Learn about Potential Toxins/Poisons or food that can be harmful to your dog.
The sweetener Xylitol, which is found in many sugar-free products, is known to be toxic to dogs and thought possibly toxic to other animals including dogs.
Xylitol can be found in products such as:
- Human Toothpaste
- Chewing gum
Xylitol can cause blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low resulting in vomiting, seizures and coma. Toxicity can also be deadly and cause liver failure.
If you suspect your dog has consumed Xylitol you must contact your vet immediately.
Anti-freeze contains a substance known as ethylene glycol which is very poisonous to pets. Only a small amount of anti-freeze will poison any pet and even humans. Poisoning from ethylene glycol affects the liver, kidneys and brain. It can cause long term damage and can be fatal
Be careful when using anti-freeze on cars as it can drip off into puddles on the Ground which are easily licked by pets. Always clean up after using the chemical and never leave full or even empty containers lying around where pets may get hold of them.
Anti-freeze poisoning symptoms can include:
- Change in behaviour
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive thirst
- Breathing difficulties
If you suspect your dog has consumed anti -freeze you must contact your vet immediately.
Onions and Garlic
Dogs should not be regularly fed onions or garlic in homemade diets or treats, raw or cooked. Both contain disulphide which when eaten by a dog can cause Heinz body anaemia. The anaemia damages the red blood cells and prevents them from carrying adequate oxygen to where it is needed in the body. Other vegetables from the same family should also be avoided such as chives and leeks.
Some pet food manufacturers use a very small amount of onion in their products, mainly in a powdered form. Onion can be used to enhance taste and increase palatability of food. Any pet food manufacturer will ensure that the amount of onion in the product is carefully controlled so that when the product is fed as recommended there is a large safety margin and therefore no risk to the pet's health.
Poisoning from chocolate can be fatal in dogs. Chocolate that is intended for human contains substances called methylxanthines, which act as stimulants to our pets. The darker the chocolate, the more methylxanthines it contains. Chocolate can cause;
- High heart rate
- Muscle tremors
Never feed your pet human chocolate. There are many specially formulated doggy chocolates available that are ok to give as treats. But remember to always reduce the size of their regular meals accordingly and don’t feed so much that the nutritional balance of the diet is disrupted.
If you suspect your dog has consumed chocolate you must contact your vet immediately.
Grapes & Raisins
Although people have traditionally used raisins and grapes as treats for their dogs just a few can make a dog ill. The consumption of grapes and raisins presents a potential health threat to dogs. Grape and raisin toxicity in dogs can cause the sudden development of kidney failure (acute renal failure).
Vomiting and diarrhea, where pieces of grapes or raisins may be present, are often the first symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity in dogs. They often develop within a few hours of ingestion. Further symptoms include weakness, not eating, increased drinking, and abdominal pain. Acute renal failure develops within 48 hours of ingestion.
If you suspect your dog has consumed grapes or raisins you must contact your vet immediately.
When feeding your dog homemade snacks and treats, always ensure meat and fish have had every last bone removed regardless of the size and whether raw or cooked. Never give your dog large animals bones. As an alternative buy mock bones that have been specially developed for feeding to pets and therefore are safe. Bones can be very dangerous if fed to any pet – they damage teeth and splintered parts can tear anywhere from the mouth through to the digestive system where they can also cause obstructions. Damage from bone chewing and ingestion can be extremely painful and will often need veterinary treatment.