Toxic Foods and Other Nasties
Wondering what you should and shouldn’t feed your pet? Want to know why Ibuprofen is so dangerous to dogs? Nadia Crighton takes a look at the common toxic foods and household items that can harm your beloved animal.
Dogs are natural scavengers and many end up in trouble after ingesting something their systems simply can’t handle. It’s impossible to protect your pet from all the nasties lurking in the garden and in the home, but having a good understanding of the most common foods and household items that are safe for human consumption, but deadly to dogs, is the best form of defense.
Most dog owners are aware of the #1 most common and toxic food that can cause huge problems for dogs, and that is chocolate. Chocolate is made from roasting the seeds of the Theobroma Cacao, which contain two toxic properties; caffeine and theobromine. Ingesting these can be fatal for an unsuspecting dog. Dark chocolate and cooking chocolate are the worst of the variety, but all forms can cause poisoning. The main reason so many dogs are poisoned each year from consuming chocolate is because most owners simply forget to put the sweet treats up and out of reach of little paws.
Other common causes of toxicity in dogs caused by foods is:
- Raisins / grapes – this can cause sudden kidney failure. The known reason for this is not clear, and it seems some dogs are affected while others are not. So it’s best to stay clear.
- Macadamia nuts – again the reason why these are toxic to dogs is unclear, however they have been known to cause vomiting, weakness, depression and hyperthermia. Although not fatal they can make your dog very unwell.
- Butter – can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Any fatty meal / foods should never be fed to your pooch as it can make them very unwell. Dogs cannot process fats like humans can. One very fatty meal can cause damage to the pancreas and leave your pet feeling very unwell.
Over the Counter
There are also other common household products that you should keep out of reach of your beloved pet. The most common misconception people have is that they can self medicate their pets with human pain relief. Ibuprofen is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NASID. These NASID’s can be very toxic to dogs. In large doses it can lead to kidney failure and death, and in small doses can make your pet very ill. Only use medication on your dog that has been prescribed by your veterinarian. Other common household poisons include:
- Rodent poison (Rodenticides)
- Ant and cockroach bait
- Cold and Flu medication
- Caffeine (this includes highly caffeinated energy drinks and caffeine tablets)
What to do?
If you suspect your dog has ingested anything poisonous it’s best to seek veterinary advice immediately. The quicker you get help the better the chance of a full recovery. Some of the symptoms of poising include:
- Diarrhea, possibly bloody
- Black tar like stools
- High temperature
- Rapid breathing
- Abnormal behavior
- Abdominal pain
- Pale gums
- Muscle rigidity
- Seizures / tremors
- Increased heart rate