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the Dog Blog

Protecting our Dogs from Everyday Items that Might be Harmful

Has your adorable pup ever stuck their nose into something they shouldn’t? Maybe they found the leftover Halloween candy or discovered chocolates from Valentine’s Day sitting out on the kitchen counter? These mischievous moments can be very serious for our dogs. In honor of Poison Prevention Week, March 20th-26th, 2016, we wanted to reacquaint you with some everyday items that could be harmful to your dogs. We have also gathered best practices to help prevent them from finding trouble and suggestions on what to do in the case of an emergency.

1. Foods Dogs Should Avoid

You never know when your pup will sneak a crumb from the ground or be fed something from a guest in your home that doesn’t know any better because they don’t own pets.

  • Chocolate

  • Milk

  • Grapes/Raisins

  • Garlic

  • Onions

  • Yeast Dough

  • Apple Cores

  • Xylitol (often found in gum and candy)

  • Caffeine

  • Alcohol

  • Salt

  • Peach/Plum Pits

  • Human Medicine/Vitamins

Quick side note: Did you know that chocolate consumption is the number one reason loving pet parents call the Pet Poison Helpline. If your dog does consume chocolate, remember that chocolate toxicity may be delayed for hours. This can be treated before signs occur so take your pup to the vet if you know they consume this danger.

Now that you know what foods may be harmful to your dog, let’s take it a step further and look into other toxins around the house to keep out of paw’s reach.

2. Medicines, Cleaning Supplies & Other Toxins

Try doggie-proofing your home so that your best friend doesn’t stick their nose into the dangers that could harm their health and well-being in the first place! Here are some simple household products to keep in high cabinets and behind child-proof locks, since we all know our dogs are like little toddlers.


Mouse and rat poisons contain various ingredients that are poisonous to our best friends. It’s not always our fault and we forget about the rat poison that was put out in the corner of the basement long before bringing our pup home! Be sure to keep your dog out of any areas where you put down rat poison.

Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

Unfortunately, some pet parents give their dogs human medication, thinking it’ll help them through a pain. Check with your veterinarian before ever doing this! Our best friends cannot tolerate human medication.  If you are prone to dropping pills and you have a dog that is quick to try to pick things up, you may want to go into a room where you can close the door and take the pills in safety.


Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener found in a number of gums, mints, dental products, vitamins, some foods, candy, medications, and more. So hide the gum! Be sure guests that come to visit don’t put purses or camera bags within reach of your dogs.  If your dog does eat some gum, even just a few pieces, call your veterinarian and seek medical attention right away.

Household Cleaners

The cleaners you use around the house, as well as laundry detergent, can be easily inhaled, lapped up or chewed by dogs, so keep them out of reach!

Fertilizers and Plant Food

We all love when our dogs spend time with us in the yard playing or going for walks in the park, but we need to keep our dogs from consuming fertilizers and plant food. Keep these products out of reach in the garage and be careful where you apply them in the yard. Be sure to follow the instructions if there is a period during which you need to keep the dog off the grass.  You can also research dog-friendly fertilizers to help keep your dog safe.  

While this is not a complete list of items that can be harmful to dogs, hopefully it is a good reminder of the things to keep away from your pup.  The Pet Poison Hotline has a more comprehensive list at http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poisons/.   Prevention is the best medicine!  If you know your dog gets up on the table when you are out of the house, or is interested in getting into the pockets of the jackets that are nearby, take note and be sure to keep your dog in another area of the house when you are gone, or keep a clean table (no chocolate out) and hang coats out of reach.  But if they do eat something they shouldn't, be prepared to take the necessary steps to ensure their safety.


3. When Your Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t

Being a dog parent is very rewarding, but it is not always stress free! We try so hard to protect our best friends from the bad things that could harm their health. Your quick reaction at the time could make all the difference for your best friend.

  • Step 1: Get any remains away from the dog

  • Step 2: Check your dog for any signs of illness

  • Step 3: Call your Veterinarian or closest Emergency Veterinarian

Your dog may not show any immediate symptoms, so a call to your vet is important.  If you find your dog to still be at risk after completing the three steps above, you should immediately take them to the nearest vet or emergency vet. Or, you can call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661. Note: The Pet Poison Helpline charges a per incident fee, so be sure you know what the costs are when you first call.

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Do you have additional considerations to share during Poison Prevention Week? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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