Dog about to take a flower off table

Getting a new dog is an exciting time. You take every precaution to make sure your home is ready for your new family member, from proper food to toys and everything in between.
Which means, as part of your preparation, you’ll want to take every precaution to review your home and make sure it’s safe from poisonous and harmful materials. Some things are obvious like rat poison, bleach, and other cleaning products but some dangers are not so obvious.

Three Pet Poisons That May Surprise You

Pet Poison Awareness Month is a great opportunity to remind ourselves of our surroundings and how to keep our environments safe for our pets. Here are some of the less well-known substances to be mindful of:

  • Xylitol – found in sugar free gum and candy, dogs can’t digest this substance. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure and seizures. More than one dog has gone in his owner’s purse and “stolen” sugar free gum. So, if you keep this around, make sure it’s well out of reach of your dog.
  • Certain Foods – chocolate is commonly known to be dangerous to dogs, but did you know that onions, macadamia nuts, grapes, and raisins can be too? These can cause severe vomiting and gastro-intestinal illness.
  • Plants – Did you know there are dozens of common houseplants that can be toxic if ingested? African violets, Aloe, Tulip bulbs, Sago palms, and many more. If you already have these in your home, keep them out of reach of your dog. If you’re a gardener, keep an eye on your pup while working in the garden.

If you use mulch, know that the “chocolate mulch” can be poisonous for dogs because it’s made with cocoa beans (the source of chocolate.)

Common Symptoms of Poisoning

If a pet is poisoned by something he or she eats, there are typically symptoms. These symptoms are usually stomach related and can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heavy panting

But there can also be seizures, no appetite and generally “off” behavior like being unusually lethargic.

If you suspect your dog has ingested something poisonous, call your veterinarian right away.