It's National Poison Prevention Week. Which makes for a good time to review the top 5 things that can be poisonous to your dog. Last year, there were more than 100,000 cases of pet poisoning in the US (according to our staff vet advisor, it's the number one reason for emergency visits to the vet). Many of these were caused by substances you probably have in your home and may seem perfectly harmless to you and me. Some dog poisons are simply foods and medications we take on a regular basis.
Depending upon how much your pet consumes and how its system reacts, symptoms can include gastrointestinal and neurological problems, cardiac and respiratory distress, coma and even death.
Here are a few things to avoid:
1. People medications, in particular NSAIDS like ibuprofen, and anti-depressants
2. Flea and Tick products You may think that topicals are safe and you're doing your buddy a favor when you apply these, but thousands of animals are unintentionally poisoned by them every year. There's a reason why they now carry the equivalent of a black-box warning and why Fipronil, a powerful neurological agent found in Frontline, is deadly to parasites, and toxic to humans. Check out Olive's Flea & Tick section for ways to beat the flea naturally.
3. People Foods Contrary to what we've been told, not all people food is bad. Carrots, apples and many veges are great ways to 'treat' your dog. However, some foods are definitely off-limits. Animals have different metabolisms than people. Foods and beverages that are perfectly safe for people can be dangerous, sometimes fatal, for dogs - chocolate, avocado, grapes and raisins, alcohol, and xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in gum, etc) should be avoided.
4. Household Cleaners -Cleaners like bleach can poison people and pets, and they're the leading cause of pet poisoning. Instead choose plant-derived cleaners that do as good a job without toxic chemicals or fumes.
5. Fertilizer Products for your lawn and garden may be poisonous to pets that ingest them. Fortunately, there are safe alternatives equally rich in chlorophyll, antioxidants and vitamins, such as Pet Greens Garden.