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Be Aware, Be Prepared: Substances Toxic to Dogs

Most of us know not to let our dogs near antifreeze, chocolate, and grapes. Unfortunately, those are just a drop in the toxin bucket when it comes to substances dangerous for dogs to ingest.

While the Ugly Dog canine staff prefers to live by the “my lips are the litmus test” rule when it comes to scarfing down dubious, risky, and sometimes downright astonishing substances, we human staffers know better.  Levels of toxicity can depend on the poison, amount eaten, size of the dog and other factors, but the adage “better safe than sorry” is the best rule.

Here’s a basic list of things that can be poisonous to your dog. These are just a few of the more toxic ones. For complete lists, an online search will give you several reliable websites for more complete listings.

Food: Onion/garlic, chocolate, macadamia nuts, avocado, coffee/caffeine, grapes/raisins, alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), mustard seeds, sweeteners (particularly Xylitol). And don’t forget foods that aren’t toxic but can easily cause blockages, such as corn cobs and peach pits.

Home and Yard Products:: Antifreeze, cocoa mulch, insecticides, mouse bait, ice melt, mothballs, fertilizers.

Plants: Mistletoe, thorn apple, English ivy, castor bean, dieffenbachia, hemlock, oleander.

Symptoms of poisoning may include difficulty breathing, profuse salivation, stomach pain, irregular heart, seizures/convulsions, rigidity, extended legs, bluish mucous membranes, and shivering.

What to do? Don’t make your dog vomit if you don’t know what was ingested. Don’t make your dog vomit if it ingested a caustic or alkaline substance.  Do make your dog vomit if  you know what was ingested (foods, plants, antifreeze glycols). Use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, giving .05 – 1 ml per pound of dog’s weight. Consult a veterinarian and/or animal poison hotline asap. You might be advised to give activated charcoal as well.