Dog Poisoning Prevention And Treatment


You imagine for a moment, that you just walked through the front door after a long, stressful day at work. You just want to cook yourself a nice meal, and relax on the couch binge watching Making a Murderer on Netflix.

Instead, you open the door to find the very contents of your cupboards strewn from one end of the kitchen to the other, the garbage can is toppled over, and your black lab named Diesel is giving you the all too familiar.

Just as you start to watch Episode 7 of Making a Murderer you notice that Diesel isn’t acting himself. His stomach is making lots of noise, he’s excessively drooling, and he refused to eat his supper. You let Diesel out for his final walk of the night, but he doesn’t come back in.

You think to yourself, “Huh, that’s odd. Just as you start to venture off the back porch you notice Diesel is laying on the ground. As you reach Diesel’s side you notice that he is panting excessively, and he has developed muscle tremors rendering him unable to walk.

In a panic, you scoop the large, black lab into your arms and rush him to the emergency vet where you are greeted with a million questions including, “Has Diesel eaten anything odd today?” You tell them that Diesel got into a whole bunch of food that was in your cabinets and had strewn it all over the kitchen.

The Veterinarian immediately rules the issue to be that Diesel has ingested something toxic to his health and that they must administer emergency care to prevent death.

As you sit in the waiting room hoping and praying that your beloved Diesel is going to be okay, your mind starts to race as to what exactly Diesel could have gotten into to cause such a reaction.

Household toxins

Most people immediately think of household cleaners like bleach and rodenticides when they hear the word Household toxins; however, a lot of our food and houseplants contain hidden toxins that we may not even know are harming our faithful canine friends.

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Foods and beverages like alcohol, coffee, chocolate (Especially dark), citrus peelings, stems and leaves, coconut and coconut based products, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, excessive milk and dairy, nuts, onions, garlic, chives, raw/undercooked meat, eggs, and bones, excessively salty snack foods, yeast dough, and xylitol which is commonly found in gum, candy, and toothpaste are all poisonous to dogs.


The side effects of these can range anywhere from upset stomach to death, and some may not be noticeable at first.

Foods rich in toxins such as chocolate, grapes, and raisins can build up in your dog’s system over time and cause kidney failure unless eaten in large quantities which would cause kidney failure within hours of ingestion.

There are several species of household plants that while may be beautiful, they are also quite toxic to dogs.

Plants such as English Ivy, Aloe, American Holly, and Geraniums are all toxic to dogs. Lastly, human medications are incredibly toxic to dogs. Medications such as acetaminophen which is commonly found in Tylenol, calcium supplements, and cough/cold medications are all toxic to dogs.

aloeAny human medication should only be given under the supervision of a Veterinarian who will prescribe the correct dose of medications such as aspirin. it is not safe to assume that it’s okay for the dog, just because it’s safe for you.

Outdoor toxins

As summer grows ever closer the concern for your dog coming into contact with poisonous material increases exponentially. While we as humans are focused on making our yards beautiful and basking in the sun, there are many dangers lurking about for your dog to get into trouble with.

Compost bins or piles, various pest baits, pesticides, mushrooms, fireworks (if ingested), plants, rodenticides, fertilizers such as blood meal and bone meal or fertilizers containing iron, herbicides, grass seeds, mulches specifically those of cocoa bean variety, blue-green algae, and even salt water.


Dogs don’t realize that salt water is not for drinking, and if excessive intake occurs it can result in hypernatremia, or salt poisoning. Salt poisoning can cause severe brain swelling and other neurological problems, and usually the signs progress quickly.

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Miscellaneous toxins

Pet owners know that dogs are like toddlers and will get into anything; however, there are some things that we feed, apply topically, or even accidently do that could be toxic to our animals health.

For instance, applying the flea & tick control amount for a 55lbs. dog on a 15lbs dog could have serious adverse reactions ranging anywhere from itching and hair loss to death. Another thing that could possibly poison our dog is unclean food bowls, these bowls can harbor all kinds of bacteria including salmonella.

Another common poison control complaint is that the dog got into the Marijuana stash, which causes all kinds of clinical signs such as sedation, disorientation, incontinence, and slow heart rate.

The easiest way to prevent dog poisoning is to keep the toxin away from your dog, either in a high cupboard or in a baby proof cabinet. You should make sure the English Ivy plant is not able to be reached by your dog.

You can put it on top of the fridge or on a high shelf, and make sure that as the plant grows the vines are cut short enough that the dog cannot chew on them. Your dog should always be monitored while they are running around outside, and try to avoid mulch made of cocoa bean which is usually the dark brown or black color.

To prevent salt poisoning at the beach, bring a couple of bottles of fresh water with you for your dog to drink. Dog food bowls should be kept clean, and never feed your dog food that has been recalled. Lastly, you should always make sure things like Marijuana and other medicines are up high, and out of reach of your dog.

Treatment for your dog who has ingested toxic material is to immediately call your veterinarian, or take them to an emergency veterinarian if yours isn’t open. The key to your dog’s safety relies heavily on the amount of time that has passed since ingestion, and the toxin that was ingested.

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Generally, if the dog has eaten an oatmeal cookie in less than four hours, the veterinarian can cause the dog to vomit or tell you how to depending on the breed. If the toxin was bleach or something of a corrosive nature, the dog will have to be administered fluids and possibly have their stomach flushed with charcoal.


If you apply a topical flea and tick control and find out that either the dose was too high, or you put it on the wrong species by accident, or even that your dog has begun acting crazy and scratching until his hair is falling out; you should quickly wash your dog in warm water and use a dish soap detergent such as Dawn to wash them off.

Once they are washed off quickly dry them and contact your veterinarian. If the veterinarian chooses to see you (they most likely will) you should also bring the box that the topical flea & tick control came in.

If you would like a full list of poisonous substances to dogs, you can check out.

After a couple of frightening hours at the emergency vet, a vet tech comes out and informs you that Diesel your beloved black lab is stable and that according to the clinical signs he may have ingested coffee grounds.

That’s when it hits you that there were no coffee grounds in the filter that you picked up off the floor as you cleaned up the mess that Diesel claims the cat did.

The vet tech informs you that Diesel will have to stay overnight to monitor his condition, but after a night of IV fluids and supportive therapy he should be ready to go in the morning.

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