Animals discover information about their environment by smelling and tasting first, and then using their vision and hearing as back-up “detectors”. Dogs are no exception to this instinctual behavior and often suffer consequences from simply wanting more information about the world around them.
Dangerous to a Dog’s Health
Hazardous substances lurk indoors and outdoors for curious dogs intrigued by things that smell (and possibly taste) interesting. Common items consumed by dogs that may induce poisoning include:
- Medications–depending on the type of medication the dog consumes, one pill may be toxic while two pills may not harm the dog. Always call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested any kind of medication
- Pesticides–sweet-smelling pesticides meant to attract mice, rats and other pests also attract other mammals like dogs and cats. In addition, your dog’s flea and tick collar may make him ill if it falls off and he decides to chew on it.
- Antifreeze–the ethylene glycol in antifreeze that prevents your car’s radiator system from freezing in the winter is sweet-tasting but toxic to your dog. Don’t leave antifreeze jugs uncovered in your garage and always fix broken radiators so that your dog doesn’t lick antifreeze leaks laying on your driveway.
- Plants and flowers–hyacinths, tulips, azaleas and hydrangeas are just a few plants that may poison your dog if he eats them
Other consumables potentially toxic to dogs: chocolate, onions, garlic, xylitol (found in toothpaste), grapes, raisins and avocados.
Signs That Your Dog May Be Poisoned
- Excessive drooling
- Extreme thirst
- Difficulty breathing/panting
- Muscle tremors
- Seizures or convulsions
Treatment for Poisoned Dogs
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center urges dog owners to take unconscious or seizing dog to an emergency veterinary clinic as soon as possible. If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic substance but the dog is not in distress, you can call the ASPCA at 888-426-4435 for professional advice about what to do or your local veterinarian.