How to Help Your Dog Avoid Poisons

Many of the things poisonous to humans also are poisonous to dogs, but dogs also can react —sometimes severely — to substances some humans can’t live without, chocolate, for example.

Don’t let your dog ingest any of the following foods, plants, or medications — they’re particularly dangerous for dogs.

  • Chocolate: Dogs can react severely to both the caffeine and the theobromine in chocolate.

  • Raisins and grapes: Some dogs suffer acute kidney failure and death caused by these foods — even in small amounts.

  • Onions: Onions can cause severe anemia in some dogs.

  • Prescription and nonprescription medications for humans: Many human medications are very dangerous for pets. For example, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, can cause liver failure and the destruction of red blood cells (cats are even more sensitive to acetaminophen than dogs).

    It’s just a good idea to avoid giving your dog any medication intended for humans unless you have been advised to do so by your vet.

  • Antifreeze: A few drops of antifreeze can kill a dog, and worse yet, it tastes and smells appealing to dogs, so watch for stains in your garage or driveway.

  • House and garden flowers, ferns, shrubs, and other plants: The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s website lists many common plants that can be poisonous to pets.

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