial sweetener). These are common household hazards to dogs.
Objects a dog might ingest
Dogs just love to chew. No matter the breed, you will always find something lodged in your dog’s mouth. May it be your favorite shoe, a cereal box, or your sofa, these common household items are not what we would consider safe. Even the chew toy or bone from your local pet store can be hazardous.
Even though there are vet-approved chewables in the market, keeping an eye on your dog is always a good idea. Anything that a dog can ingest should be inaccessible; it shouldn’t be small enough to get stuck in your dog’s digestive tract. In the unfortunate event that something DOES get stuck, you’ll find yourself in your vet clinic emergency room and with an unexpected (and hefty) medical bill. Carefully monitor play time and make sure to keep toys and raw hides afterwards.
Electric wires can be hazardous too but luckily adult dogs are smart enough to keep away from them. However if you have a puppy or a newly adopted dog in the house, it’s best to make these wires inaccessible for the meantime until he’s fully trained. There are wire covers that you can buy as an extra precaution.
We all know how attractive the trash is to a dog and we’ll forever wonder why. The garbage bin is full of unsafe items your dog might sink his teeth into. Food packages like styrofoam and plastics, as well as rotting food are just enough reasons for you to be vigilant in taking out the trash every day.
Plants that are poisonous to dogs
When your dog has outside playtime, munching on grass and other foliage is a common sight. Are all those plants safe for your dog to chew on? The answer is no. There are plants that are poisonous and have adverse reactions to dogs. Aloe vera is an example. Its gel has been praised for its calming and cooling properties on human skin but the same can’t be said for dogs. Ingesting the gel will irritate its digestive tract. Other plants to look out for are:
- Jade plant (rubber plant).
- Dieffenbachia aka “Dumb Cane.”
- Epipremnum Aureum, aka “Pothos” or “Devil’s Ivy.”
- Sago palm, from the seeds and the roots to the leaves, are poisonous and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and liver failure.
- Zamioculcas aka “ZZ Plant.”
- Caladium aka “Elephant Ear.”
- Dracaena aka “corn plant.”
- Asparagus fern.
- Foods that are poisonous to dogs
- Grapes and raisins.
- Products containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, such as gum.
- Onions and garlic.
- Coffee grounds.
- Macadamia nuts.
- Drugs, chemicals and sundries that are poisonous to dogs
- Narcotics and marijuana.
- Human prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, such as Acetaminophen in Tylenol.
- Overdosing of drugs prescribed for your dog, especially tasty chewable meds.
- Rodenticides (rat and mice poison).
- Weed killers (herbicides).
- Mineral spirits.
- Polyurethane adhesives.
- Common kitchen and bath surface cleaners, carpet cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners.
- Treated toilet water.
- Plant, flower, and lawn fertilizers.
- Ice-melting products.
- Mothballs and potpourri products.
- Toothpaste, hand soap, and sunscreen.