(This post is often updated as new info comes in. Latest update added:
While reading various alerts and media sites trying to keep up with all the recent pet food recalls, I came across a lot of things that could potentially be harmful for dogs, some of which I didn’t know about. The number one cause of poisoning in dogs? Motrin, Advil, and other human medications. Besides the common poisons including antifreeze, household chemicals, mold, mothballs, misteltoe, and wild mushrooms, here’s a list of other, lesser known things that are harmful to dogs.
- Grapes and Raisins: Can cause acute renal failure in dogs.
- Polyurethane Glue: Dogs may be attracted to either the smell or taste of glue, and may try to chew on the bottles. If swallowed, the glue expands to form a mass in the stomach and may need to be surgically removed. I recently read a news article about a dog swallowing Gorilla Glue, and had to have surgery to remove the mass from his stomach.
- Macadamia nuts: Raw or roasted macadamia nuts cause painful muscle weakness, tremors, and paralysis. Dogs can be affected by eating as few as six nuts, and may also be affected by macadamia butter.
- Onions, Chives, and Garlic: Contains thiosulphate, which is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.
- Cooked Bones: After cooking, bones become brittle and may splinter. These splinters may cause choking, or may even punture or become embedded in the intestinal tract or stomach. Some that are especially dangerous: turkey and chicken bones.
- Coffee: Any beverage containing caffeine can cause a dog’s heart to race, sometimes causing seizures.
- Xylitol: Sugarfree candies and other products containing xylitol. This ingredient is extremely harmful to dogs, with even small amounts causing liver damage and death.
- Fruits: Cherries, apricot and apple seeds, pear seeds, peach seed pits, plum seeds. These seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides which causes cyanide poisoning.
- Chocolate: Cooking chocolate and cocoa powder are the most toxic, followed by dark, semi-sweet, and milk chocolate. Obviously, the toxicity rises the smaller the dog, or the larger the quantity ingested. Keep all types chocolate out of your dog’s reach.
- Corn Cobs: Can cause potentially fatal intestinal blockage.
- Tobacco: cigarettes, nicotine patches, and other tobacco products may be harmful or fatal.
- Raw Salmon: Dogs may be exposed to a parasite after eating infected salmon. The parasite causes gastrointestinal problems similar to parvo, and may be fatal. See a vet immediately if your dog has ingested raw salmon; ask for a fecal sample test for rickettsial organism. This can be treated if caught in time. You can prevent this by simply cooking all fish before feeding to your dog.
- Plants: Toxic plants include Azalea, rhododendron, lilies, foxglove, daffodils, rhubarb leaves, yew, castor bean, sago palm, kalanchoe, and tulip bulbs.
- Yeast Dough: Even a small amount can rise and cause a rupture in your dog’s stomach or intestines.
- Human Medications: Pain killers, cold meds, anti-cancer drugs, vitamins, diet pills, and anti-depressants can be toxic even in small doses. Never give your dog human medication, unless instructed to do so by your vet. See the next item on the list:
- Ibuprofen: NEVER give your dog or cat these medications! Even as few as ONE PILL can be fatal, especially to cats!
- Slug and Snail Bait: These products come in liquid, pellets, or powder form and are extremely toxic to dogs. These baits contain metaldehyde and should not be used anywhere where they may be accessible to pets.
- More: Please read the comment section of this post for more possible hazards for dogs.
Warm Weather Hazards from the ASPCA
- Animal toxins—toads, insects, spiders, snakes and scorpions
- Blue-green algae in ponds
- Citronella candles
- Cocoa mulch
- Compost piles Fertilizers
- Flea products
- Outdoor plants and plant bulbs
- Swimming-pool treatment supplies
- Fly baits containing methomyl
- Slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde
CAT OWNERS: Cats react very differently than dogs to some insecticides; because of this, some flea-control products that are safely used on dogs, particularly those containing permethrin, can be deadly to cats, even in small amounts. (info from ASPCA)
Please keep in mind, I am not an expert, just a pet owner. If you have an emergency with your pet, please call your vet.
For more information about all substances that may be harmful for your dog or other pet, see the Animal Poison Control Center website. If you suspect your dog has ingested a poisonous substance, call the Poison Control Center at 888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435) immediately.
Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, many other over the counter medications) toxicity
Feeding Dogs Treats Containing Garlic
Do you know other harmful substances that are not listed here? If so, please leave the information in a comment and I’ll add it to this post.