So, a few days ago I published a blog post about dog food allergies and the alternative of feeding a home cooked diet. This got me thinking about how we easy it can be to accidentally expose our dogs to foods that are poisonous or dangerous that are often generally available in our home and garden. That’s why I’ve decided to compile a list of foods that are harmful to dogs, there are a few well-known foods to avoid for dogs: chocolate, onions, raisins, etc, it’s not an exhaustive list, but there are a few items that might surprise you.
- Fruit and Vegetables – dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas, grapes, rhubarb (check if you have any growing in your garden, or a neighbour’s garden if your dog can reach it), onions, garlic, spinach, beetroot, mushrooms (and wild fungi) and avocado are all potentially hazardous and should be kept well out of your dog’s reach and certainly out of his diet!
- Chocolate – this is a well-known toxin for dogs, so unless it’s a special doggy chocolate from a pet store you need to keep this locked away too!
- Nuts – not all nuts are toxic, but they are high in fat and often have large amounts of added salt, so best avoided, macadamia nuts are extremely hazardous for canines.
- Caffeine – whether it be in tea and coffee, or energy drinks, this needs to be avoided as can be potentially fatal for our pets.
- Xylitol – this is an artificial sweetener used in human foods, it is widely used in the US, but has become more widespread in the UK too. Check carefully on food labels as this sweetener is often added to peanut butter, yogurts, cakes, sweets and processed foods, so it could be in foods that you don’t expect it to be, always check the label or, better still, don’t feed your dog processed foods, as heaven knows what else might be in them!
- Cleaning products – they contain a range of chemicals designed to break down dirt and kill bacteria, they should always be kept well out of reach of your pets, one of the most common instances of poisoning in this way is dogs drinking from a freshly cleaned toilet bowl, so make sure that you close the lid after cleaning and close doors.
- General household items – copper coins, pot-pourri and refresher oils, dishwasher tablets, batteries, play dough, hand and foot warmers, cigarettes and replacement gums and alcohol are all potentially lethal to your pets.
- Garden products – pest control, eg rodent poison, slug and snail pellets, lawn and plant treatments and fertiliser, paints and varnishes, fence treatment, all of those items contain a range of poisons and should be locked well away.
- Toads – they excrete poisonous venom which can be toxic to dogs who lick or get close to them.
- Antifreeze – a real hazard, not only is it highly poisonous to dogs, it tastes sweet, so they are more likely to be attracted to it. Some people use it to de-ice paths and roadways, so it is always best to rinse your dog’s paws after a walk in the wintertime.
Indoor and outdoor plants
There are many plants that can be dangerous for our dogs, many of which may be in your garden without you realising the danger. I have included the some more common ones in the list below, but you can see a comprehensive list on the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) website.
- Aloe Vera
- Apple – seeds
- Bulbs – eg daffodils, tulips, crocus bulbs
- Tomato – green stems and leaves
Better safe than sorry!
So, as you can see there are a huge range of potential dangers lurking in our homes and gardens. I really hope that this article provides a little insight into how to keep your four legged friend safe and healthy. If you have any questions about the things covered in this post, or any other toxic items to share, please use the comments box below.