Some owners have the false belief that a dog won’t eat or drink something that isn’t good for them when they are outdoors roaming off-leash. But unfortunately, this is a myth. Dogs make the choice of what to eat on what tastes good to them. They have no concept if a substance is harmful or poisonous. However, dogs can expel rotten or toxic substances more quickly from their digestive systems than we can since their vomiting reflex is quicker than ours. The less time a substance stays in the system, the less chance it has to create ill effects.
Anti-Freeze: Alleys, streets and garages are prime locations for small puddles of anti-freeze. Licking anti freeze, even a small amount, can be quite lethal. Just a teaspoon is enough to kill a small dog, so it doesn’t take more than a few laps. Dogs really like the sweet taste; they have been known to chew through plastic containers that hold anti-freeze. Take the precaution and store anti-freeze in areas where your dog can’t easily get to it. On the street, keep your eye out for it, especially in late fall and winter, and use the “Leave it” command to keep your dog away from it.
Ethylene glycol is the toxic chemical in anti-freeze. If your dog has ingested even a small amount, call your vet immediately. There is an effective drug for anti-freeze poisoning. Before going to your vet, give your dog some bread to absorb the anti-freeze and then induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide. The rule of thumb is one tablespoon per 30 pounds of your dog’s body weight. You can administer hydrogen peroxide by pulling up the fold at the side of his mouth and squirting the solution into his mouth with a syringe.
In an extreme emergency, when you can’t gt to a vet, you can use the following remedy for anti-freeze poisoning: After inducing vomiting, make your dog a Bloody Mary – a shot of vodka and tomato juice. In fact, any alcoholic drink (gin, vodka) will do the trick. The alcohol ties up the ethylene glycol so it doesn’t precipitate into the kidneys. Give your dog one mixed drink per hour until you can get to a vet’s office. For smaller dogs, use a half a shot of alcohol. Again, this treatment should only be given when you absolutely can’t get to a vet’s office. And under no other circumstances, except for anti-freeze poisoning, should dogs be given alcoholic beverages.
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Products such as Advil or Tylenol may work wonders in reducing pain for people, but are quite toxic when ingested by your dog. They will wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive tract, so keep them safely out of reach.
Rat Poison: Rat poison can be found in city alleys and streets near garbage cans and dumpsters. Rat poison comes in pellet form – red or green. Rat poison is tasty to rats and, unfortunately, to dogs too. If your dog has ingested some rat poison, call your vet immediately. Rat poison can cause your dog to bleed from his mouth, nose and rectal area. If not treated quickly, your dog can bleed to death. If your dog happens to eat a rat that has been poisoned, your dog can be affected depending upon the amount of poison the rat ingested. Play it safe by calling your vet immediately.
Extermination: When your house is being exterminated, ask your exterminator what is a safe amount of time to keep your dog from the rooms that are being treated. Keep your dog from walking in areas that may still be slightly wet with pesticide. The pesticide can get on his paws which will get into his mouth if he starts licking them.
Household Cleaners and Disinfectants: If your dog has ingested household cleaners or disinfectants, then read the instruction label on the back to see if vomiting needs to be induced. You don’t want to induce vomiting on certain products because this can irritate the esophagus. You can induce vomiting by putting your finger down your dog’s throat, if you are comfortable doing this. Otherwise, give your dog a hydrogen peroxide solution (one tablespoon per 30 pounds of your dogs body weight).
House Plants: There are numerous household plants that are toxic for your dog. Some of the popular houseplants that are toxic include philodendrons, azaleas, rhododendron, Easter lilies, amaryllis, fox glove and Japanese lilies. Consult with your vet if you have any questions about house plants that you may have in your house.
Chocolate: Many vets get calls from panic-stricken owners who have discovered that their dog has eaten a candy bar. But one store-bought candy bar is really not enough to hurt your dog. Your dog has to ingest quite a bit of chocolate to feel any negative effects. It is the caffeine and bromethalin in chocolate that is poisonous to your dog. Dark baker’s chocolate is most toxic to your dog since it contains a high amount of caffeine and bromethalin. Milk chocolate and white chocolate have lower amounts of caffeine.