pets often want to eat what we do and that can be unhealthy or even
deadly. "Table scraps" are frequently too spicy or too fatty for them,
causing vomiting and diarrhea and even life-threatening pancreatitis.
Hot dogs, gravies, poultry skins, fat trimmings, and casseroles are
common sources of such problems and also the accompanying obesity that
seems to plague many pets and owners alike. However, there are a number
of human foods which are surprisingly toxic to our good four-legged
is an artificial sweetener found in gum, mints, vitamins, baked goods,
and beverages. Read your labels! It is much more rapidly absorbed in
dogs than in people and will cause low blood sugar and sudden, severe
liver disease. These can lead to vomiting, staggering, collapse,
seizures, and death. Ingestion of as little as .008 oz. of the actual
sweetener per pound of pet or let's say 5 cookies or 40 pieces of gum
for your 25 pound dog, can kill.
and grapes can cause vomiting and diarrhea leading to rapid kidney
failure within 24 hours. As few as 5 or 6 of these fruits can cause the
death of some average cats or small dogs.
and garlic are sometimes eaten as they are flavored with meat juices.
Dogs and cats need to eat them in fairly large amounts to see problems.
They can cause digestive upsets first and then, may progress to
destruction of red blood cells, anemia, and in extreme cases, death.
Many pets will treat themselves by vomiting anything so spicy on their
and caffeine (methylxanthines) are deadly in fairly small amounts. Dark
chocolate is a more concentrated source than the light milk chocolate.
Your dearest dog only needs to eat .11 oz. of baker's chocolate per
pound of body weight (or 2.75 oz. for that 25 pound Rover) to possibly
die. It is not quite so bad with semi-sweet chocolate at .33 oz. per
pound of pup (8.4 oz. for a 25 pound dog). Milk chocolate weighs in at 1
oz. per dog pound potentially lethal (25 oz. for a 25 pound dog).
Symptoms of toxicity are seizures, urination, diarrhea, and vomiting.
dough has yeast that ferments in the stomach and releases an alcohol
(ethanol) causing alcohol poisoning. In the warm stomach environment, it
also rises rapidly, causing extreme expansion of the stomach which
leads to serious crowding of the lungs in the chest. The alcohol causes
symptoms of drunkenness and the expansion of the dough in the stomach
eventually results in unproductive attempts to vomit and difficulty
breathing. Induction of vomiting must be done right away, before the
bites of bread dough become too large to pass back out of the stomach.
(over the counter and prescription) cause a variety of problems when
eaten accidentally or when given as a treatment. Tylenol and ibuprofen
are toxic to both dogs and cats, aspirin is toxic to cats and all are
commonly misused. (Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate have aspirin in them!)
Always check with your veterinarian before using any drugs and realize
that pet dosages may vary greatly from human ones if they are tolerated
beverages are obviously not suited for our pets. It is not cute or
intelligent to leave alcohol where pets can lap it or to offer any
amounts to them. This is especially true of our very small friends. If
you offer your 5 pound Yorkie an ounce of beer and you weigh 200 pounds,
you will have given him a dose equivalent to your drinking 40 oz. of
beer in an equal amount of time. That is binge drinking and we all know
where it can lead.
(marijuana, cocaine, mushrooms, etc) can lead to rapid heart rates,
confusion, incoordination, seizures, and death. Remember that body size
has a lot to do with the amount necessary for a lethal dose. Yes, sadly,
we occasionally see these cases.
faced with the possibility of any of the above ingestions, involve your
veterinarian in treatment decisions right away. Remember that
minimizing time is extremely important and you may be asked to
immediately induce vomiting by syringing or spooning hydrogen peroxide
into your pet's mouth, tilting the head back slightly, and being very
careful to do small portions at a time to allow normal breathing.
Amounts vary and you may continue adding more until vomiting does occur.
It generally takes about 1/8 to 2/3 cup in that 25 pound pooch.
Unfortunately, alcohol is absorbed so quickly that by the time you know
you have a problem, it may be already too late for vomiting to reduce
know what toxins are in your house and do not tempt fate by leaving
them easily accessible by your "four-legged children". Keep some
hydrogen peroxide and your veterinarian's phone number readily
available. Notice any odd behaviors and investigate possible causes.
Give those good buddies a big hug and know that you are doing your best
to keep them safe and happy!