Dog owners should always contact their vet for information and advice regarding any potentially hazardous substances, including human medicines that their dog has come into contact with. Veterinary practices have access to a 24 hour Veterinary Poisons Information Service.
Never purposely make your dog sick unless your vet advises you to do so.
Some examples of poisonous substances include:
Antifreeze, screen-wash and some de-icers may contain Ethylene glycol – a substance fatal to dogs and cats. Antifreeze is available as a liquid to be added to the water in your car engine radiators to prevent freezing. Even small quantities spilt can be life threatening.
It is sweet tasting and attractive to dogs and cats, but is fatal to them so do be sure to keep such items out of your pet’s reach and mop up any spillages straight away. Dispose of old cartons carefully, and ensure you keep your pet out of the garage-especially a new puppy that will investigate any new scent.
Signs such as staggering movements; tiredness; increased heart rate; continuous vomiting, or dehydration may suggest that your furry friend has ingested this poisonous substance. Unless your dog is taken to the vet’s promptly after ingestion and given intensive treatment, recovery may be poor!
Important information– please read:
Dogs Trust assumes no liability for the content of the following list. This does not represent a complete list of all poisonous plants and is only intended as a guide. Please contact your veterinary surgeon for advice or treatment immediately if you think your pet has eaten any of the following plants and is showing a bad reaction. Your pet may also have a sensitivity or allergy to a plant that is not on the list, so always be vigilant and seek help if you are worried about your pet’s health.
Chocolate and other 'human' foods
- Chocolate meant for human consumption contains theobromine which can be lethal – the darker the chocolate the higher amounts of theobromine. Toxic doses vary according to the size of dog and cocoa solid content of the chocolate. Do contact your vets immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate intended for human consumption – especially if you see any of the following symptoms; vomiting, a sore abdomen, excessive thirst, excitability, drooling, slow heart rate or convulsions.
- Raisins and grapes can also be lethally toxic.
- Small bones such as those from turkey and chicken are obviously not toxic, but should not be given to dogs because of the risk of become lodged in the dog’s throat or splintering (particularly if cooked), potentially perforating the intestinal tract.
- Onions can cause anaemia, so should not be fed to your dog in any form.
- Xylitol, a sweetener commonly found in sugar-free foods, has recently been found to be toxic to dogs.
As a general rule you should assume that any human medicine is likely to be toxic to dogs, as very many of them are. Paracetamol is particularly dangerous as it can lead to death, or permanent kidney and liver damage which may require life long medical treatment.
Even if the active substance within a human medicine is appropriate for a dog, the dose is likely to be very different for a dog. Medical dose rates vary between individual dogs due to their size, breed and metabolic rate – just as with humans.
The golden rule is never dose your dog with any medicine that is not designed to be given to a dog and if you are ever in any doubt ask your vet whether it is safe. And of course, keep all human medicines safely out of your pet’s reach.