Common Household Dog Toxins

You may not be aware of it but there are many Common Household Dog Toxins in and about our homes that can be toxic and potentially even fatal to your pets. Some of these Toxins we might be aware of as pet owners, but there are lots more that many of us are not.

Since this site is primarily for dogs I will really cover 8 of the more Common Household Dog Toxins that are dangerous for dogs here. So, let's get started.

Common Dog Toxins From Foods:

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1) Chocolate - a good rule to remember is that the less sweet or the darker the kind of chocolate, the more toxic it will be for your pet. Dark chocolate or Baker’s chocolate typically pose the biggest problems for your dog. This is serious! If your dog were to eat chocolate, symptoms could include many things like restlessness, vomiting, hyperactivity, seizures, collapse, and even death.

2) Xylitol - this is a sugar-free sweetener and is found in many different products we ingest every day including many chewing gums, mints, oral rinses, toothpastes, and even OTC supplements. This is very serious! In dogs, even very tiny amounts can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia within only minutes. Much larger ingestions can result in liver failure. If your dog were to eat xylitol, symptoms could include many things like vomiting, seizures, lethargy, collapse, or even death.

3) Grapes and raisins - Not many people are aware of this and no one seems to really know why but as few as 3 to 4 grapes can cause major kidney damage in some dogs. This is very serious! If your dog were to eat grapes or raisins, symptoms might include vomiting, diarrhea, or possibly even acute renal failure.

4) Caffeine Pills, Coffee Grounds, Tea Bags - Keep your dogs away from caffein! This is serious! If your small dog/puppy were to eat moderate amounts of coffee grounds or tea bags it could easily result in death. If your dog were to eat any of these, symptoms might include restlessness, hyperactivity, vomiting, seizures, collapse or possibly even death.

Common Household Dog Toxins From Medicines/supplements:

Needless to say, never ever let your dogs get into your medications. But accidents do happen so here are brief discussions about a few of the most common ones and what they might cause, symptom wise.

5) NSAIDs - Never give your dog human NSAIDS like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc. This is very serious! If your dog were to eat NSAIDs, symptoms might include things like diarrhea, vomiting, kidney failure or even death.

6) Acetominophen (Tylenol) - This is very serious! It is also a common cause of many things such as liver failure, vomiting, lethargy, rapid breathing, discoloration of the gums, shock and even death.

7) Vitamins and minerals - Never give your dog human vitamins or minerals without asking your vet first. This is serious! If your dog were to ingest these, it might cause symptoms such as panting, diarrhea, vomiting, elevated heart rate, tremors or more.

8) OTC cough or cold medications - Needless to say, you don't want to give your dogs any of these ever. Especially decongestants. This is very serious! If your dog were to ingest decongestants, it might can cause symptoms such as vomiting, seizures or even death.


While I don't want to freak you out, I do want to make you aware of these potential threats to your dogs health. After all, knowledge is power! If you ever expect that your pet has ingested anything out of the ordinary, such as any of the Common Household Dog Toxins discussed above, please call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Control helpline (1-800-213-6680) immediately.

Time may not be on your side with many of these Common Household Dog Toxins  so timely and correct identification of what your dog has ingested is important. And if possible, hang on to the container or package too of whatever your dog has eaten so that you can answer any questions that your vet or poison control may have about the toxin accurately.

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