6 Top Things That are Toxic to Dogs

on November 17, 2021

toxic to dogs

Everyone knows that chocolate is toxic to dogs. But there are many other common household foods, plants and items which may be harmful to your beloved family fur baby.

Here we’ll take a quick look at 6 of the top things which are toxic to dogs.

Everything Even Remotely Onion-like is No Bueno

Did you know onions are toxic to dogs? Garlic too!

What foods are toxic to dogs? Everything even remotely onion-like is harmful to your dog. That includes onions, garlic, scallions and even chives. 

Why are onions bad for dogs? They contain a compound known as N-propyl disulfide. This compound can break down red blood cells, which leads to anemia in dogs. It can also cause oxidative stress, which is kind of like rust in the body. 

This Common Sweetener is Bad News for Dogs

Xylitol is pretty great for humans. It is a low-glycemic sweetener, which may help control obesity. It’s good for teeth, which makes it a common sweetener in gum. It helps stimulate the immune system, digestion and lipid and bone metabolism. Research is underway for how xylitol might help treat drug-resistant disease!

So it’s super great to use xylitol, right? 

Not for dogs. 

In a dog, xylitol can cause:

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia),
  • Vomiting,
  • Tremors or seizures,
  • Coma,
  • Even death.

Xylitol is considered extremely toxic to dogs.

Nuts are NOT Bad, Except This Toxic One

Dogs love nuts! Peanut butter, especially, is used in lots of yummy dog treats

Can a dog have too much peanut butter? Sure. Nuts are high in fat, so too many can be harmful for your dog. They can cause weight gain, kidney and liver problems. But the nuts in dog treats are totally fine!

Macadamia nuts, on the other hand, are very bad for your dog! The list of potential side effects to a dog eating macadamia nuts includes vomiting, tremors, fever and even depression.

Lots of Fruit Trees and One Vine Fruit are Toxic

The list of plants toxic to dogs is quite long. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a list on their website. But one category of plant toxic to dogs, in particular, is quite common across the country: several fruit trees and shrubs.

These trees and shrubs are bad for dogs:

  • almond, 
  • apricot, 
  • cherry, 
  • nectarine, 
  • peach, 
  • and plum trees.

While the fruit from these trees might not harm your dog, the plants themselves are the toxic part.

A highly toxic fruit for dogs grows on a vine: grapes.

Grapes and their dried-out cousins, raisins, are poisonous to dogs.

Other Plants and Yard Items Toxic to Dogs

Lots of menacing items might be in your yard. Before planting, you might want to consult a list of plants which are poisonous to dogs.

Regardless of what you plant, keep an eye on the other items you use in your yard. Fertilizers often contain animal matter, so your dog may get inquisitive and want to take a taste. But fertilizers also commonly contain weed killers which would poison your pet. Pesticides of any kind can be toxic to dogs.

Other Toxins You Might Have Around the House

When you have a kid, you child-proof a house. Household cleaners and other toxic chemicals come with warning symbols and child-proof lids.

Unfortunately, many household items which would be toxic to your pet do not come with labels or even pet-proof containers. Keep all of the following products out of reach of your dog:

  • Liquid potpourri
  • Fabric softener
  • Moth balls
  • Household cleaners like bleach
  • Automotive items like antifreeze
  • Alcohol, marijuana or cannabis products (except CBD products specifically made for dogs)

Any of these items could poison your dog.

What Do I Do If My Dog Eats Something Toxic?

If your dog eats something toxic, you will most likely need to seek veterinary care. Sometimes just a phone call is enough. They will assess factors which may affect toxicity, including:

  • The breed of your dog
  • The weight of your dog
  • What your dog ate
  • How much of the substance your dog ate

If your vet recommends an office visit, you should follow that advice. It may be that they need to induce vomiting, give your dog fluids, or use activated charcoal to help absorb a toxin. Other methods for dealing with dog poisoning exist, but these are some of the common treatments.

How Long Do You Have If Your Dog Eats Something Toxic?

You should act quickly, if your dog eats a poisonous substance. It may just take a quick phone call! But better to know than to risk serious consequences for your pet.

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