pet poisoningsAnimals are naturally curious – that’s one reason we love them! But sometimes, curiosity and exploration can have disastrous results. Take, for example, the foods that fill our own cupboards and fridges. While most of it isn’t bad for your pet, some things are downright toxic. When you know without a doubt the various things your pet should never, ever eat, you drastically reduce potential pet poisonings. Those are odds we can live with – how about you?

Too Many to Count

To be sure, many pet owners are unaware that something in the house could endanger their pet – until frightening symptoms surface. Sure, we all do our best to ensure the house is free of choking hazards, entanglement issues, and, of course, toxins, but many things slip through the cracks.

It’s also not uncommon for pet owners to be highly vigilant at first, only to let things slide a bit after a pet demonstrates an obvious lack of interest in dangerous items. Letting down your guard can be the fastest route to pet poisonings.

Common Culprits for Pet Poisonings

From personal medications to household cleaners, a typical home is chock full of potential pet toxins. The most common culprits of pet poisonings involve foods intended for human consumption only, such as:

  • Chocolate – By far, chocolate is responsible for countless pet poisonings. Theobromine and caffeine are concentrated in dark and baking chocolate. This can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, elevated heart rate, muscle spasms, and increased thirst and urination. Keep this chocolate toxicity meter for dogs bookmarked, and call us for help. Your pet may need overnight observation, IV fluids, and other emergency treatments.
  • Xylitol – Found in baked goods, candies, and even toothpaste, Xylitol is highly toxic to pets. Keep an eye out for anything labeled “sugar free.” Untreated vomiting, weakness, or seizures can lead to irreversible liver damage or failure. Symptoms emerge quickly; call us as soon as you know or suspect your pet was exposed to Xylitol.
  • Raisins/grapes – Keep those oatmeal raisin cookies and yogurt covered raisins to yourself. Likewise, that appetizing bowl of fruit salad topped with grapes should be strictly off-limits for your pet. If the symptoms (vomiting, weakness, inappetence, diarrhea, lethargy) are ignored, kidney failure can occur within 3 days.


Beyond the top three offenders, we recommend limiting the potential for pet poisonings via proper storage and clean up of the following foods and drinks:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Coffee and tea
  • Alcohol
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot and peach pits
  • Avocados
  • Hops
  • Walnuts
  • Tomato leaves and stem
  • Mustard seeds
  • Potato leaves and stem
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Yeast dough
  • Anything fatty, salty, sweet, or moldy

Pet poisonings can cause symptoms that appear rapidly and severely. Sometimes, however, they cause mild or subtle behavioral changes and physical ailments. Please take extra care to keep dangerous human food off the floor, countertops, and other horizontal surfaces easily accessed by your pet. Know the signs of pet poisonings, and call us immediately for help.