March: Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month- Part 1
Did you know that March is national pet poison prevention awareness month? Of course, most dog owners know the obvious foods dogs shouldn’t have, like chocolate for example. However, there are a lot of things that you shouldn’t give your pups that most wouldn’t think twice about. With March being the month to highlight these things, this gives veterinary professionals the opportunity to educate on what could potentially harm pets. To start, we’ll just go over some of the most common ‘human’ foods that dogs shouldn’t have.
‘Human’ foods to avoid giving your dog:
#1. Grapes and Raisins: Although science has yet to discover what is in grapes that makes them so toxic to dogs, we know there is a substance in them that can lead to sudden kidney failure. Until more is known, it is best to avoid giving these to your dog all together. Common symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, and decrease in appetite.
#2. Milk or Dairy products: This can really upset your dog’s stomach due to the fact that pets do not have a sufficient amount of Lactase which is needed to break down Lactose. This can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and overall abdominal discomfort.
#3. Yeast Dough: Because yeast dough rises, this can cause a gas build up in the digestive system- as it produces Ethanol and Carbon Dioxide. This becomes painful and may even cause the stomach to bloat. If this results in the stomach twisting- this can become a serious emergency. Common signs of bloat include abdominal distension, restlessness, retching, and pawing.
#4. Alcohol: This is an obvious one to most, which is good because it’s among one of the worst things your pet can ingest. Ingestion of alcohol can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature. Some animals can even experience seizures or respiratory failure. Alcohol of any kind and any amount should be avoided at all costs.
#5. Onions and Garlic: No matter what form they come in, if ingested in a large enough quantity they can kill off your dog’s red blood cells which can result in anemia. Symptoms include but are not limited to: abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart/breathing rate, and lethargy.
#6. Xylitol: This is a sugar substitute used in many ‘sugar free’ products. This is commonly used in sugar free gum/ candies, toothpaste, baked goods, and vitamins. Ingesting this can cause blood sugar to drop and can potentially cause liver failure. Symptoms start to show rather quickly after it is ingested. Signs include vomiting, weakness, and seizures.
#7. Coffee, Tea, Caffeine: Sodas, energy drinks, caffeine pills, diet pills, etc. can cause a rise in blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias- both being very dangerous for pets. Even a small amount can be very toxic.
#8. Macadamia Nuts: Nuts have a high fat and oil content- Macadamia nuts contain up to 80% oil- which can increase the risk of pancreatitis due to the high amount of fat. In high quantities they can cause weakness, hypothermia, tremors, and stiffening of joints.
#9. Table Salt: Ingestion of too much salt can cause sodium poisoning- meaning there is a rise in the sodium concentration in the blood. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, tremors, and seizures.
#10. Fat Trimmings and Bones: Bones can cause blockages or puncture or cause damage to their insides. Fat- could cause the pancreas to become inflamed which can result in vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. This also puts your pet at risk for developing pancreatitis.
These are the top ten most common ‘human’ foods that are potentially harmful to your dog. Of course, we highly encourage everyone to do their own research on the matter, as there is tons of information on the internet about what dogs should and should not eat. Although there are a lot of our snacks that they shouldn’t have, there are still a lot of fun things you can get for your dog as a treat. You can always stop by a local dog bakery, they have many things your pup is bound to love. Best part is- these treats are formulated specifically for our doggie friends!
…Please stay tuned for part two- as we go over some of the most dangerous household items for dogs!