10 TOP DOG POISONS
Veterinarians treat many pets each year that are poisoned by common household items. And usually, the pet owners weren’t aware the items were dangerous to pets, so it’s important to know what to watch out for. We touched on the most common foods that dogs should not eat in several recent blog posts, so now we are going to look at typical things we are likely to have around the house that might pose a danger to your Greyhound.
1. MEDICATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTS - There are some human medications that are safe for dogs, but many others can be seriously harmful to your dog. Even some veterinary drugs can be toxic if not used properly. Before medicating your dog, always contact your veterinarian for instructions. An accidental overdose can prove fatal depending on the substance. Also, remember that your dog might be curious and quite determined when it comes to opening pill bottles. Keep all drugs, vitamins, herbs, and supplements out of reach. If you inadvertently drop a pill on the floor, be sure to look for it immediately. Supervise anyone, such as the elderly, who may need help taking medications.
2. RODENTICIDES - Rat and mouse poison can contain inactive ingredients that are appealing to dogs. Aside from eating the poison itself, dogs can also become sick from eating a rodent that has ingested the poison. Exposure to rat and mouse poison can cause bleeding, seizures, and kidney damage.
3. INSECTICIDES AND INSECT BAIT STATIONS - Ant baits, bug sprays, and foggers can be poisonous to your pet. Read labels to ensure proper use of these products and prevent pets from exposure during and after use. There is even danger of bowel obstruction if a dog swallows the plastic shell that contains the bait. Store all insecticides on high shelves out of a pet’s reach. Bait stations should go under or behind things where your dog cannot go.
4. OXYGEN ABSORBERS & SILICA GEL PACKETS - Oxygen absorbers are found in packages of pet treats, beef jerky, and other consumables. They contain iron that can cause iron poisoning in dogs. Silica gel packs are the small white packs found in new shoes, purses, and backpacks.
5. MARIJUANA – Edibles left where pets can get at them are the biggest danger. A dog’s organs are much smaller than a human’s, and therefore, they are more greatly affected. Passive smoking can also harm your dog. Crushed marijuana or whole marijuana leaves are lethally toxic for dogs. Symptoms to look out for: panting, uncontrollable thirst, drooling, lethargy, dribbling urine, increased heart rate, hyperactivity, coma, and even seizures.
6. TOBACCO – High concentrations of nicotine are fatal to humans as well as dogs. Because a dog’s organs are smaller than ours, it takes much less to poison them. Symptoms of tobacco poisoning can present within an hour and include vomiting, abnormal heart rate, tremors, and weakness.
7. CAT FOOD – If you have multi-species pets in your household, you know that dogs love to eat cat food, not to mention those “tootsie-rolls” in the litter box. However, cat food is not good for them because it contains high levels of fat and protein – ideal for cats but not for dogs. If your dog does get into it, detrimental effects can include diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, abdominal pain and possibly pancreatitis.
8. HOPS – You might be surprised to see this on the list, but since COVID, the popularity of home-brewing has made a come-back. With the growing trend of home-brewing, hops have become more common. It is a plant used in the process of brewing beer and both raw and spent hops are toxic for dogs. People who home-brew beer have often seen hops in dog vomit. It is lethal and can cause malignant hyperthermia and hops toxicity. Any breed can be affected by it but Greyhounds, as well as some other breeds, are more susceptible to it. Symptoms include vomiting with the presence of hops, the sudden elevation of body temperature, diarrhea, and restlessness. Rush to the vet immediately if your dog has consumed hops.
9. HOUSEHOLD PLANTS -They may be pretty, but plants aren’t necessarily pet friendly. Some of the more toxic plants to dogs include:
- Azaleas and rhododendrons. These pretty flowering plants contain toxins that may cause vomiting, diarrhea, coma, and potentially even death.
- Tulips and daffodils. The bulbs of these plants may cause serious stomach problems, convulsions, and damage to the heart.
- Sago palms. Eating just a few seeds may be enough to cause vomiting, seizures, and liver failure.
A complete list of toxic and nontoxic plants can be found on ASPCA’s website, Animal Poison Control | (888) 426-4435 | ASPCA
10. HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS - Just as cleaners like bleach can poison people, they are also a leading cause of pet poisoning, resulting in stomach and respiratory tract problems. Keep all cleaning products out of reach.
As responsible pet owners, we need to learn what is toxic to our pets, then take measures to avoid their exposure to these items, and also we need to be prepared and know what to do in case of exposure. As always, if your hound shows any worrisome symptoms or you know he has gotten into something he shouldn’t, call your veterinarian immediately.
Check out this resource for more information: Common Poison List | Pet Poison Helpline