This list is not all inclusive! There are many common household
products that are poisonous to dogs. You should always assume
that anything that is poisonous to people is also poisonous
Acids and Alkalis
These chemical substances can be found in many products ranging
from batteries and cleaning products to dye removers and dishwasher
soap. Depending on concentration, ingestion can cause anything
from a simple diarrhea to a painful death within hours.
Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol)
Antifreeze is very toxic, it causes your dog's kidney to
fail. As little as a single tea spoon can make a small dog
very sick or even kill it. What makes it especially dangerous
is its sweet smell and taste that makes it appealing to dogs.
Many herbicides and pesticides contain arsenic, a substance
that is very toxic to dogs and often causes death if not immediately
treated. Dogs can poison themselves just by drinking water
or eating plant material that has been contaminated with these
A chocolate bar can be enough to make a small dog extremely
ill or even kill it. Chocolate contains the chemical stimulant
theobromine which can not be metabolized by dogs. If your
dog eats chocolate, the theobromine can remain in its bloodstreams
for up to 24 hours. The result is a fast heart rate, hallucinations,
severe diarrhea, epileptic seizures, heart attacks, internal
bleeding, and eventually even death. Due to its high coca
content, baker's chocolate is the most dangerous.
Never allow your dog to ingest over-the-counter pain relievers
(such as Motrin, Advil or Aleve) as they contain Ibuprofen/Naproxen,
an anti-inflammatory drug that is very toxic to dogs even
in low doses. Both Ibuprofen and Naproxen damage your dog's
liver, kidney and they can cause severe to even fatal stomach
ulcers. Never give human medications to a dog without the
direction of a veterinarian.
Flea and Tick Products
There have reportedly been numerous cases where dogs showed
allergic reactions against flea and tick products. Such reactions
can range from loss of appetite to seizures or muscle tremors.
This relatively small risk however is outweigh by the advantages
of using these products, because fleas and ticks can spread
diseases and parasites that could be fatal for a dog (i.e.
Dogs like to chew on all kinds of things, and these things
(i.e. old linoleum, caulking, plaster, painted wood) may contain
lead. The recent recall of lead contaminated toys manufactured
in China is a grim reminder that this is not quite a thing
of the past. Lead poisoning can cause diarrhea, vomiting weakness,
and in severe cases, even seizures and blindness.
Rat and Mouse Poison
What makes rat poison appealing to rats and mice is its smell
and taste... and that's why it intrigues dogs as well. The
chemical substance in rat poison interferes with your dogs
ability to make Vitamin K which is essential in causing its
blood to clot. Without this vitamin, your dog would internally
bleed to death. Because the symptoms from rat poison take
several days to appear (such as bruises, nosebleeds, bloody
vomit or bloody feces), it is essential that you seek immediate
emergency care if you suspect that your dog may have eaten
Slug and snail bait contains a sugary, tasty base that attracts
not only to slugs but also to dogs. The chemical ingredient
of snail bait is methaldehyde which causes muscle tremors,
increased heart rate and seizures. As little as a teaspoon
of it can make a 20 lbs dog very sick. The German shepherd
of a friend of mine died after ingesting snail bait.
Strychnine poisoning in dogs occurs usually from ingestion
of baits designed for use against rodents. Even five grams
of commonly available strychnine based rodent bait would be
enough to kill a 40 lbs dog. As with rat poison, it is essential
that you seek immediate emergency care if you suspect that
your dog may have ingested this poison.
Always keep your cleaning supplies and yard chemicals securely
locked up. Many chemicals found in pesticides and fertilizers
can cause illness from ingestion, contact (i.e. nose or paws)
DEET (Active ingredient in OFF! insect
Because the manufacturers of commonly used mosquito repellants
formulated for humans (such the widely popular OFF! spray)
deem these products safe for adults and children, some dog
owners assume that they are also safe to use on their pet.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. If your insect repellant
has DEET as the active ingredient, it is toxic for dogs. The
exact mechanism of DEET toxicity is unknown, but the toxic
effects primarily involve the gastrointestinal tract and the
central nervous system (clinical signs of DEET poisoning include
hyper-salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, excitation,
ataxia, and seizures).