What To Know About Pet Poisoning

March is Pet Poison Awareness month and it got us thinking about what an important topic this is for pet owners. We thought it would be helpful to share some foods to watch out for, signs your pet may have been poisoned, and how you can help them if they have ingested something poisonous. Like babyproofing your home, we must do the same for our pets. We will break down some important things to know about pet poisoning so you can continue to keep your pets safe.

What Kinds of Things Are Considered Poisonous?

Many pets are exposed to toxic household items and foods every year. Unfortunately, there could be things around your home right now that can cause harm to your beloved pet. The list of things to avoid can honestly be quite long. Here is a common list of what to look out for if your pup ends up not feeling so well. 

Toxic Human Foods

Our dogs do not digest human food the same way we do. Dog food is formulated specifically for them so they can digest and absorb all the proper nutrients they need. With that being said, human food to absolutely keep away from your dog are: 

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol 
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Avocados
  • Foods with a lot of salt and sugar 
  • Xylitol 

Xylitol is just as harmful, if not worse, than real sugar. Don’t be fooled by products that have a “sugar-free” label. We often think that means it is safe to share with our pets, but it’s quite the contrary.


Whether it be over-the-counter medications or prescription medications, both are highly toxic to your pets. If your pet isn’t feeling well, your veterinarian will prescribe them the appropriate medications. Do not give your pet Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Cough Syrup etc. This will make them extremely sick. If you have prescription medications that you take regularly, store them in a drawer where your dog cannot get to them.

You Need To Know About Pet Poisoning


Environmental Dangers

Pet Toxins in the environment exist year-round. In the winter, anti-freeze and ice melting products are used on the ground. If you have a swimming pool, chemicals used to clean your pool aren’t good for your pet. 

Spring has finally arrived, which means lawns will be green and gardens full of plants. Lilies, Daffodils and Tulips are among some of the poisonous plants for your dogs. 

In addition to plants, fertilizers used to maintain gardens are also toxic to your pets. Fertilizers can cause gastrointestinal irritation and can lead to fatal illness if not treated immediately. 

Items In Your Household

Many of us will be looking to spring clean our homes this season, but we must consider how these products will affect our pets. 

Bleach is a common disinfectant and cleaning product. It can be safe if appropriately diluted, and the items cleaned with bleach are set aside until they are completely dry and the odor has disappeared. 

Laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets are other toxins we don’t usually think about. If you keep these items where your dog can reach them, consider shelving these products so your pup can’t get to them.

Cleaning sprays and floor cleaning products can also be a hazard for your pet. If your pet steps on a wet surface and then licks their paw, they can quickly ingest some of the cleaning product. If you need to mop your floors, consider asking a friend to watch your pet for a few hours until the floors are completely dry. 

How To Know Your Pet May Have Been Poisoned

If you know your dog well, you will be able to tell right away if something is wrong. There are quite a few symptoms your dog may have if they encounter something they shouldn’t have. Symptoms can vary depending on how much the animal ate and how long it’s been since the exposure. Here are some of the more common symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Salivation
  • Excessive panting 
  • Increased/decreased urination 
  • Unable to stand up properly 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of limbs
  • Pale or yellow gums 


Treatment Options And How You Can Help

The earlier you intervene in an emergency, the better prognosis your pet will have after exposure. Your dog can recover from exposure to a toxic substance, but it largely depends on how much was consumed. 

Call your vet immediately after exposure. They will likely ask you to bring your dog in for an exam, and they will figure out a treatment option. 

Calling the pet poison helpline is a fantastic resource to get you fast help if you cannot reach your veterinarian. You will get expert advice from specialists trained in assisting various pet species. 

Overall, prevention is the best method against pet poisoning. Something as simple as basic training can help you avoid an emergency situation. Teach your basic dog commands like “sit,” “stay,” or “leave it.” Don’t forget to reinforce those commands with treats and praise!

If you need help with basic training (or any training), Cosmic Home N Pet is here for you! Do not hesitate to contact Brea about private training in the Seattle area. 



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