Toxic Foods & Your Dog!

If you think your dog has been exposed to a toxic substance ,it is important that you act quickly. First, identify the poison. Was it eaten, inhaled or absorbed through the skin? Was it a plant or harmful food? What is a chemical? Try to determine how much of the toxin he ate, inhaled or came in contact with. Obtain the original packaging of the toxin.

Call your vet for medical advice. You should not wait for your dog to show signs of illness, as it may be too late.

POISON CONTROL #’S:                                                                                ASPCA POISON CONTROL(888) 426-4435—                                        Pet Poison Hotline (800) 213-6680

Have hydrogen peroxide & dawn dish liquid on hand in case of a poisoning emergency



* Grapes & Raisins can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys possibly resulting in death

* Ingesting as few as 4-5 grapes or raisins can be poisonous to a 20 lb. dog, sensitivity depends on the particular dog

* Signs of toxicity include vomiting,loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain, decreased urine production, weakness & drunken gait

* Onset of signs typically occur within 24 hrs


* Onions can cause a form of hemolytic anemia called “Heinz body anemia, a condition that causes the destruction of red blood cells. Kidney damage may follow

* Toxicity may occur from similar foods such as garlic & chives

* It is not clear what quantity of onions is poisonous, but the effects can be cumulative. Poisoning can result from raw, cooked & dehydrated forms. Avoid feeding table scraps & any foods cooked with onions

* Signs are  secondary to anemia, such as pale gums, rapid heart rate. weakness & lethargy. Other signs include vomiting, diarrhea & bloody urine

* Treatment: blood transfusions & or oxygen may be necessary, followed by specific fluid therapy


* Chocolate & cocoa contain a chemical called theo-bromide that can adversely affect the heart, lungs, kidney & central nervous system.

* Pure baking chocolate is most toxic, while milk chocolate requires a higher quantity to cause harm. A 20 lb. dog can be poisoned after consuming about 2 oz of baking chocolate, but it would take nearly 20 oz of milk chocolate to cause harm. Ingestion of cocoa bean mulch can also be toxic

* Signs include excitement, tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rate/rhythm, drunken gait, hyperthermia & coma

* Treatment includes administration of activated charcoal & aggressive supportive care with fluid therapy medications


* Caffeine is quite similar to the toxic chemical in chocolate. It can damage the heart, lungs, kidneys & central nervous system

* Common sources of toxicity include caffeine pills, coffee beans & coffee, large amounts of tea & chocolate

* Signs typically begin with restlessness, hyperactivity & vomiting. These can be followed by panting,weakness,Drunken gait, increased heart rate, muscle tremor & convulsions

* Treatment includes administration of activated charcoal & supportive care with fluid therapy & medications


* These nuts ,while not considered fatal, can cause your dog to experience severe illness

* The actually toxin is not known, nor is the mechanism of toxicity

* Ingestion of just a handful of nuts can adverse effects in any dog

* Signs include vomiting, weakness, depression, drunken gait, joint/muscle pain & joint swelling

* Onset of signs typically occurs within 6-24 hours

* Dogs are typically treated symptomatically & recover within 24-48 hrs. In hospital supportive care may be recommended for dogs that become very sick


* Xylitol is a sugar free sweetener most often found in chewing gum & candy. In dogs it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia. Xylitol ingestion can cause liver damage

* Signs of liver toxicity can occur within 30-60 min & include weakness, drunken gait, collapse & seizures

* Your vet may induce vomiting. The affected dog may need to be treated with dextrose & monitored closely for 1-2 days. Many dogs improve with supportive care if treated early enough, though liver damage can be permanent


* Alcohol beverages contain ethanol-a SERIOUS chemical compound that causes nervous system respiratory depression

*Uncooked yeast doughs also produce ethanol

* Even small amounts of ethanol can cause toxic effects

* Signs include sedation, depression,  lethargy, drunken gait & hypothermia

* Ethanol is rapidly absorbed into the system ,so it important to seek medical attention quickly. It is not usually helpful to induce vomiting. Treatment includes aggressive supportive care with fluid & medications

* Under controlled circumstances, alcohol is used by vet’s as an antidote for antifreeze poisoning


* Apple seeds, cherry , peach  & plum pits contain the TOXIN CYANIDE

* Signs of cyanide poisoning include vomiting , heavy breathing, apnea tachycardia, cardiac arithmia’s, coma, skin irritation

* In some cases antidotes are available. Other treatments include oxygen therapy, fluids & supportive care

* Also take note that the leaves ,fruit, seeds & bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting in dogs. Also fat content is not healthy for dogs


* Botulism often from garbage can cause paralysis, slow heart rate, constipation & urine retention. An antitoxin is effective only if poisoning is caught early enough

* Rotten fruit produces ethanol, causing the same effects associated with alcohol or dough ingestion

* Moldy foods contain toxins that may cause muscle tremors, convulsion & drunkenness

* Therapy depends on the toxin. your vet induce vomiting. Sometimes treatment includes activated charcoal. Supportive care with fluids & medications is often necessary

Avoid foods high in fat, sugar or sodium ….these can contribute to indigestion, obesity, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance & more!



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