It’s Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month!
We all try very hard to keep our pets healthy and happy. We feed them the right food, we take them to the vet and we give them all the love in the world. But did you know there are many things in and around your home that can be toxic to your furry loved ones? In honor of Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month, we will be doing a two part blog special highlighting the most common types of toxins our pets may encounter.
Chocolate or Coffee (or anything else containing caffeine)
The main ingredient in these products that make it toxic to pets is a substance called methylxanthines (found in cocoa seeds). Dogs are far more sensitive to this substance than humans. It is interesting to note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate due to the fact that there is a larger concentration of methylxanthines in darker chocolate.
Milk and Dairy Products
Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. Pets do not possess a significant amount of this particular enzyme. In some dogs this can cause diarrhea, gas, and/or vomiting.
Onions, Garlic and Chives
As yummy as these veggies and herbs are to us, in our pets they can cause GI irritation which can eventually lead to damage to their red blood cells. Onions are toxic because they oxidize hemoglobin (and oxygen transporting protein) in red blood cells. Because of this, the lifespan of the red blood cells is reduced, which, in turn, causes anemia. It could take weeks or even months for the signs of anemia to show. Garlic causes the same issue. However, since garlic is used in smaller quantities than onions we see toxicity from onions more than from garlic. Cats are more susceptible, however, if dogs consume a large enough quantity of these particular vegetable and/or herbs it can cause problems with them as well.
Raw and Undercooked Meat and Eggs and Bones
We are all aware of the dangers that consuming raw and/or undercooked meat and eggs pose to humans. Well, the same issues (salmonella and E. coli) can pose very serious issues to our furry friends as well. In domestic pets, bones (especially chicken bones) can cause choking and may splinter and cause tremendous issues in their intestinal tract.
This product is used as a sweetener in a lot of products including toothpaste, baked goods, candy and gum. It causes insulin to be released very rapidly and causes hypoglycemia. This can cause vomiting, weakness, seizures, and sometimes liver failure. Symptoms usually show up very quickly, sometimes within ten to fifteen minutes.
These articles have fantastic additional information about pet allergies:
If your pet has ingested any of these products please call us or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Number right away.