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Dog poisons are among the most popular reasons why pet owners and veterinarians have dog related emergencies. Too often we forget that our dogs are pets. To us, they are invincible, harmless, and caring, but just because they are man’s best friend, does not mean they can ingest, consume, and process the same things as people or other animals can. This is particularly important because some of the most dangerous dog poisons are foods and medications we humans take on a daily basis. Just because something is safe for people, does not mean it will not hurt our dear pets.
The most popular dog poison is prescription human medication. In 2013, the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) handled over 24,673 cases regarding prescription medications. Among the top 3 that affected dogs the most were heart medications, antidepressants, and painkillers/anti-inflammatory drugs. The second most popular dog poison is insecticide. Insecticides are used in the yard, our home, and on our animals but if used improperly or ingested; they can really harm our pets. Another popular dog poison is over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, diet pills, as well as many other herbal supplements. Many of these products are appealing to dogs, but should not be kept in areas where they can get to it easily.
Last year there were over 17,000 calls to the APCC regarding household products. If humans can’t ingest household products, then your dog shouldn’t be anywhere near them. Household toxins such as fire logs and cleaning products can be corrosive and cause gastrointestinal problems leading to surgical intervention. People food can also be just as harmful as any of the other poisons already mentioned. Giving your dog greasy food can also cause gastrointestinal issues as well as weight gain. Because we give dogs food from table, it’s especially appealing to them. However, dogs can get themselves into serious trouble by ingesting processed food and sugar substitutes. This brings us to one poison almost every dog owner is aware of, chocolate. Chocolate is still the number one people food that dogs ingest. Too much chocolate can wreak havoc on a dog causing vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. Other dog poisons include rodenticides, plants, lawn products, and the overuse of
veterinary products and medications.
There are many things that we owners use in our everyday lives that can affect the dogs that live with us. Always make an effort to read the warning labels on household and lawn products. Dogs in a lot of ways are like children. They sometimes ingest or get into things that they shouldn’t, but we love them and we will do whatever it takes to guarantee their safety as much as possible. Therefore, use safe products, keep your home clean, and keep medications and food away from your dog to reduce exposure to dog poisons. In the case that your dog may have ingested something toxic, do not hesitate to call your vet or the APCC 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.